Springfield's Cal Palumbo Named AVCA Men’s Division III National Player of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2011) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced this evening that Springfield College senior middle blocker Cal Palumbo was named the 2011 AVCA Men's Division III National Player of the Year.
The presentation was made at the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship Banquet in Rochester, N.Y. The banquet was held in conjunction with the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship, to be played April 15-16 on the campus of Nazareth College.
Playing in his native Rochester, Palumbo looks to propel Springfield to a record seventh Molten Invitational title this weekend and third championship since he arrived on campus. During his tenure in a Pride uniform, Springfield has put together a 69-41 overall record, while competing against scholarship-granting programs on a regular basis.
Palumbo has guided Springfield to a 15-13 to date in 2011, which includes seven victories over Division I opponents. In addition, the Pride, under Palumbo's leadership, put up a 6-2 mark against Division III institutions, with all of those matches coming against nationally-ranked teams. He helped Springfield remain one of the elite Division III programs, as it held the top-spot in the AVCA Men's Division III Coaches Top 15 Poll for 11 weeks during the season, and the team never dipped lower than No. 4 in the rankings.
The sparkplug has consistently ranked among the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) and national statistical leaders this season with a .487 hitting percentage. He has posted 210 kills on the year to go along with 92 blocks and 20 aces, while also helping Springfield earn a berth in the upcoming EIVA Tournament.
Palumbo was named an AVCA Men's Division III First-Team All-American earlier this week, becoming the first player in program history to earn First-Team All-America honors in each of his four collegiate seasons. The senior was also a multi-year EIVA Division III All-Star.
In the eight-year history of the AVCA Men's Division III National Player of the Year award, Palumbo becomes the just the second athlete from Springfield to be heralded with the prestigious honor, as AJ Nally eared the nod a season ago. He also joins Matt Werle, Ricky Ziegler and Kenny Eiser, all from Juniata, Andrew Cranford from Stevens, Bryan Shires from UC Santa Cruz and Chris Schmidt from NYU as the only recipients of the award.
AVCA Division III Men's National Player of the Year
2011 Cal Palumbo, Springfield College
2010 AJ Nally, Springfield College
2009 Andrew Cranford, Stevens Institute of Technology
2008 Bryan Shires, UC Santa Cruz
2007 Matt Werle, Juniata College
2006 Chris Schmidt, New York University
2005 Ricky Ziegler, Juniata College
2004 Kenny Eiser, Juniata College