Men’s Volleyball Names 2021 Captains
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – A trio of Florida natives are set to lead the Brewers. Vassar men's volleyball head coach Richard Gary has announced this week that seniors Ben Brody (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Garth Verdeflor (Lake Mary, FL), and Ryan Duchemin (Maitland, FL) have been named captains for the 2021 season.
"This year we've learned some lessons that we never expected," stated head coach Richard Gary. "We're proud of the entire team's leadership in this challenging year, and are fired up to push with joy and full effort to be our best every day."
A four-year member of the team, Brody has served as a reserve defensive specialist and libero for the Brewers. In 2020, Brody played in 20 sets over 11 matches. As a sophomore, he accumulated 36 digs, seven assists, a service ace, and one kill across 31 sets played in. Brody was also named to the 2019 United Volleyball Conference (UVC) President's List.
"Ben has been instrumental in setting expectations and generating ideas to help build our team's culture on and off the court," said Gary. "He's got a great balance of being demanding and lighthearted, and has earned credibility with the team through the incredibly high personal standard he sets for himself."
Rejoining the Brewers squad in 2021 is Verdeflor, who spent the previous year studying at Dartmouth with Vassar's dual-degree engineering program. Verdeflor last played his sophomore season as a libero, where he appeared in 13 total matches and 29 sets. He tallied 18 assists, 22 digs and recorded a career-high ten assists against St. John Fisher.
"Garth has been my first experience with our guys taking that gap year at Dartmouth, and I'm thrilled with the result," Gary had to say. "He came back hungry to improve and really appreciative of the special bond that happens with this team."
A two-time All-UVC Honorable Mention selection, Duchemin has been one of the most potent middle blockers for Vassar. In 2020, Duchemin started 14 of 19 matches played and appeared in 73 sets. He was fourth on the team with 143 total kills, 1.96 kills per set, 14 service aces, and a .434 hitting percentage. A strong defender as well, Duchemin was second on the team with 62 total blocks and .85 blocks per set.
"Ryan's really worked hard to bring that competitive edge to the team, and it's our hope that he's able to pass on his passion for excellence onto the team. He's taken on that thankless role of making folks eat their vegetables, which can really exhaust the wrong types of leaders, and we would not be set up for a great spring without him."
Vassar is currently ranked No. 3 in the National Volleyball Association (NVA)/American Volleyball Coaches (AVCA) Division III Men's Preseason Coaches Poll. Last season saw the Brewers finish 16-5 overall with a 6-1 UVC record.
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