WNY Volleyball NEWS

 

 

This site catalogs the news from Western New York's High School and college volleyball scene in order to provide greater recognition for the players, their hard work and achievement as well as awareness for the sport of volleyball. There exists a rich tradition of volleyball excellence within our region and it's time we celebrate it!


 

2016

 


No. 1 New Paltz Volleyball Crowned 2016 NCAA Champions; Defeats No. 2 Springfield, 3-1, in NCAA Final
Colleen Gonzalez, Assistant Sports Information Director, nphawks.com
Sunday, April 24, 201
6

 

Post Game Video

 

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – For the first time in program history, the top-ranked State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team has captured its first NCAA Division III Tournament title, defeating No. 2 Springfield College, 3-1 (25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 26-24), in the championship match on Sunday afternoon at Nazareth College's Kidera Gymnasium. The win also marks the first NCAA title for any New Paltz team.

"They deserve this. They worked hard and it was our dream to be national champions," said head coach Radu Petrus. "Every coach wishes to have this group of players when you can have a lot of options and they can follow the strategy.

"I think this is huge because this is the first time that the university and the department have this trophy. For the program it's important because the recruits may be more interested in the program and I can keep the same level in the future."

Senior setter Christian Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) was named the NCAA Tournament MVP, while junior opposite Joe Norman (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore) and senior outside hitter Andy Fishman (Cornwallville, N.Y./Cairo-Durham) were named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Hawks conclude the 2016 season with a 33-2 overall record and a 30-0 mark against Division III teams. Springfield ends the season with a 24-8 overall record.

Springfield took off with a 5-2 lead in the first set but the Hawks pushed a 5-0 run, which included three Norman kills, for a 7-5 edge. New Paltz extended its lead to 10-7 but Springfield rallied to cut the deficit to 10-9 on a service ace and two kills by Luis Vega. However, junior middle blocker Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) responded with a kill and service ace of his own to keep the Hawks ahead. New Paltz led by four points through the rest of the set for a 22-18 lead before senior middle blocker Christopher Husmann (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) added two of the final three points to clinch the 25-18 set win for the Hawks.

In the second frame, the teams traded early points but New Paltz would soon run ahead to a 6-4 lead. The Pride ended up trailing by two points until Springfield capitalized on two New Paltz errors to tie the score at 14-all. Both teams battled for the lead but the Hawks would grab the upper hand on a Pride service error and a Fishman service ace. The Pride made quick work of leveling the score to 23-all but the Hawks would take the set, 25-23, on a Fishman kill and a Springfield ball handling error.

Similar to the second set, the third frame saw both teams trade points before the Hawks pulled away on a Springfield service error and a Woessner kill for an 11-9 lead. Sophomore outside hitter Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) landed a kill to keep the Hawks ahead but the Pride rattled off three-straight points to pull ahead, 13-12. Still New Paltz would not be deterred, pushing four unanswered points to retake the lead and send the Pride into a timeout. Coming out of the break, Springfield evened the score and began an intense battle for the lead. New Paltz closed in its third set win, capitalizing on a Norman kill and a Springfield error to make it a 23-22 match but a New Paltz service error returned the ball to Springfield. Junior outside hitter Luis Vega and sophomore outside hitter Richard Padilla Ayala floored a kill each to give the Pride the set win and send the match to a fourth frame.

The Hawks and the Pride came out swinging in the final set, keeping the score close until Springfield recorded a 3-0 run for an 11-9 edge. The Hawks managed to close the gap to 15-14 but three unanswered points from the Pride handed Springfield an 18-14 advantage as New Paltz called for a timeout to regroup. The Hawks rallied coming out of the break, pushing a 4-0 run for a tied score. Once again the teams battled to take the win but Norman landed a kill to bring the score to 25-24 before sophomore outside hitter Ben Cohen (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) sealed the win on an overpass kill.

New Paltz concluded the match with a 4-3 edge in service aces and a .291 (63-26-127) clip, while the Pride held an 8-7 advantage in blocks and hit .276 (47-18-105).

Norman floored a career-high 21 kills and hit .444 (21-5-26). Woessner finished the match with a .533 (10-2-15) clip off 10 kills and contributed four blocks (two solo, two assists). Fishman added 17 kills for the offense, while Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) dished out 51 assists and defended 11 digs.

For Springfield, senior right side Greg Woods led with 19 kills while Vega and Ayala contributed 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Junior setter Luis Garcia Rubio distributed 42 assists in the loss, while freshman libero Eli Irizarry Pares provided 11 digs for the defense.


NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET RELEASED Ohio State tabbed the No. 3 seed
ohiostatebuckeyes.com
Sunday, April 24, 201
6

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State was named the No. 3 seed for the 2016 NCAA Men's Volleyball Tournament (May 3-7) to be contested at Penn State. The Buckeyes will play in the opening match on May 3, facing EIVA champion George Mason at 6 p.m. ET in the first of two play-in matches that evening.

BYU (MPSF automatic bid) and UCLA (at-large bid) received direct advancement into the national semifinals as the top seeds while Long Beach State (at-large) and Erskine (Conference Carolinas champion) square-off in the other play-in contest (8 pm; May 3) of the six-team bracket.
 

NCAA Division 1 National Championship Bracket

Ohio State enters the NCAA Tournament with 28 wins overall, the most in a season since the 1993 Buckeyes posted a 28-10 mark. The current winning streak was stretched to 20 consecutive victories with a five-set triumph over Lewis in the MIVA Tournament Finals. Ohio State hasn't suffered a loss since Feb. 6, a span of over 80 days, and has won 60 of the last 73 sets played during the 20-match winning streak. This season marks the 19th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.


Springfield Volleyball Earns Spot In Seventh-Straight National Championship Match With Sweep of Stevenson
springfieldcollegepride.com
Saturday, April 23, 201
6

Rochester, N.Y. - April 23, 2016 - The Springfield College men's volleyball advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship match after a three-set victory over Stevenson on Saturday evening in Kidera Gymnasium on the campus of Nazareth College. The Pride won by the set scores of 25-23, 25-16, 25-16.

The No. 2 seed in this year's NCAA Championship, Springfield now owns a 28-3 record and will square off with top-seeded New Paltz at 2 pm on Sunday. Stevenson's year comes to a close with a 26-8 this season and advanced to the semifinals as the No. 6 seed.

Dating back to 2008, the Springfield College men's volleyball program has appeared in eight of the last nine national championship matches, including seven-consecutive appearances. The Pride was crowned Molten Invitational National Champions in 2008 and 2010 before capturing NCAA Division III Championships in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) was sensational directing Springfield's offense to a .310 hitting percentage as he dished out 37 assists in the win. Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) was both efficient and effective on the offensive side of the ball, totaling a match-best 14 kills at a .579 clip, while Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) contributed 13 kills, five digs, four blocks, and two aces. Eli Irizarry Pares (San Juan, Puerto Rico) racked up nine digs and Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) notched four kills and four blocks in the middle. 

The Pride raced out to a 6-2 lead after Jasuta converted out of the middle and extended its lead to 11-6 as Vega hammered a backrow kill in transition. Springfield led 19-14, but committed four-straight hitting errors to aid a 5-0 Mustang run that evened things at 19-all. Out of a timeout, Jasuta manufacted a kill around the block and Vega crushed a ball cross court, only to have Stevenson later even the set at 22-22. A timely block from Garcia Rubio and Julian Welsh-White (Collingswood, N.J.) gave Springfield the lead for good and Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) sealed the 25-23 win blistering a ball down the line for Springfield's 13th kill of the frame. The set was marred by service errors as the teams commited 17, including nine by the Pride. 

Springfield earned an early 4-0 lead thanks to a pair of blocks and forced the Mustangs into the timeout at 8-2 after Woods crushed a ball down the line. Stevenson got as close as 12-7, but a sideout kill from Garcia Rubio fueled a 3-0 burst that put the Pride back in control. Springfield dominated the frame, hitting at a .458 clip thanks to five kills each from Vega and Woods, while limiting the Mustangs to a .083 percentage.

