CUNYAC / Hospital for Special Surgery Men's Volleyball
Hunter Sweeps Upstart Medgar Evers For Title
Bronx, NY -
Odd years have been good years for the Hunter College men's volleyball teams in recent times. The Hawks won the 2003
CUNY Athletic Conference / Hospital For Special Surgery Men's Volleyball Championship for the third time in the last five seasons with
a 30-17, 30-11, 30-13 sweep of Medgar Evers College in the title match.
Top-ranked Hunter (26-4) continued its undefeated run through conference competition against the third-seeded Cougars, who
were making their first-ever appearance in the Tournament final. After first round exits in each of the previous two seasons, in fact,
Medgar Evers (17-8) convincingly won two matches to reach the championship contest in the squad's third year of competition.
The well-balanced attack of the Hawks dictated the pace of play throughout the evening. Hunter initially established the tone
through its tough serving. The CUNYAC leaders in service aces netted three in the first game, five in the second, and two more in the final
frame. Half of the team's 10 unreturned serves came from junior middle hitter Michael McFalls (Woodside, NY), two apiece from senior
setter Ray Bello (Bronx, NY) and junior outside hitter Alfred Daos (Long Beach, NY), and another from junior outside hitter Roman Lytvyn
Dominance in serving translated to dominance on offense as the Hawks tallied a scorching .529 team hitting percentage (45 kills
and eight errors in 70 attempts). McFalls led the way with 16 kills and no errors in 18 attempts. In addition to his aforementioned five
aces, the 6'4" big man was a solid defensive presence at the net with five blocks and in the back row with four digs.
Bello, the team's 5'6" senior captain, ran the offense with ease as he distributed 34 assists while finding time to add three kills,
four digs, and a block. The 5'9" Daos was also effective and efficient as he notched 10 kills and no errors on 14 attempts to go with his
team-leading seven digs. Junior outside hitter Neil Hong (Honolulu, HI) contributed nine kills, seven assists, and five digs.
"We are all peaking at the same time," said Daos. “Other teams may have better players, but we have great balance. That's
been they key to our success. We have confidence in each other and everyone has
the same goal for our team, which is to do as well as possible."
McFalls, who previously attended City College of New York and played two years for the Beavers before transferring to Hunter to
major in its strong Economics program, was named CUNYAC Tournament MVP for a stellar performance in his new team's title run. Bello and Daos were also named to the All-Tournament Team, along with junior outside hitter Irwin Pascal (Rouseau, Dominica) and
junior setter David Sealy (Bridgetown, Barbados) of Medgar Evers, and senior middle hitter Owen Niles (Brooklyn, NY) of CCNY.
"This is the culmination of a lot of hard work," said McFalls. “It is never easy against a team with a lot of heart. I could never win any
MVP awards without my teammates, and they made it happen for me this evening. Everyone on our team goes all out every time we play
and when we're clicking like that, we can be very tough to deal with."
CUNYAC Tournament host and defending conference champion Lehman College found the Hawks very tough to deal with in the
semifinals. The top seeds polished off the Lightning in straight sets 30-13, 30-18, 30-17. Medgar Evers had to work a lot harder in its
mild semifinal upset win against second-seeded CCNY. The Cougars went the distance to prevail in five sets 19-30, 30-16, 35-33, 18-
30, 15-5. In that match, Sealy tallied an amazing 70 assists, of which 34 kills went to sophomore outside hitter Andre Edwin (Barbados)
and 30 to Pascal. In the tournament final, Sealy passed for 21 assists and six digs, while Pascal had eight kills and nine digs.
"We should have beaten them in four. Both teams relaxed a bit every time they were leading," said Medgar Evers third-year head
coach Avril O'Neal. “Fatigue may have been a factor in the championship, but you have to tip your hat to Hunter. They're
a strong squad."
Incidentally, just five days after fifth-year Hunter head coach Lauren Caiaccia became the first woman to lead a collegiate men's
volleyball program to 100 wins, she was once again involved in a historical event. The 2003 CUNYAC Tournament final was the first
conference championship match to feature two men's teams both coached by women.
The CUNYAC was the first NCAA Division III conference to sponsor men's volleyball, and Hunter has now won 12 championships
in the 18-year history of the tournament. Under Caiaccia, the Hawks captured their last three titles in 1999, 2001, and now 2003. Hunter,
Medgar Evers, and CCNY will continue their seasons next weekend in the Northeast Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) Championship
Tournament. CCNY will host the 12-team event, whose winner receives an automatic bid to the Molten Division III Championship.
