GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – Three student-athletes from the Wells College men's volleyball team earned placement on North Eastern Athletic Conference All-League squads for their strong performances during the 2015 season, the conference office announced Wednesday.
Freshmen Jack Battumur (Denver, Colo.) and Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.) each earned Second Team All-Conference while sophomore Alex Battey (Palmdale, Calif.) was named to the league's Third Team All-Conference. Last season, the Express boasted three All-NEAC selections – all of this year's honorees are first-time winners.
Battumur, the team's starting libero, concluded his rookie season ranked eighth amongst all NCAA Division III men's volleyball players with 3.07 digs per set, placing third in the conference. His 3.17 digs per set against conference opponents placed him fourth overall amongst his peers and his 328 digs on the year ranked him second, trailing the NEAC Defensive Player of the Year, Brandon Stitt, by only 10 digs.
The only Wells player to play in all 107 sets, Battumur set his team's single-season record for digs (328) and digs per set (3.07) while posting a .941 reception percentage across his rookie year.
"[Battumur] was a big lift to our program this year," remarked fourth-year Head Coach Richard Gary. "He brought the energy, effort, and court awareness to help us extend points while stabilizing our serve-receive. He was noticeable in our matches for his ability to read a point and make some digs appear almost effortless while helping to lead our transition offense."
Perdicho, also a first year student-athlete, appeared in 23 matches for Wells and posted team-leading marks of 230 kills and 3.03 kills/set, ranking him fifth overall in the NEAC in the latter statistic. The winner of two NEAC Student-Athlete of the Week awards, his 230 kills not only set a single-season program record for the Express, but also placed him 10th amongst all players in the conference.
Stepping up big against conference foes, Perdicho set season-high statistical marks with 19 kills against NEAC-opponent D'Youville on Mar. 14, 13 digs against D'Youville on Jan. 24 and four service aces against Hilbert on Mar. 14 and LBC on Mar. 20. His .522 attacking percentage against New Jersey City on Apr. 4 of this season was a team record.
"Brannon certainly distinguished himself in some big moments, hitting .457 in our five-set match against D'Youville and posting 10 kills against Medaille with a .307 attacking percentage," said Gary. "As a freshman, Perdicho passed, hit, and served at a very high level for us."
Battey, last season's NEAC Rookie of the Year, finished fifth in the NEAC by hitting .243 on the year, a team-high mark that also ranked 78th amongst NCAA Division III institutions nationwide. Defensively, Battey finished tied for fifth in the conference in blocks per set (0.85), but was second overall in total blocks (88) to trail only his teammate, senior Paul Hernon (New Hartford, N.Y.).
Against NEAC foes, Battey contributed with 1.06 blocks per set. As part of Wells' 2-3 degree program, Battey will graduate this spring and continue his coursework at Columbia University.
"Besides being a solid blocker and attacker, Alex brought a great sense of confidence and positive energy to our team," said Gary. "By making his presence known and impacting the game when we most needed it, he is a valuable piece of our team that we will miss going forward."
Wells will make their first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference postseason appearance this Saturday, Apr. 11 as they face-off against D'Youville at 2 p.m. on the campus of Medaille College.