The third set was back-and-forth from the start, as it featured 10 ties and three lead changes. Stevenson's offense was outstanding to start, producing eight kills on its first 14 errorless attempts to give the sixth-seed a 13-9 advantage. Coming out of a Springfield timeout, Woods crafted a ball down the line to jump start a 3-0 run that forced Mustangs into a timeout. Stevenson's last lead would come at 16-15 thanks to Springfield's seventh attack error of the set, before the Pride put together a remarkable 10-0 run to complete the sweep. Led by the outstanding serving of Garcia Rubio and trio of blocks, including two by Jasuta, Springfield earned a spot in the national championship match, with Woods tallying with 14th off the night to wrap up the night.


Canisius volleyball's Schmit and Joslyn to represent Old Glory
Miguel Rodriguez, The Buffalo News
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Canisius volleyball players Griffin Schmit and Devin Joslyn have been selected to the 2016 USA Boys’ Youth National Team, which will compete in the NORCECA Continental Championships in Havana, Cuba, June 22-30, according to a release from Canisius. The two juniors helped the Crusaders post an unbeaten season last fall. 

Schmit earned American Volleyball Coaches Association of New York State All-WNY Player of the Year for a season in which he finished with .506 hitting percentage and 477 kills. 

Joslyn was a second team All-Catholic selection. Both earned spots on the team by making it through the national tryout route. Schmit has been playing for the U.S. team for three years but this will be his first time playing with the team in an event on foreign soil.


Penn State men’s volleyball’s redshirts look to fill seniors’ spots next year
Giana Han | The Daily Collegian
Wednesday, April 20, 201
6

At the end of the bench every home game, there are four players wearing nice dress clothes instead of uniforms.

Those four are this year’s redshirts — Luke Braswell, Jason Donorovich, Frank Melvin and Calvin Mende.

They have spent their first season as Nittany Lions practicing with the rest of the team and getting acclimated to the new pace of the game.

All four played in high school, but college volleyball is not the same game.

“When you play high school and club competition, you’re playing guys who are all your age or maybe slightly older, but it’s at a lower level,” Melvin, an outside hitter, said. “Here, I’m playing guys that are 22, 23 years old who have been playing the game double as long as I have.”

Additionally, the opposition is a lot bigger than what the redshirts faced in high school.

“In high school, you might get one or two guys that are 6-foot-7, but anything bigger than that is unheard of,” Braswell, a setter, said via text.

The size, age and experience creates a faster pace, which Melvin said requires players to constantly be thinking about their next move.

It also forces players to develop every part of their game.

“At the lower levels, you can get away with being just a good hitter, being just a good passer,” Melvin said. “But once you get up here, you have to be good at everything.”

The time that the redshirts are taking off has helped them to develop and prepare for the next level.

Braswell said this season has taught him patience because it’s been difficult to watch the games without having a chance to play. It’s also helped him to get bigger in preparation for the competition.

Melvin said redshirting has given him the chance to get to know the game better and understand it.

Coach Mark Pavlik said he’s seen improvement from each of his redshirt freshmen.

“I like what the freshmen have done this year,” Pavlik said. “They’ve handled themselves very, very well.”

He mentioned the strong practices outside hitter Donorovich has been having recently and said Braswell has made good use of his practice time as well, especially considering there are three setters and only two sides of the court.

Melvin has made “great strides” since the beginning of the season while Mende, an opposite hitter, he said, is going to be a monster.

“He doesn’t know that,” Pavlik said. “But he’s going to be a monster.”

The season’s almost over, but the redshirts still have the summer to prepare before they get to step out on the court.

They said they will be playing in outdoor tournaments and working to get bigger and healthier. Melvin also said he will take time to rest from the stress of being a student-athlete.

After the summer, they will become eligible to play for the Lions’ men’s volleyball program, and Braswell said he is excited to see who steps up to fill the roles of the five graduating seniors.

“I'm most excited to finally have the chance to put on the blue and white in an actual match and represent this awesome university,” Melvin said.


Ksiazkiewicz named program's first All-American
Marymount Mens Volleyball
Monday, April 18, 201
6

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. — In just the third year of the program, the Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team has received its first All-American. After earning a spot on the All-Continental Volleyball Conference squad followed by the league's all-tournament team, junior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz made his way on to the most elite list in the country for collegiate volleyball, the AVCA All-American list.

Ksiazkiewicz, closing out his third season with the program, earned a spot on second team after posting extraordinary numbers on the offensive end. He ranks third in the CVC with a .407 hitting percentage, just .22 behind the leader, while posting 214 kills throughout the season to rank eighth in the league, and 15th in kills per set after averaging 2.40.

As a middle blocker, Ksiazkiewicz put up a wall this season, leading the conference in blocks per set (1.12) and solo blocks (24), while registering fourth most in block assists (76) and fourth in total blocks (100). 

Ksiazkiewicz led the Saints in several crucial victories throughout the 2016 campaign. Arguably one of the best games of the season came against No. 4 Rutgers University-Newark in early March when the Saints upset the Scarlet Raiders in a 3-2 decision. During the match, Ksiazkiewicz posted 16 kills, his season best, while hitting .652 and registering three block assists. Ksiazkiewicz put up kills in the double-digit range in seven matches this season, after making an appearance in all but two matches.

The men's squad looks to return Ksiazkiewicz next year for his final season, in hopes of clenching the programs first CVC title.


Seven Mavericks Earn Men's Volleyball AMCC Postseason Honors
Koch named Coach of the Year, Schneider named Newcomer of the Year

Medaille Mens Volleyball
Friday, April 15, 201
6

The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference announced their 2016 Men's Volleyball postseason awards on Friday afternoon, and five time defending champion Medaille College was well represented during the announcement. Head Coach Keith Koch was named the AMCC Coach of the Year; freshman Brad Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport) was named the AMCC Newcomer of the Year; while Seniors Nate Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport), Jack Hagerty (Wheatfield, NY, Niagara Wheatfield), Joe Hacherl (Tonawanda, NY, St, Joseph's CI), Pete McKelvey (Buffalo, NY, Canisius), and junior Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) were all named to the AMCC All-Conference Team.

It has been a year to remember for Koch, as this is the third time he has been named a conference Coach of the Year in just over seven months. In November he was named the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Women's Volleyball Coach of the Year after guiding the women to an (18-8) season and AMCC Regular Season Championship.

This is the fourth time in five seasons Koch has been named the AMCC Men's Volleyball Coach of the Year, directing the Mavericks to a (25-9) record overall and a perfect record in conference play. Under his tutelage, Medaille was able to claim their fifth straight AMCC title.

Brad Schneider finished the regular season at, or near, the top of many statistical categories for Medaille in 2016.

Offensively, Schneider was one of the Mavericks most well-rounded players. His (279) kills ranked second on the team and he also finished second on the team in assists, dishing out a total of (612). As good as he was on offense; Schneider was just as good defensively, ending 2016 third on the squad with (173) digs, and tied for third with (70) total blocks.

Seniors Nate Schneider, Jack Hagerty, and Joe Hacherl were all named to the AMCC All-Conference First Team. For Schneider it was the second consecutive year he has been earned such a reward, while for Hagerty and Hacherl it was the first time in their career's they have been chosen AMCC All-Conference. The three combined for (578) kills, (88) service aces, (622) digs, and (131) total blocks.

Senior Pete McKelvey and Junior Calvin Crosby were both named to the AMCC All-Conference Second Team for the first time in their careers. Both put up impressive numbers offensively and defensively; McKelvey finishing the year with (246) kills, (52) digs, and (88) total block and Crosby ending 2016 with (218) kills, (54) service aces, and (61) total blocks.

For the official AMCC release, click here.


NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Committee selects 2016 championship field
NCAA.com
Monday, April 11, 201
6

INDIANAPOLIS --- The NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Committee announced today the field of 10 teams for the 2016 NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship.

Six conferences were awarded automatic qualification for the 2016 championship. Two teams were selected from Pool B, which consists of independent institutions and institutions that are members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification. The final two berths were reserved for Pool C, which consists of institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not the conference champion and any remaining Pool B teams.

