BRONXVILE, N.Y. – In its 45th year, the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) is proud to announce its sixth EIVA Hall of Fame Class. The three honorees will be recognized at the 2017 EIVA Championship match at the site of the top seed for the tournament.
Chris Chase (Penn State '89), Chris Fazio (Juniata '97), and Ric Lucas (George Mason '85) are the three inductees this season as the trio represent the deep history of the EIVA, founded as the Eastern Collegiate Volleyball League (ECVL) in 1971.
"This year's EIVA Hall of Fame class celebrates the contributions of three outstanding players," stated EIVA President Ron Shayka. "All three were not only some of the best in the East, but were among the best in the country."
"Chris was the most dominant middle attacker and blocker in the nation," explained Tom Tait, former head coach at Penn State and a member of the Class of 2012 EIVA Hall of Fame. "His 6 foot-10 inch frame combined with his significant athletic abilities and competitive nature to make him a player who gave opposing coaches 'nightmares' trying to figure out how to defend against him. Chris was also a very effective server, using both a standing heavy topspin serve as well as an accurately-placed short floater," concluded Tait.
Chris Fazio is named to the Hall of Fame after playing in the mid 90's for Juniata where he was the Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year in 1997. "Chris was a remarkable and transformative player," stated Larry Bock, former Juniata head coach and the current women's volleyball coach at the United States Naval Academy. "Men's volleyball was relatively new at Juniata when Chris arrived and he truly put that program on his shoulders for four years. His importance in terms of program legitimacy and team quality was still being felt during Juniata's ensuing decade of successful EIVA and national competition," concluded Bock.
The final inductee is Ric Lucas, a member of the 1984 and 1985 George Mason programs that advanced to the school's first-ever NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship Tournament in '84. "Ric was the most intelligent setter I ever coached; he had a knack for finding the open hitter and calling the best play for a situation," stated 2013 EIVA Hall of Fame inductee and former head coach for the Patriots, Wayne Stalick. "I always enjoyed talking and strategizing with him. Down deep he always wanted to be an outside hitter, even at 5-foot-10, but with his 42-inch vertical jump he was able to hit over many blocks," recalled Stalick.
"It's absolutely awesome to witness the growth in the prestige of our EIVA Hall of Fame," exclaimed Ivan Marquez, Executive Director of the EIVA. "Not only are we solidifying the long tradition of excellence of our Association, but also our position at the forefront of model conferences in the NCAA by inspiring others to adopt similar awards programs."
Leading up to the 2017 EIVA Championship match, EIVAVolleyball.com will feature an in-depth look at each of the Hall of Fame inductees to fully recognize their accomplishments and impact in the world of EIVA Volleyball.