Rivier set to begin NCAA volleyball tourney today

Photo courtesy of Rivier University Junior Pedro Campos, just named GNAC Offensive Player of the Year, leads the Raiders into the NCAA tourney vs. Arcadia today in Springfield, Mass.

They always seem destined to face each other, and a third meeting between the Rivier University and Springfield College men’s volleyball teams could take place in the Division III NCAA regionals in Springfield, Mass.on Saturday.

But first for the No. 12 nationally ranked Raiders, there’s a little matter of getting past No. 14 Arcadia University at 6 p.m. today in Springfield in the tournament’s first round. The winner faces No. 1 ranked Springfield, which has a bye, on Saturday, also at 6 p.m.

The 25-7 Raiders lost 3-1 to Springfield at home but stunned the Pride 3-0 in Springfield this season. But Arcadia will be a formidable foe, finishing the season at 26-10. The last time the two teams met were in February of 2017, in a match played in Utica, N.Y. The Raiders prevailed 3-1. The Knights, who have three seniors, are led by junior hitter Jason Manley, who has a team-best 291 kills.

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference champion Raiders got some good news going into the tournament as junior setter Pedro Campos (1,002 assists) was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Year and head coach Craig Kolek was tabbed for the fourth time as GNAC Coach of the Year.

Raider junior David Smith, the team’s top hitter (291 kills) was also named to the First Team. Seniors Dashaun Graham and Khaynen Yocca, along with junior Cam Roth, were named to the Second Team.