MORE: Interactive Bracket

Conferences and Teams Receiving Automatic Qualification:

City University of New York Athletic Conference: Hunter College (29-5)

Continental Volleyball Conference: Stevenson University (25-7)

Great Northeast Athletic Conference: Wentworth Institute of Technology (22-8)

New England Collegiate Conference: Endicott College (17-10)

Skyline Conference: Kean University (29-5)

United Volleyball Conference: State University of New York at New Paltz (27-0)

Pool B Berths (two):

Carthage College (27-1)

Springfield College (26-3)

Pool C Berths (two):

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark (24-3)

Stevens Institute of Technology (26-6)

First-round competition will be Saturday, April 16, at Kean and Wentworth. Competition at the championship site will be April 22-24 at the Shults Center, hosted by Nazareth College.


Medaille College Claims Second Straight NEAC Men’s Volleyball Championship with 3-1 Victory over SUNY Poly
neacsports.com
Sunday, April 10, 201
6

 

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Medaille College Mavericks claimed their second straight North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Men’s Volleyball Championship following a 3-1 victory over the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Wildcats in the title match Sunday. 

The Mavericks fell behind early after dropping game one, but would take the next three sets to claim consecutive titles on their home floor as tournament hosts and the No. 1 seed. Medaille sophomore Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, Fla.) was named NEAC Tournament MVP following totals of 17 kills, eight block assists and six digs across both playoff matches. 

Game one would see itself tied ten times in the early going and a final time at 18 all to open the championship battle. Poly would strike for five of the next seven game points from there, before using back-to-back kills to take game one 25-21 and the early match lead. 

Medaille would respond with a quick 5-1 lead in game two before jumping that to a 13-7 advantage. The Mavericks would then post seven of the next eight game points behind three aces from junior Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, N.Y.) to take a commanding 20-8 lead. Three more aces from there and a pair of Poly errors would then give the Mavericks a 25-10 win and even the match at 1-1. 

Medaille would then erase an early 6-2 Poly lead to take a 12-11 advantage in game three. The two squads would be tied at 14 and 15 from there, before six errors by Poly and four errors from Medaille left the game at 21-19. Medaille capitalized with three straight kills and another ace from Crosby to close the game 25-19. 

Another close set ensued in game four, with the Mavericks holding a slight 10-9 advantage in the early going before both teams were knotted at 19 apiece down the stretch. An attack error from Poly and two straight kills from freshman Brad Schneider (Lockport, N.Y.) made it 22-19 and forced a Poly timeout, before a pair of Medaille errors cut it down to 22-21 and made Medaille call a timeout of their own. That’s where the tournament MVP finished the match, as Bloomberg posted back-to-back kills with the second coming while twisting around and falling backward to make a spectacular play, before serving up the last point that caused a Poly attack error to give the Mavericks a 25-21 win and their second conference crown. 

Bloomberg finished with match highs of 10 kills and four block assists, while hitting .500 on 14 swings and adding three digs. Crosby had six aces on the day to give him 13 total during the tournament. Brad Schneider finished with 18 assists and nine kills, while his brother Nate Schneider (Lockport, N.Y.) added 10 digs, eight kills, four blocks and two aces. Senior Jack Hagerty (Wheatfield, N.Y.) and junior Pete McKelvey (Buffalo, N.Y.) both tallied seven kills, while freshman Matt Dempsey (Clarence, N.Y.) dished out 18 assists and senior Joe Hacherl (Tonawanda, N.Y.) posted a match-most 14 digs. 

Freshman Ryan Gloff (Brockport, N.Y.) led Poly with eight kills and seven digs, while freshman Max Szuba (Irondequoit, N.Y.), junior Nick Hagen (Hilton, N.Y.) and senior AJ Davids (Hilton, N.Y.) all tallied six kills apiece. Sophomore Zach Goggin (Feeding Hills, Mass.) had a match-high 27 assists along with seven digs. 

A full box score of the championship match can be found here. A recap of yesterday’s semifinal round matches can be found here.


No. 1 New Paltz Sweeps No. 4 Stevens to Capture Second UVC Title
d3vb.org
Sunday, April 10, 201
6

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – For the second time in program history, the top-ranked State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team can call itself United Volleyball Conference (UVC) champions, as the Hawks downed the fourth-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology, 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-20), in the UVC Tournament final on Sunday at the Hawk Center.

Senior setter Christian Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), the 2016 UVC Player of the Year, added to his haul of postseason awards by earning UVC Tournament MVP honors. Senior outside hitter Andy Fishman(Cornwallville, N.Y./Cairo-Durham) and senior libero Kevin Nardone (Port Washington, N.Y./Paul D. Schreiber) joined Smith on the All-Tournament Team along with senior outside hitter Tim Zyburt from Nazareth College, sophomore middle hitter Matthew Knigge from Vassar College and senior outside hitters Chris Vaughan and Tim Ferriter from Stevens.

New Paltz, the top seed in the UVC Tournament, rises to 30-2 overall and stretches its winning streak to 29 with the victory. The Hawks, who have yet to lose to an NCAA Division III team this season, became just the fifth team in program history to reach the 30-win plateau, as New Paltz won at least 30 matches from 1984-87. New Paltz earned the UVC's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament with the victory and will learn of its placement in the bracket when it is released during a selection show tomorrow at 10 a.m. at www.ncaa.com/liveschedule. Stevens, the No. 2 seed in the UVC Tournament, drops to 28-6 overall with the loss and hopes to be one of the two Pool "C" at-large selections into the NCAA Tournament.

The Hawks put up a stout defensive front in the first set, holding the Ducks to -.059 hitting. Stevens stayed within striking distance until three straight kills by sophomore outside hitter Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) staked the home team to a 15-8 lead. The two teams traded points until a 3-0 surge gave New Paltz a 21-11 advantage. After Stevens scored three of the next four points, the Hawks closed the set with three consecutive points, and a kill by senior middle blocker Christopher Husmann (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) gave New Paltz a 25-14 win in the first.

After three unanswered points to start the second set, things looked to be well in favor of New Paltz, but Stevens turned the tables with a 3-0 run of its own to tie the score. A back-and-forth battle ensued, and the Ducks actually opened up an 11-9 lead following a kill by Ferriter. The Hawks countered with a 4-0 spurt, with a Fishman kill giving New Paltz a 13-11 lead. The two teams continued to battle back and forth until two consecutive Duck miscues gave New Paltz a 23-19 edge. Stevens battled back, though, with a block assist by junior middle hitter Jordan Stuart and Ferriter, a Hawk attacking error and a kill by junior outside hitter Gabe Shankweiler pulling the Ducks within one. Following a New Paltz timeout, the Hawks received a timely kill from junior opposite Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), but Vaughan answered right back with a termination of his own to force yet another Hawk timeout with set point on the line. New Paltz finished off Stevens in the set, however, with a Fishman kill on the ensuing rally, giving the Hawks a 25-23 victory in the second.

New Paltz broke a 3-all tie with three straight points, and a Fishman service ace handed the Hawks a 6-3 advantage. The two teams traded points until the Hawks rode the hot hand of Bonilla, who registered three straight kills before a Roessler service ace gave New Paltz an 11-5 edge and forced a Stevens timeout. The Hawks led by as many as nine in the set (20-11), but the Ducks mounted a comeback, slowly chipping away before a three-point tear pulled them within four at 22-18. From that point forward, the two teams sided each other out until Roessler put away the match-ending kill.

New Paltz hit .282 (44-13-110) on the match, which included hitting percentage of .438 and .387 in the first and third sets, respectively. Stevens, meanwhile, was limited to a season-low .075 hitting percentage (27-19-106). The Hawks held a 6-4 advantage in total team blocks, while both teams finished with two aces. In a match that saw several long rallies kept alive by strong back-row defense, New Paltz finished with a 54-48 margin in digs.

The Hawks set to the outside early and often in the match, with Bonilla and Fishman each flooring 12 kills. Smith backed up his reputation with a 32-assist, nine-dig performance that also included three kills and one solo block. Bonilla completed the double-double with 12 digs, while Nardone defended a match-high and season-high-tying 15 digs.

For Stevens, Ferriter led the way with nine kills, 11 digs and two service aces. Senior setter John Eddins and junior setter Scott Russell combined for 24 assists, while Shankweiler posted 10 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Thomas Burrell hit .500 (3-0-6) for the match and added three block assists.


