WINTHROP, Mass. – Another strong campaign by the Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team was reflected in the All-GNAC selections released on Tuesday. The Wildcats had five players named to the all-conference squads as announced by the league office.
Leading the way on the First-Team All-GNAC was setter Cameron Ponce and libero Alex Seda. Middle blocker Matt LaVasseur was a Second-Team All-Conference selection while fellow middle blocker Zach Turner and outside hitter Sanjae Holloway were named Third-Team All-GNAC.
The five selections tie the 2016 squad for the most in school history. Only GNAC champion Rivier had more players honored. Ponce and Seda are the first first-team selections since Shawn Kennedy earned back-to-back honors in 2013-14.
Perhaps the best all-around player in the conference, Ponce collected his third All-GNAC honor, matching Kennedy for the most in program history. The San Jose, Calif., native ranks second in the NCAA with a pair of triple-doubles. He's the only player in the GNAC ranked in the top 10 for assists, digs and blocks. Named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week on April 2, Ponce posted 11 double-doubles this year.
Seda finished the year ranked fifth in the conference at 2.64 digs per set, a rate that increased to 2.83 against GNAC teams. Named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week on March 26, the San Juan, Puerto Rico native recorded 12 double-digit dig games, including a season-high 16 against Lasell and Hunter.
In his final season, LaVasseur stepped up his game at the net. He recorded 34 blocks in conference play, ranking him third and he was fourth at 0.85 blocks per set. Offensively he hit .442 in league matches, the third-highest rate, as part of an overall .387 hitting percentage. A native of Salem, NH, he produced a career-high 17 kills in the win over Lasell.
Turner showed vast improvement during his sophomore campaign as he led the league with 31 block assists during GNAC games and was third at 0.92 blocks per set. He ranked sixth overall at 62 blocks and 0.82 blocks per set. The Coventry, RI, native is also dangerous at the service line where he led the conference with 23 aces during GNAC play and was eighth overall.
A new edition from Coker College, Holloway was one of the top point scorers in the GNAC. He finished the year 10th with 2.36 kills per set and 12th with 246.5 points. A native of East Hartford, Conn., he produced nine games with 10 or more kills, topped by 15 against Hunter to go along with a season-high seven blocks against the Hawks.
For the second year in a row, the Wildcats advanced to the semifinals of the GNAC Tournament. Head coach Scott Reslow should have another contender in 2019 as he returns most of his starters.