NEWTON, Mass. (4/18/17) – Freshman Janci Soto (Lawrence, Mass.) headlines the 2017 All-GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) teams as the league's rookie of the year, announced by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon.
Soto appeared in 31 of Lasell's 35 matches, starting in 28 of them. During his rookie campaign, the Lawrence, Mass. freshman hit an impressive .357, averaging 1.40 kills per set for a combined 154 in 110 sets played. Soto additionally contributed 93 total blocks, leading all Lasers in that statistical category.
The senior squad of Tristan Davis (Rochester, N.Y.), Patrick MacDonald (Floral Park, N.Y.) and Jeffrey Vautrin (Chicopee, Mass.) earned a spot on the all-conference first team, while sophomore libero Jordan Aprea (Newington, Conn.) was placed on the second team.
These seniors, each four-year members of the Lasell men's volleyball program, led the squad to its first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III top 15 national ranking, and to its winningest season, at 29-6. Additionally, Davis was named AVCA player of the week back in February, a first-time honor for the program. Davis, who now holds the Lasell all-time service ace record with 175, finished atop the GNAC in total kills with 379, while Vautrin finished second with 336. Davis receives his first all-conference honor with an averaged 3.18 kills per set during his last season, with 62 service aces, 84 digs, and 29 blocks.
At the beginning of this month, Vautrin became the third men's volleyball play to pass the 1,000 kill plateau. During his career, the senior outside hitter has swung into 1,064 kills, with a .287 hitting percentage. This season, Vautrin averaged 3.17 kills per set with a swinging percentage of .281. The all-conference honor is Vautrin's third of his career, as he was previously named to the third team in 2014, and the first team 2015. In 2015, Vautrin was named to the ECAC men's volleyball all-star team; the first Laser to do so since the program's inception.
MacDonald receives his second all-GNAC first team award, having last received the honor last season. The senior right side hitter contributed 239 kills this season, ranking him third among his teammates, averaging 2.08 kills, 1.54 digs, and 0.63 blocks per set. Throughout the season, MacDonald jumped up for 73 blocks, ranking second on the squad behind Soto.
Defensively, Aprea led the GNAC in total digs, and ranked second in digs per set. The sophomore libero set a new Lasell College record for digs in a season with 334, an achievement he reached in the Lasers' 3-1 semifinal victory over Rivier University. Aprea receives his first all-conference honor averaging 2.74 digs per set, a vast improvement from his rookie season average of 1.93 digs per set.
The trio of Davis, Soto, and Aprea swept GNAC weekly awards three times this season, with Davis and Aprea earning five offensive/defensive player accolades.
2017 GNAC Men's Volleyball All-Conference Teams
Tristan Davis, Lasell (Sr., OH/MB, Rochester, N.Y.)
Patrick MacDonald, Lasell (Sr., RS/S, Floral Park, N.Y.)
Jeffrey Vautrin, Lasell (Sr., OH, Chicopee, Mass.)
Tyler Blank, Rivier (Sr., S, Rochester, N.Y.)
Garrett Bucklin, Rivier (Jr., L, Jamestown, R.I.)
Jake Reed, Wentworth (Sr., OH, Arvada, Colo.)
Collin Ritter, Wentworth (Jr., S, Feeding Hills, Mass.)
Cameron Ponce, Johnson & Wales (RI) (So., S, San Jose, Calif.)
Jordan Aprea, Lasell (So., L, Newington, Conn.)
Grant Andler, Rivier (Jr., OPP, Chicago, Ill.)
Matt Heckler, Rivier (Jr., MH, Simi Valley, Calif.)
Ian Wolski, Rivier (Sr., OH, Westfield, Mass.)
Sean Mullen, Wentworth (Sr., OH, Longwood, Fla.)
Alex Potts, Wentworth (Sr., RS/MH, Niverville, N.Y.)
Win Kittivatcharapong, Emerson (So., RS/MB, Bangkok, Thailand)
Erik English, Emmanuel (Mass.) (So., OH, Simi Valley, Calif.)
Kanila Chang, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Jr., OH, Orlando, Fla.)
Donovan Kelley, Johnson & Wales (RI) (So., MB, Encinitas, Calif.)
Mike Hansen, Wentworth (Sr., MH, Rochester, N.Y.)
Jon Roat, Wentworth (Jr., RS/OH, Macedon, N.Y.)
Mike Rogachefsky, Wentworth (Sr., L, Rochester, N.Y.)
Offensive Player of the Year – Collin Ritter, Wentworth
Defensive Player of the Year – Garrett Bucklin, Rivier
Rookie of the Year – Janci Soto, Lasell
Coach of the Year – Evin Giglio, Wentworth
Institutional Sportsmanship Award – Mount Ida
Joshua Turner, Albertus Magnus (Sr., Trumbull, Conn.)
Paul Bleu, Emmanuel (Jr., Auburn, Mass.)
Jacob Di'Tore, Emerson (So., Salem, N.H.)
Matt McCarthy, Johnson & Wales (Fr., Millis, Mass.)
Jeffrey Vautrin, Lasell (Sr., Chicopee, Mass.)
Nathan Sprengle, Mount Ida (So., Williamstown, N.J.)
Matt LaSance, Rivier (Sr., Madison, Conn.)
Mike Hansen, Wentworth (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.)