#1 HUNTER DEFEATED #4 LEHMAN - 30- 13, 30-18 , 30-17
The top seeded Hawks cruised to a straight set victory over defending champion Lehman, 30-13, 30-18, 30-17 in the semifinals behind 39 assists from
senior setter Ray Bello (Bronx, NY). Junior middle hitter Michael McFalls (Woodside, NY) had 15 kills and six blocks, while junior outside hitter Alfred
Daos (Long Beach, NY) added 9 kills and six digs. The Lightning (11-13) received seven kills from junior outside hitter Wilmy Dipre (Bronx, NY) and
six kills and eight digs from senior outside hitter Ray Rivera (Bronx, NY).
#3 MEDGAR EVERS DEFEATED #2 CCNY - 19-30, 30-16, 35-33, 18-30, 15-5
The upstart Cougars had the biggest win in the three-year history of the program with a five-game victory over CCNY, 19-30, 30-16, 35-33, 18-30, 15-
5, behind 70 assists from junior setter David Sealy (Barbados). Sophomore outside hitter Andre Edwin (Grenada) had 34 kills and 21 digs, while junior
outside hitter Irwin Pascal (Dominica) had 30 kills and nine digs. CUNYAC Player of the Year Owen Niles (Brooklyn, NY) had 22 kills, ten digs and five
blocks for CCNY (15-5), Junior outside hitter Roger Cyrus (Brooklyn, NY) had a double-double with 14 kills and 14 blocks. Having already achieved
the most wins in the three-year career of the program with a 16-7 record, Medgar Evers won the school's first CUNYAC Tournament game with a 30-27,
30-26, 30-22 win over New York City College of Technology in the quarterfinal round.
By Damion Jones
AVCA/Sports Imports National Players of the Week March 31, 2003
Division III: Michael McFalls, a 6-4 junior middle blocker for 15th-ranked Hunter College (26-4, 14-0 NECVA CUNY), has been chosen the AVCA/Sports Imports Division III Men's National Player of the Week for leading the Hawks to three sweeps and the CUNYAC Tournament title. He was errorless in hitting in two matches, including a .889 (16-0-18) performance versus Medgar Evers in the championship. The .889 mark ranks as the second-best single-match percentage in Hunter history. McFalls added five aces, five blocks and four digs in the win. He opened the tourney with a .714 (10-0-14) hitting effort, seven digs and six aces against York. McFalls followed with 15 kills, six digs, six blocks and four aces in a semifinal win over Lehman. He averaged 4.56 kills, 1.89 digs, 1.67 aces and 1.33 blocks while hitting .725 (41-4-51) on the week. McFalls was also named CUNYAC Tournament MVP.
2002-2003 CUNYAC Men's Volleyball YEAR IN REVIEW
Player Of The Year
OWEN NILES, CCNY, SR., OH
.497 hitting (#2 in NCAA), 6.7 kills, 2.7
digs, 3.3 blocks (#1 in NCAA).
Rookie Of The Year
RYAN REID, York, FR., OH
.173 hitting, 1.8 kills, 1.9 digs, 0.9 blocks per game.
Coach Of The Year
AVRIL O'NEAL, Medgar Evers, 3RD YEAR
Led third-year program to third place CUNYAC regular season finish.
RAY BELLO, Hunter, SR., S 7.0 assists, 1.7 digs, 0.6 aces
ROGER CYRUS, CCNY, JR., OH .371 hit., 4.4 kills, 1.4 blocks
ALFRED DAOS, Hunter, JR., OH .423 hitting, 6.8 kills, 3.6 digs
EDWARD HUNTER, Brooklyn, SO., MH .196 hitting, 4.0 kills, 3.7 digs
MICHAEL MCFALLS, Hunter, JR., MH .303 hitting, 3.7 kills, 2.7 digs
IRWIN PASCAL, Medgar Evers, JR., OH .410 hitting, 5.3 kills, 3.8 digs
ANDRE EDWIN, Medgar Evers, SO., OH .423 hitting, 6.8 kills, 3.6 digs
NEIL HONG, Hunter, JR., S/OH .281 hitting, 5.9 assists, 2.7 kills
BINCHU JOHN, York, SR., OH .165 hitting, 2.7 kills, 4.9 digs
DAVID SEALY, Medgar Evers, JR., S 13.1 assists, 0.5 kills
RAFAEL VARGAS, Lehman, FR., MH .502 hitting, 3.9 kills, 0.9 blocks
ADAM WYSOCKI, Brooklyn, JR., S/OH .094 hitting, 3.7 kills, 4.2 digs
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