Kean Claims 2016 Skyline Championship
d3vb.org
Sunday, April 10, 201
6

Union, N.J. (4/10/16) – The Kean University men's volleyball team made it five straight as they blanked Ramapo College in the Skyline Championship on Sunday afternoon.

The Cougars (30-6) were led by sophomore Jacob Kauffman who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the championship as he recorded 10 kills and four service aces. He also added three digs and four assisted blocks and a total of 16 points on the day.

Kean now awaits the announcement of the 2016 NCAA Division III bracket which will be featured on ncaa.com on Monday at 10 a.m. http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2016/04/11

Kean has won the Skyline Championship for five straight seasons and is only in their sixth season as a varsity program. 

In today's first set the Cougars pushed out to a quick 9-3 lead with two kills from Bill Fischer and an ace from Kauffman in the run. The Roadrunners (19-16) turned that deficit right around and climbed within one (9-8) before a Cougar timeout. Kean adjusted and another kill from Fischer and back-to-back assisted blocks swung the momentum back to Kean forcing a Ramapo timeout. The Cougars then paced through the rest of the set keeping a comfortable margin throughout for the set one win, 25-18.

The Roadrunners took their first lead of the day in set two on attack errors by the Cougars, but after see-sawing to 11-all, Kean took control and rolled off four straight points, forcing a Roadrunner timeout. Ramapo would only come as close as two points for the rest of the set as the Cougars won set two by the same score, 25-18.

Trailing 6-5 in what would be the final set, the Cougars used a 9-0 run with Kauffman serving to forge ahead comfortably top Ramapo, 25-11, for the straight set win.

Fischer finished with nine kills, five digs and two assisted blocks while setter Steve Schrank added 24 assists and eight digs in the win.

For the Roadrunners, Justin Feigeles and Paul Close each registered six kills on the afternoon.


Carthage wins MCVL Tournament Championship with 3-0 sweep of MSOE
d3vb.org
Saturday, April 9, 201
6

KENOSHA, Wis. – Looking to defend their MCVL Tournament title, the Carthage College men's volleyball team (27-1, 13-0 Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League) took to the court at Tarble Arena for one last time this season to face off against the Raiders of the Milwaukee School of Engineering (18-8, 12-1 MCVL). In the April 5 AVCA Men's Division III Top 15 Poll Carthage earned the No. 3 ranking and MSOE captured the No. 13 spot.

"It was great to see the boys go out there today, play well, and claim the tournament title to go along with the regular season title," said head coach L.J. Marx. "It caps off a regular season, but we wanted more and now we have put ourselves in a great position looking ahead to the selection show on Monday and the NCAA Tournament."

The Red Men took a quick 4-0 lead in the first set with Matt Reinsel back to serve. A few points later with Carthage leading 7-8, the Red Men made another four-point run on a kill by Zach Lillig, two errors by the Raiders, and a service ace by Griffin Shields to expand their lead to 11-6. The Raiders were unable to close in on Carthage's lead as the Red Men took the first set 25-21. Carthage had an outstanding hitting percentage of .500 in the first set.

Looking for redemption, the Raiders took a 5-2 lead to start the second set. Trailing 5-6, the Red Men tabulated a six-point run with Shields serving to take the lead 11-6. Carthage kept the lead for the remainder of the set and took the second set 25-22 over the Raiders.

The Red Men took control one again to start the third set as they jumped out to 5-2 lead over MSOE. With Carthage leading 6-4, the Raiders made a surprising four-point run to take the lead 8-6. A few points later, Carthage made an 8-2 run and took control of the set with a commanding 18-13 lead over the Raiders. The Red Men held onto their lead and eventually took the third and final set 25-18, which earned Carthage the MCVL Tournament Championship Title.

The Red Men have won both the MCVL Regular Season title and the MCVL Tournament title two years in a row, the only two years that the MCVL has been in existence.

As a team, the Red Men recorded 42 kills, four service aces, 11 blocks, 40 assists, 37 digs, and a hitting percentage of .360. Griffin Shields lead the team in kills with 14, accompanied by Will Craft and J.P. Tulacka with apiece. Shields also earned three service aces in the match. J.P. Tulacka made an outstanding six blocks against MSOE, closely followed by Scotty Adamczyk with five and Zach Lillig with three, respectively. Matt Reinsel connected on 39 assists and nine digs.

Griffin Shields, J.P. Tulacka, and Cody Bolan were named to the All-MCVL Tournament team from Carthage. Shields was also named MVP of the MCVL Tournament. Other student-athletes name to the all-tournament team were Luke Spicer from Dominican, Tim Robbins from Lakeland, and Quink Krisik and Sam Stealey from MSOE.

Although the MCVL does not have an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship, the Red Men still have a shot at an at-large berth to the tournament. During the 2016 season, the Red Men recorded a perfect Division III record of 24-0. Carthage previously made the tournament back in 2014 and 2012.

Looking ahead to the NCAA Tournament Marx said, "We talked about it at the beginning of the year and throughout, if we don't lose a Division III match they can't keep us out. It was a lofty goal and the boys deserve credit for accomplishing it! So now we have some time off but have to keep working hard as we shoot for our ultimate goal, a National Championship."

The team will find out if they make the tournament during the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship selection show on Monday, April 11 at 9 a.m. CDT. The show can be viewed on NCAA.com.


NECC TOURNAMENT: #1 Endicott Completes The Four-Peat
d3vb.org
Saturday, April 9, 201
6

BEVERLY, Mass. – The first-seeded Endicott men's volleyball team captured its fourth straight New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Tournament championship with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-19) win against third-seeded Daniel Webster on Saturday afternoon at MacDonald Gymnasium.

John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) was named the NECC Tournament Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season, as the senior outside registered a double-double on 17 kills (.318) and a match-high 14 digs. Osborne also added three assists and a perfect serve-receive percentage (19 total attempts) to his stat line in the victory.

Jeremy Doski (Sandy Hook, Conn.) notched a match-high 20 kills (.400) to aid the Gulls to their fourth straight title, while Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) put together his second double-double of the season with 15 kills and 10 digs.

Cameron Little (San Diego, Calif.) ran the offense with 57 assists on 121 attempts (.471), alongside six digs, while Ryan Healy (Fair Lawn, N.J.) helped guide the back row with 10 digs and a .957 serve-receive percentage (22 attempts). Chandler Tayek (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) also contributed seven digs, and Daniel Toth (Glenwood, N.J.) and Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) registered kill totals of six and five, respectively, to round out the list of highlights for the Gulls.

Daniel Webster was led by Tommy Reyes (Providence, R.I.) in the loss as the junior outside compiled a team-high 17 kills (.433), in addition to five digs, two blocks, and a service ace. Ryan Howdeshell (Fairbanks, Alaska) added nine kills and nine digs, while Saunoa Afoa (Las Vegas, Nev.) had eight kills, ten digs, three blocks, and three assists.

Darrien Mason (Farmington, Conn.) also tallied seven kills and six blocks, while Nate Makaiwi (Las Vegas, Nev.) concluded the individual achievements for the Eagles with 39 assists (.406), 13 digs, and two blocks.

Tied 20-20 in set one, Daniel Webster used a late 5-3 run – which included a pair of kills from Afoa – to take a 1-0 lead in the match (25-23). Endicott responded in set two as the Gulls limited the Eagles to a match-low .088 hitting percentage behind a set-high 15 digs to claim an eventual 25-18 second-set victory, and even the match at 1-1.

Set three was the difference for the Gulls as the defending champs withstood 12 tied scores and four lead changes for a 25-23 win, and a 2-1 advantage in the match. The third set was the most contested set out of the entire match as Endicott never led by more than four points. The Gulls also received three errors down the stretch by the Eagles and a kill from Doski with the scored tied at 21-21 to help lock up the set-three victory.

In set four, Endicott raced out to an 18-9 lead – the highest point differential in any set – before defeating Daniel Webster 25-19 to clinch its fourth straight NECC title.

