May 3, 2004
The 2004 season was another major step in the right direction for the men's volleyball program. The team set new school records for both wins in a season with their 20 - 16 record and wins in Conference, 15 - 3. The Gulls advanced to the Semifinals of the NECVA Tournament for the first time as well as achieving their first post-season appearance in the ECAC Championships. In addition, the team garnered their first national recognition appearing on the AVCA D III National Coaches Poll for 4 consecutive weeks and ending the season ranked 15th.
The schedule took on a new look this year as the team made its first trip to California over spring break. Over the course of the season, the team competed with nine of the teams who finished nationally ranked in the top fifteen with four of those teams being ranked in the top five at the end of the year. The team also faced NAIA, D II schools and I.
The Endicott Invitational was a successful highlight of the season. The field expanded to 12 teams this year, making it the largest NCAA men's volleyball tournament in the nation. The Gulls went 3-1 over that weekend and claimed the Silver Division Championship. Their only loss came to Medaille College in a four game thriller (26-30, 32-30, 29-31, 30-32). On a strong upswing at the end of the season, Medaille went on to win the NECVA Championships and to play in the Molten National Championship game.
The overall team success was in part by standout play by several individual players who were recognized throughout the season. Freshman Eddie Marchand earned NECVA New England Rookie of the Week honors while Jeremy Fontaine earned three New England Player of the Week and 2 NECVA Player of the Week honors. At the NECVA Championships both JR and Pablo Baez were named to the All-Tournament Team. Post Season honors include: JR's naming to his second All-New England team, Senior Craig Steszewski earning the honor as well for his first time and JR earning his first National Honor in being named to the AVCA All-American Second Team in first year of the existence of the award solely for DIII.
The Gulls had three Seniors Pablo Baez, Brandon Ecker and Craig Steszewski who will be graduating this year. All three have played major roles in the team's success. Pablo holds Endicott's career records for Assists (2,944) and Assists per game (11.5). Brandon is second all time in Kills (381), Attempts (1,014) and Aces (77) and Craig holds the record for Digs (814).
Key returnees in 2005 include graduating senior Brandon Ecker, who plans to return in the fall to attend grad school and use his final year of eligibility. Ecker shared playtime on the outside with up-and-coming sophomore Mike Coflesky. The "best Coffee in America" got valuable playing experience against some of the top teams in the country this season and looks to be a force in 2005. Eric Hunter and Steszewski made up the backbone of the Endicott serve receive the entire season while Hunter also reached the 20-kill mark in match at our Invitational. Russ Friedland saw time at almost every position this season His versatility ad leadership will be key for the Gulls as he returns for his senior season. Freshman George Chapell will also be back next year to beat some of the personal records he set while classmate, Marchand, will also be looking to shut down opponent's outside hitters and be an offensive threat from anywhere on the court.
The Gulls would once again like to thank all of the friends and families who followed us this season for all of their encouragement and support - GO GULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!