AURORA, N.Y. – Senior Paul Hernon (New Hartford, N.Y.) of the Wells College men's cross country and men's volleyball teams has earned Capital One Academic All-District First Team At-Large honors for his athletic and academic prowess, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced late Thursday afternoon.
Selected by the membership of CoSIDA, Hernon was one of only nine men's volleyball players nationwide to make the exclusive list and only one of six from NCAA Division III institutions. The only selection from North Eastern Athletic Conference schools in the At-Large division, Hernon joins nine other Division III athletes from the third district across several different sports, including men's volleyball, golf, men's lacrosse, men's wrestling and men's tennis.
Hernon is the third student-athlete to win the award from Wells, joining two-time recipient Shannon Blanford (Fayetteville, N.Y.) of the women's soccer team and Taryn Heath (Truxton, N.Y.) from women's tennis and women's volleyball. He will join the other First Team Academic All-District honorees by advancing to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first, second and third team All-America honorees will be tabbed later in the month.
The recipient of the Kathryn S. Maloney Senior Scholar-Athlete Award at the Athletics Awards Banquet in late April, Hernon wrapped up his Wells College career with a cumulative grade-point average of 4.037, earning Dean's List honors during his tenure in Aurora. A NEAC Scholar-Athlete recipient in 2012-13 and 2013-14, Hernon also serves the campus community in a variety of roles, including Vice President of the Collegiate Cabinet and the Vice Chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Graduating this Saturday with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Adolescence Education, Hernon was a two-sport athlete at Wells and was a member of the men's volleyball team and the men's cross country team.
A strong net-front presence for Head Coach Richard Gary and the men's volleyball team, Hernon finished as the North Eastern Athletic Conference leader with 1.20 blocks per set against NEAC opponents and was the conference's overall leader in blocks per set (1.16). On a national scale, Hernon ranked fifth amongst all NCAA Division III men's volleyball players with 1.19 blocks per set and was the eighth-ranked active player across the country with 0.87 career blocks per set.
Offensively, Hernon chipped in with a .228 attacking percentage in 2015, racking up a career-best 130 kills for Wells on 312 swings. He also posted 111 total blocks as a senior, leading the team with 17 solo blocks and 94 block assists. He graduates as the all-time men's volleyball record holder in solo blocks (49), block assists (217), total blocks (266), blocks per set (0.86), sets played (310) and matches played (98).
A member of the inaugural men's volleyball team in 2012, Hernon and the Express qualified for their first-ever NEAC postseason appearance in 2015. He was also a key cog in the construction of the men's volleyball team at Wells, playing in the most matches in team history (98), missing only seven matches across his career.
With the men's cross country team, Hernon earned Third Team All-Conference merits as a junior and led all runners on the team three separate times as a senior. A two-time participant at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional race, Hernon boasts the fourth-fastest 8K time in team history (29:43.20) and holds the fifth-fastest 6K time (22:02.70).
At Wells, Hernon won the Lesley Wead Zabriskie Express award for men's volleyball and men's cross country in 2015 and has won Rookie of the Year for men's volleyball in 2012. He has also racked up Most Valuable Player honors in men's volleyball and men's cross country as a junior, serving as a team captain in 2013.