NECC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

MVP – John Osborne (Endicott)
Cameron Little (Endicott)
Jeremy Doski (Endicott)
Darrien Mason (Daniel Webster)
Tommy Reyes (Daniel Webster)
Gabriel Reis Levy (Elms)
Sean Bisnett (Regis)

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
•Endicott is 4-0 this season against Daniel Webster, and 22-0 all-time versus the Eagles dating back to February 6, 2009.
•Today's match marked a rematch of the 2014 NECC Tournament title game, which the Gulls won by an identical 3-1 score.
•The senior class of Dan Seaver (Milford, Mass.), Little, Osborne, Tayek, and Wasik are the first class in program history to win four conference championships.

WHAT'S NEXT

Endicott (17-10) advances to the NCAA Tournament by earning the NECC automatic bid, and will await word on its opponent in the upcoming NCAA Tournament Selection Show that will air on the NCAA.com website on Monday, April 11 at 10 a.m. Daniel Webster sees its season come to a close at 16-13 overall.


Third Time's A Charm for Stevnson, 2016 CVC Champs
thecvc.org
Saturday, April 9, 201
6

 

 

Playing in its third consecutive Continental Volleyball Conference Championship match, the seventh-ranked Stevenson men's volleyball team posted a 25-23, 25-21, 25-21 sweep over fifth-ranked Rutgers-Newark to claim the CVC Championship Saturday afternoon at Owings Mills Gymnasium.

The Mustangs (25-7) earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship, becoming the 10th Stevenson program to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Stevenson also remains unbeaten at home, improving to 10-0 with eight straight set wins.

Seniors Kyle Pottiger and Patrick Schuyler as well as junior Nate Ellis were all named to the All-Tournament Team while senior Rob Wingert was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player.

Meanwhile, Rutgers-Newark (24-3) fell for just the third time this season and the second sweep by Stevenson. Kevin McCandless and Jack Fredricks were named to the All-Tournament Team.

The two teams traded points early on with the Scarlet Raiders maintaining at least a one point lead before Stevenson knotted the set for the fourth time at 12-12. But the Scarlet Raiders won four straight points to force a timeout by the Mustangs.

After facing its largest deficit at six, the hosts got back within three but a service error halted the momentum as Rutgers-Newark extended its lead back to five.

Trailing 23-19, the Mustangs won three consecutive points to get within one and force a timeout by the Scarlet Raiders. Stevenson took the lead with a service ace by freshman Jason Gardner before finishing the comeback with a block assist by Pottieger and Schuyler.

During the run, Schuyler recorded two kills while Rutgers-Newark totaled three attack errors, including on three of the final four points of the set. Schuyler had five kills in the opening set on five swings.

The Mustangs trailed 5-4 early in the second set but that was the last time as the hosts maintained a three-point led for most of the set. A 3-1 run by the Scarlet Raiders got Rutgers-Newark within one at 17-16, before the visitors knotted the game at 19-19.

Tied at 20-20, Stevenson won five of the final six points, including two kills by Gardner and two service aces by Shorts. Schuyler also put down his 10th kill of the match during the set-ending run.

The final set was close from start to finish as neither team led by more than two points until the Mustangs won the final three points to claim the program's first-ever conference championship.

Schuyler finished with a match-high 15 kills while adding three digs and two service aces while freshman Landon Shorts totaled 10 kills, seven digs, three service aces and a block assist.

Meanwhile, freshman Jason Gardner recorded nine kills while the duo of Pottieger and Ellis each totaled seven kills. Pottieger also added six block assists. Wingert, the MVP, finished with 44 assists, three digs and three block assists.

The selection show for the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship will be Monday, April 11 at 10:00 a.m. Fans can watch live on NCAA.com.


Mustangs Sweep Juniata, Advance To Third Straight CVC Championship
thecvc.org
Saturday, April 9, 201
6

Led by a combined 24 kills by senior Patrick Schuyler and freshman Landon Shorts, the top-seeded Stevenson men's volleyball swept fourth-seeded Juniata, 25-13, 25-13, 26-24 as the Mustangs advanced to their third straight Continental Volleyball Conference title match Friday evening at Owings Mills Gymnasium.

The Mustangs (24-7), who have appeared in every CVC Tournament since the league began in 2012, improved to 9-0 at home this season while sweeping the Eagles for the third time this season. It was also the seventh sweep for Stevenson at home.

The hosts recorded a .425 hitting percentage, marking the sixth time the Mustangs have hit over .400. Stevenson, who never trailed in the first two sets, hit a combined .477 during that time.

The Mustangs won the opening five points as the Eagles (10-16) totaled three attack errors. Juniata hit -.032 in the opening set posting just eight kills compared to nine errors. The duo of Shorts and junior Nate Ellis compared for nine kills alone in the set.

Stevenson strung together another five consecutive points in the middle of the frame to build an 18-7 lead before closing the set on two attack errors by the Eagles. The Mustangs also added six block assists in the frame, two apiece by Ellis and freshman Jason Gardner.

The second set began much like the first as the Mustangs won 11 of the first 16 points. Juniata would get within four following two service errors by Stevenson, but the hosts won 13 of the final 18 points. Schuyler had four kills in the set while junior Michael Fehrs had two service aces.

After Stevenson won the opening point of the third set, the Eagles won five consecutive to take a 5-1 lead. Out of a timeout, the Mustangs rallied to take a 10-9 lead but Juniata responded with a 6-2 run to take a three point lead following back-to-back kills by Kyle Seeley.

Trailing 23-20, Stevenson won six of the final seven points, including a service ace by Gardner on match point.

Fehrs finished with three service aces while senior Rob Wingert totaled 34 assists, eight digs, two block assists, a service ace and a kill. Ellis recorded seven kills and five block assists.

Seeley was named to the All-Tournament team after totaling a team-high eight kills on 15 swings.

Stevenson will face the winner of second-seeded Rutgers-Newark and third-seeded Marymount in the CVC Championship match on Saturday, April 9 beginning at 2:00 p.m.


#5 Scarlet Raiders Head To CVC Championship Match
thecvc.org
Saturday, April 9, 201
6

The fifth-ranked and second-seeded Rutgers University-Newark men's volleyball team is in the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) title match for a second-straight year. The Scarlet Raiders sailed past Marymount University 3-0 in the conference semifinals to set up a rubber match with top-seeded Stevenson University for the CVC crown.
The Scarlet Raiders topped Marymount 26-24, 25-15 and 25-16, working for a tough first-set victory and cruising the rest of the way. Stevenson swept Juniata in the other semifinal setting up a conference title game between the fifth- and seventh-ranked teams in the nation. R-N and the Mustangs split the season series 1-1 with each school winning on its home floor, 3-0.

Rutgers-Newark improves to a remarkable 24-2, while Marymount drops to 19-11. The Saints were the last team to beat Rutgers-Newark, and since the loss, the Scarlet Raiders have won seven-straight matches.

R-N tallied 46 points, 37 kills, one ace, eight blocks, 34 assists and 34 digs. Junior middle Nick Kuti (11), senior opposite Travis Mintzer (nine) and senior middle Cody Chidsey (six) led the Scarlet Raiders in kills, and Pieper and Chidsey each had four blocks. Senior setter Kevin McCandless picked up 33 assists, with junior outside Jack Fredricks (nine), senior libero Quocmy Nguyen and McCandless (five) combining for 19 digs.

Rutgers-Newark hits .268 in the match, while the holding the Saints to a .101.

Rutgers-Newark 26, Marymount 24
The first set was neck-and-neck throughout, and after Marymount held off the Raiders for one set point at 24-23, a kill from Kuti and a hammer from Fredricks – both assisted by McCandless – lifted the Raiders to the 26-24 victory and a 1-0 lead.

Rutgers-Newark 25, Marymount 15
The Scarlet Raiders carried the momentum from the first set win into the second, running out to a 5-1 lead behind a Pieper kill, three Saint errors and a Pieper block.

Three-straight points would make it a 13-5 set, and a 4-0 rally on the serve of senior Christopher Kopacz made it 20-10, essentially sealing the 2-0 lead.

Rutgers-Newark 25, Marymount 16
The two teams were tied at eight before a mini-run helped the Scarlet Raiders to a 12-9 edge, and after Marymount cut the lead to two (12-10), R-N slammed the door with a 13-6 run to advance to the conference title match.

Kuti (three), Fredricks (two) and Mintzer (two) all had multiple kills to lock up the triumph and set up a second-straight showdown between Rutgers-Newark and Stevenson in the conference title game. R-N swept the Mustangs 3-0 last year in Newark for the CVC's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship.

Opening serve is set for 2 p.m. Saturday and links to live stats and video of the match will be posted at www.rutgersnewarkathletics.com.


NEAC Announces 2015-16 Men’s Volleyball Regular Season All-Conference Selections and Individual Award Winners
neacsports.com
Thursday, April 7, 201
6

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has announced its 2015-16 Men’s Volleyball All-Conference selections, with first, second and third team honors being awarded regardless of position to a total of 21 student-athletes, as selected by the conference coaches.

The NEAC has also announced its men’s volleyball individual award winners, as also selected by the conference coaches.

Penn State Altoona sophomore outside hitter Matt Huey (Butler, Pa.) was selected as the NEAC Player of the Year following a tremendous all-around season for the Nittany Lions. Huey leads the conference in kills (389), kills per set (3.97), points (460) and points per set (4.7) offensively, while also being first in solo blocks (27), eighth in total blocks (69) and 10th in digs (176) defensively through 98 sets played. Those totals also leave him among the national leaders across all of NCAA Division III, where he currently ranks fourth in kills per set and fifth in points per set. Huey earned three NEAC Player of the Week awards and four Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III South Region Player of the Week honors throughout the season, with the latest of each coming this past week after he helped the Nittany Lions secure their first-ever conference tournament berth following a 12-4 NEAC record. Huey, who was selected to the All-Conference First Team, also earned the program’s first-ever selection as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Player of the Week en route to leading Altoona to the team’s best-ever overall record of 17-10.

Keuka College senior Cooper Lyon (Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada) was chosen as the NEAC Defensive Player of the Year following an outstanding season for the Wolfpack. The libero racked up 269 digs in 82 sets to post a conference-best 3.28 digs per set average, which also currently ranks second nationally and is just 0.28 behind the NCAA Division III leader. A three-time NEAC Defensive Player of the Week selection, Lyon tallied double-digit dig totals in 15 of the 22 matches he competed in, including reaching at least 20 digs twice, while committing just 17 reception errors all season. Lyon’s defensive play allowed the Wolfpack to hold their opponents to just a .174 hitting percentage on the year, which helped Keuka secure a playoff spot with a 9-7 NEAC record while also landing him on the All-Conference First Team.
The remaining two individual honors were awarded to Medaille College, as freshman Brad Schneider (Lockport, N.Y.) was named the NEAC Rookie of the Year and Maverick head coach Keith Koch was voted by his peers as the NEAC Coach of the Year. Schneider, who served as both the right side hitter and one of the primary setters for the Mavericks, led all conference rookies and was second overall in aces with 45, while also ranking in the top 15 in numerous other categories, including assists (578 – 8th), assists per set (4.98 – 9th), kills (259 – 11th), hitting percentage (.256 – 9th), digs (168 - 15th), solo blocks (10 – 13th), block assists (53 – 11th), total blocks (63 – 11th), and points (340.5 – 7th). His play from both positions helped the Mavericks post a conference-best team hitting percentage of .263. A NEAC Player of the Week honoree, Schneider also capped his excellent all-around season with a NEAC All-Conference First Team selection.
Koch led the Mavericks to another excellent season during his 12th year at the helm, going a perfect 16-0 in conference play to clinch the NEAC regular season championship and earn the right to defend their 2015 conference title on their home floor as the tournament’s No. 1 seed this weekend. Koch’s squad also went 23-9 overall, which included a victory over nationally ranked Elmira, while leading the conference in total kills, assists, aces, blocks and hitting percentage as a team. Koch also saw three different players win NEAC Player of the Week honors and four players selected to the All-Conference First and Second Teams, respectively.

 

Below is the complete list of the 2015-16 NEAC Men's Volleyball All-Conference First Team, Second Team and Third Team selections:

2015-16 NEAC Men's Volleyball All-Conference

 


2016 CVC Tournament Preview
thecvc.org
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The 2016 Continental Volleyball Conference Tournament begins this weekend, April 8-9, in Owings Mills, Maryland and will include host school Stevenson University; defending champion, Rutgers University-Newark; two-time tournament champion, Juniata College; and Marymount University, who is making their second consecutive postseason appearance.

CVC Championship Tournament Page

CVC Tournament Video Preview

Tournament Information

The 2016 Tournament will be held on the campus of Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Maryland. Semifinal games will be held on Friday, April 8 with #1 Stevenson facing #4 Juniata at 6 p.m. and #2 Rutgers-Newark facing #3 Marymount at 8 p.m. The Championship match is set for Saturday, April 9 at 2 p.m. You can stream all matches HERE

Ticket prices for the tournament are as follows: $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students (Stevenson students free with ID), and children under 12 are free.

 

 

#1 STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS

Stevenson secured hosting rights for this year's tournament by finishing the regular season with an 11-1 conference record, going 23-7 overall.

"Hosting the tournament is a big honor in our eyes," said Stevenson Head Coach Steve Grossnickle. "We like to think of the CVC as one of the stronger conferences in the country and to be the one seed and have the opportunity to have postseason play in our gym is a pretty big deal to us."

The Mustangs are currently ranked #7 in the AVCA poll and have won five of their last six matches as they enter the postseason.

"It is nice to be nationally ranked, but that's about all it is, just nice. Our goal was actually pretty simple this year, win the CVC. We have tremendous respect for the other teams in our conference, and our goal this year was to compete with them and prove that we deserved to be talked about when people spoke about the CVC. Not to mention winning the CVC gets you a birth into the NCAA Tournament, somewhere this program has never been before. That was the only goal we set for ourselves this year, win the CVC."

The Mustangs have made the CVC Championship match in each of the last two years, coming up short twice. This year they are hoping home court advantage can get them over the final hurdle. The Mustangs are 30-8 at home in the last four seasons including going undefeated this year with an 8-0 record. Despite being undefeated at home this year and finishing first in the regular season standings Grossnickle knows this weekend is not given.

"Two years ago we lost to Juniata, who has been a traditional powerhouse in Division III volleyball for as long as I can remember. Last year losing to Rutgers, we have great respect for their coaching staff and players, they came in and made a statement; not just to the CVC but to the entire Division III landscape. Marymount is a team that has gotten good, very very quickly. Again, great coaches with hard working kids and it is paying off for them. In order to be the best you have to beat the best, these three teams can compete with anyone in the country on any given day. We will have to have laser focus on the attention to the little details. All the little points that we maybe did not earn in the regular season we are going to have to earn now in the postseason. There is not much that separates these four teams in my opinion so we have to be fully prepared for some battles this weekend."

The Mustangs are led by freshman Landon Shorts, who ranked second in the league with 303 kills this season. Shorts is hitting .315 and totaled 46 service aces. Nate Ellis, a junior, is the inside presence for the Mustangs; hitting .407 and ranking second in the CVC in blocks. Senior setter Rob Wingert leads the team on the court and led the league at 10.66 assists per season.

 

 

#2 RUTGERS UNIVERSITY-NEWARK SCARLET RAIDERS

Rutgers-Newark return the majority of their team from last year's CVC Championship squad; bring back 2015 CVC Player of the Year Cody Chidsey, and three All-Tournament performers in Jack Fredricks, Travis Mintzer, and MVP Kevin McCandless. That experience carried them to a 23-2 overall record and a 10-2 record in the CVC during the regular season.

"Having the majority of our starting lineup back is awesome," said Rutgers-Newark Head Coach Pedro Trevino. "These players have tasted victory and want it again. They know the challenges we faced last year as underdogs and what it is like to gun for the number one team. Not losing that hunger is essential. It inspires the newer players to want that win. The team knows it will be tough to win back to back CVC championships but they are up to the challenge."

The Scarlet Raiders may have began last year as underdogs, playing their first season in the CVC and at the Division III level, but this year they were the ones being hunted. Holding down the #5 ranking in the AVCA poll for the majority of the season, the Scarlet Raiders put together two winning streaks of at least eight matches and carry a winning streak of six matches into the tournament.

"Our goal is to win every game. Winning streaks are nice but they can be deceiving. It's all about playing well and staying focused on playing each game to the best of our ability. We review each opponent's offensive and defensive tactics. We look at our own individual styles and focus on tailoring our play to our opponents. I remind them that each team is going to bring their "A" game. We need to meet that mindset head-on."

Rutgers-Newark rolls out a deep rotation for their matches. Although they led the conference in kills per set at 12.6, they did not have a player rank in the top five individually. The Scarlet Raiders also lead the league with a .342 hitting percentage, with Chidsey leading the way with a .455 mark. They finished with four players totaling over 160 kills this season as Kevin McCandless averaged 10.52 assists per set and last year's All-Conference libero, Quocmy Nguyen, averaging 2.16 digs per set.

 

 

#3 MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY SAINTS

Marymount University is making their second straight tournament appearance after finishing the regular season with a 19-10 overall record and a 9-3 record in conference action. The Saints, in just their third year of the program, took a big leap forward this year as they finished above .500 for the first time in program history.

"Making the postseason last year as a second year program was really a big deal for us," said Head Coach Hudson Bates. "We are grateful that once again we made the tournament, and have the opportunity to achieve our season long goal of reaching the championship match. It's going to be a really tough task to beat Rutgers in the semifinal, but we are thankful to be in control of our own destiny."

Bates and the Saints have seen the team go from nine wins in year one, to 14 last year, and now 19 wins this season. The results have been fast for the Saints as they continue their upward trend.

"There have been a vast number of differences between all three seasons. The biggest difference from year 1 to year 2 was personnel. Year two was the first time we were able to recruit and get a true freshman class into the program. The biggest difference between year 2 to year 3 has been the ability to train a full roster. Having some depth at each position put some much needed pressure on each starter to perform at a higher level. The full roster allowed us to conduct great practices night in and night out, and the experience of the older players on the team put more ownership of our culture in the hands of the athletes and less dependence on the coaching staff."

The team depth is never more apparent in looking at the numbers. Last year the Saints hit just .185 as a team and relied heavily on TJ Wiechecki who finished second in the league in kills. This season Wiechecki once again is atop the leaderboard in kills, with 324, but the Saints are hitting .269 as a team, ranking third best in the league.

"We have always asked for alot of offensive production from TJ, and he's come through time and time again. But to be a more balanced and defensively strong team, we recognized we needed to run a 6-2 offense. We had a couple players, TJ and Erich Bratke selflessly give up some of their playing time in order to help the team. The offensive balance, strong attacking from our middles, and high level of play from our second setter, Jordan Pawlicki, all lead to the team's higher hitting percentage. Even with half of the playing time, and everyone expecting it, it's pretty amazing TJ was still able to produce the numbers he has."

Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz, a junior, was second on the team in kills with 205, hitting .413 and adding 72 total blocks. Both Eric Wiles and Graham Clark each topped the 170 kill mark as well while the duo of Erich Bratke and Jordan Pawlicki combined for over 1,000 assists this season.

 

 

#4 JUNIATA COLLEGE EAGLES

Juniata College's entry into the CVC Tournament this season came down to the final match of the season. Finishing the regular season with a 10-15 overall record and a 5-7 record in the CVC, the Eagles return to post-season play this year after sitting out last year's playoffs on a self-imposed ban.

"It's been a long season this year for us," said Juniata Head Coach Pat Shawayrn. "The Juniata tradition we have is one we are very proud of and coming off the best season in program history at 24-5 but missing the post-season for a self-ban and losing some key individuals on that team due to graduation, transferring, and other reasons has been a tough road to recover from. After talking with the team about rebuilding that tradition, we decided we needed to stop thinking about what teams in the past have done. What we needed to focus on was starting to write this team's legacy and moving forward. Once the team started to accept that we have been a different team and a much more focused and balanced group."

After dropping their first six matches of March, the Eagles were on the outside looking in for post-season play. But with their backs against the wall the Eagles responded and have won three of their last five matches.

"The team responded better with their backs against the wall than just going out and playing. As a staff, we didn't change our tactics but preached more of a do or die situation and the team responded to that approach better than we had anticipated."

The team certainly has responded, taking #5 ranked Rutgers-Newark to a five set thriller, just the fourth time Rutgers-Newark went five sets this season, in their second to last match of the regular season and then sweeping Cairn in a must sweep situation to win a tiebreaker and get into the tournament.

"Once we found out we still had a chance we took advantage of that and pride, joy, excitement, relief, and motivation to show we deserve to be in that position all came out at once. At the beginning of the year we knew it was going to be a very difficult with the talent we have in our conference but we knew we could put ourselves in a position to get back into the conference tournament. This season hasn't gone the way we hoped but right now everyone is 0-0 and anything can happen. We feel like we are playing our best volleyball right now which is what we want going into the post-season."

The Eagles hit .235 as a team this season, fourth best in the league, and are led by junior Kyle Seely who needs just five more kills to reach the 300 mark this season. Freshman Quinn Peterson and sophomore Matt Vasinko were second and third on the team in kills while senior Chad Albert led the team with a .381 hitting percentage. Junior libero Brendon Smith ranked as one of the top defenders in the league, averaging 2.24 digs per set.


McKyla Brooks making noise as Stony Brook’s only two-sport athlete
By David Vertsberger, The Statesman
Sunday, April 3, 201
6

 

Freshman McKyla Brooks (No. 1, left) finished third on the Stony Brook Volleyball team with 2.5 kills per set. CHRISTOPHER CAMERON/THE STATESMAN


Freshman McKyla Brooks has never had a great relationship with gravity. 

This was made clear in the middle blocker’s rookie season with the Stony Brook Volleyball team. Brooks was named to the America East All-Rookie Team after leading all America East freshmen with a .268 hitting percentage.

However, Seawolves fans will not have to wait until volleyball returns to Pritchard Gymnasium in the fall to catch Brooks’s leaping prowess in action. Brooks competed in Stony Brook Track and Field’s Quad Meet on March 24, making her the only multi-sport student-athlete competing for Stony Brook.

“On the court and track, her athleticism is apparent,” Volleyball head coach Coley Pawlikoswki said. 

Brooks placed fourth out of six competitors in the Women’s Long Jump event during the Track & Field team’s outdoor season opener, calling it a “very rusty start” and admitting she was nervous before her first collegiate meet. Brooks recorded a 4.92-meter leap.

“McKyla’s been away from doing these types of jumps for about seven months, so part of the process right now is working to get her rhythm back,” assistant Track & Field coach Howard Powell said. “We’re excited to have McKyla on our team this season.”

Brooks (right) competed in her first collegiate Track and Field event, the Stony Brook Quad Meet on March 24. PHOTO COURTESY OF STONY BROOK ATHLETICS


But Brooks’s ambition to compete in both track and volleyball began back at Frontier Central High School. 

The Blasdell, New York native racked up accomplishments in both, ranking No. 2 nationally in the triple jump by MileSplit.com in her sophomore year and finishing All-State for volleyball in her final two seasons. She participated in the two sports all four years of high school, lettering in both.

“Honestly I always wanted to try out for sports, so those were the two main sports I wanted to try out for — volleyball and track,” Brooks said. “I used to do basketball, but then I ended up quitting to do track, and then I realized that I had potential in both, so I just kept going.”

Brooks received more scholarship offers for track & field, but Stony Brook was the only school that offered her the ability to continue doing both sports. 

Pawlikowski approached Track & Field head coach Andy Ronan and Powell while she was recruiting Brooks and expressed her desire to do both sports. They worked out her schedule over several conversations, eventually feeling confident enough to allow her to compete in both. 

Brooks wanted to carry over her two-sport agenda to college because she fell short of a couple of high school goals — recording a 41-foot jump in the triple jump and a 20-foot bound in the long jump. Working toward those benchmarks with practices and lifts while juggling schoolwork can be tricky, though.

“Oh my god,” Brooks said when asked about her schedule. “Very busy. It’s literally track, volleyball, school, bed. That’s all I do, every single day. I like it, I like staying busy.”

Brooks says she does not have a preference between the two sports, but there are differences in how she prepares for each, despite how much they overlap. She will compete in jump events for Stony Brook Track & Field and spends most of her time playing volleyball above the net.

“Actually, it’s really different,” Brooks said. “They’re two different jumps. For track I’m jumping broad jumps, basically. And then volleyball I’m jumping up… There’s different training for both jumps. It’s kind of hard, but I’m used to it already because I’ve been doing it forever.”

Pawlikowski says Brooks’s devotion to both track and volleyball is “beneficial” and “adds a cross-training component.” Yet multi-sport athletes have dwindled in recent years at both the college and high school levels.

“Very anecdotally, the trend is toward specialization,” John Gillis, assistant director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, said in the St. Louis Beacon in 2008.

So why are there not more multi-sport college athletes?

“Because it was too much for them,” Brooks said. “It is a lot, it’s a lot, I’m not going to lie, but I’m just trying to stay positive. I don’t want to drop one sport, I can’t.”

Brooks is the exception and plans on keeping it that way for the long haul. Her next track meet is on Friday, April 15 at The Metropolitan Championships, beginning at 2 p.m.. 

“I had a couple goals to set in high school, which I didn’t achieve,” Brooks said. “I can’t just stop here now, I have to keep going, I have to set those goals.”


Mavericks Sweep Phoenix at Hilbert
Medaille defeats Wilson (3-0)
Medaille Mens Volleyball
Friday, April 1, 201
6

 


HAMBURG, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team kicked off their final weekend of the 2016 regular season on Friday evening, facing off against Wilson College in the fourth and final NEAC Crossover weekend. The Mavs were the model of efficiency both offensively and defensively, over powering the Phoenix (3-0; 25-19, 25-19, 25-21).

On the defensive side of the net, the Mavericks put on a clinic during Friday night's match. The first set was the only set in which Wilson was able to finish with a hitting percentage over (.000), and even then the Mavs held them to just (.120).

Four Mavericks ended the evening with multiple blocks, with freshman Brad Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport) leading the way with (5). After all was said and done, Medaille held the Phoenix to just (.014) hitting, compared to (.329) for the Mavs.

Medaille was clicking on all cylinders offensively, hammering down (42) kills and (6) service aces as a team. They were led by sophomore Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista), who tied a team high with (9) kills, and finishing with an outstanding (.636) hitting percentage.

Junior Pete McKelvey (Buffalo, NY, Canisius) also had (9) kills, while Schneider led the way with (20) assists.

The win improves Medaille to (21-9) overall and (14-0) in NEAC play. The Mavs will wrap up their regular season with matches against Penn State-Altoona and Lancaster Bible at 11:00am and 3:00pm respectively. With one win Medaille can clinch first place in the NEAC and the right to host the NEAC Championship Tournament next weekend.


Lions Volleyball Kicks Off NEAC Crossover Weekend With 3-1 Win
Penn State Altoona Mens Volleyball
Friday, April 1, 201
6

HAMBURG, N.Y. - Penn State Altoona men's volleyball participated in the opening match of this weekend's North Eastern Athletic Conference crossover competition at Hilbert College, and the Lions earned a 3-1 victory over the host Hawks in the Hafner Recreation Center.

Penn State Altoona (16-9, 11-3 NEAC) won the first set 25-16 before Hilbert (9-16, 6-8 NEAC) bounced back to take the second set 25-23. But the Lions countered with a 25-20 win in the third and clinched the match with a 25-19 victory in the fourth.

Matt Huey (Butler, PA/Butler) led all players with 18 kills while adding 11 digs. Jacob Byers (Level Green, PA/Penn Trafford) finished with 11 kills.

Zack Graham (Munhall, PA/Steel Valley) led the team with five block assists. Justin Bannister (Willow Hill, PA/Fannett-Metal) contributed one solo block and two block assists.

Billy Smith (Upper St. Clair, PA/Upper St. Clair) had a match-high 39 set assists to go along with four digs and one solo block.

Waldemar Rivera-Berrios (Toa Alta, P.R./Samuel Clemens) led all players with a season-high 18 digs. Brian Sheddy (Shrewsbury, PA/Susquehannock) added nine digs, and Justis Lorah (Stevens, PA/Cocalico) posted eight digs.

The Lions return to action tomorrow, Saturday, April 2 for their final regular season matches of the spring. The squad continues NEAC play at Hilbert when it takes on Medaille College at 11:00 AM before finishing the day with a match against D'Youville College at 5:00 PM.


Saints drop match to No. 13 Bobcats in three close sets
Marymount Mens Volleyball
Friday, April 1, 201
6

NEW YORK, N.Y.—The Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team fell to the No. 13 New York University Bobcats on Friday night, 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-23), on its trip to New York for a weekend of three matches. 

In set one, the Saints took their first lead at 4-3 after the Bobcats committed two errors, and junior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz capitalized with a kill. As the set continued, the Saints lost their lead but brought it back within one after a 3-0 run; freshman James Knight ignited the run with a kill. Marymount continued to trail but pieced together a 4-0 run after seeing kills from Ksiazkiewicz and sophomores TJ Wiechecki and Carson Caudell. The Bobcats managed to stay on top however, taking the first game, 25-22. 

Set two proved to a battle from the beginning with both teams trading points. MU jumped ahead early, 7-3, after completing a 5-2 run, forcing a timeout by NYU. Coming out of the timeout, the Bobcats committed an attack error to give the Saints a five-point advantage. The Bobcats battled their way back into the set, forcing Marymount to use a timeout with a 10-8 lead. MU lost the lead late in the set after NYU pulled ahead 19-18. Both teams continued trading points, forcing the set into extra points before the Bobcats were able to prevail, 26-24.

The Saints took a 5-2 lead early on after a 4-0 run following kills from Ksiazkiewicz and Wiechecki, before the momentum shifted in favor of the Bobcats. MU trailed through much of the set, but Knight cut the deficit to two after putting the ball down for a kill, 23-21. The Bobcats committed two errors to bring the Saints within one, 24-23. Marymount fell short after committing a service error though to fall, 25-23. 
Wiechecki paced the offense with 11 kills, while spreading the rest throughout the team with six other Saints registering kills. Sophomores Jordan Pawlicki and Erich Bratke commanded the offense posting 11 and 19 assists, respectively. On the defensive end, nine Saints dove out for at least one dig, with Bratke leading the way with four. 

The Saints will continue play in a tri-match in Annandale on Hudson, New York on Saturday, April 2. Marymount will take on The City College of New York at 1 p.m., followed by host Bard College at 3 p.m.


Juniata Stopped by #5 Rutgers Newark; Remains Alive For Playoff Spot
Juniata Mens Volleyball
Friday, April 1, 201
6

HUNTINGDON, Pa.- Holding on to a 2-0 lead over #5 Rutgers-Newark, the Juniata men's volleyball team nearly pulled off an upset win on Friday night at Memorial Gymnasium. The Scarlet Raiders came back to win three straight sets to defeat JC 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-12).

The loss, however, did not extinguish the Eagles' playoff chances. With a straight set victory over Cairn tomorrow night, Juniata can clinch the final playoff spot in the Continental Volleyball Conference Tournament.

The Eagles received big performance from both Chad Albert (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) and Kyle Seeley (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) on the night. Albert had 19 kills and hit .500 while also tallying five assisted blocks. Seeley picked up 20 kills and topped his season-best hitting percentage from Wednesday night with a .643 showing. He also picked up five assisted blocks.

Ryan Shelton (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Baldwinsville) contributed 47 assists and also played a role on defense with eight digs and five assisted blocks. Brendan Smith (Fuquay-Varina, N.C./Fuquay Varina) led the Eagles in digs with nine.

The Eagles piled up 16 total blocks, which was a season-best.

Rutgers-Newark got out to a 4-1 lead early in the first set before Juniata fought back to go ahead 6-5. The two teams played a tightly contested frame throughout. JC got a little separation from the Scarlet Raiders with a 20-16 advantage. The Eagles were able to keep their distance as they outlasted Rutgers-Newark and won the set.

Set two was also a back and forth battle early on as both teams traded points. The Scarlet Raiders led 11-8 but JC tied it up at 11-all. After Rutgers-Newark went ahead 12-11, an 8-4 Eagle run put Juniata on top 19-16. The Eagles were able to once again fend off the Scarlet Raiders and take the set.

The third set was a seesaw battle that saw JC lead 14-12. A quick 4-0 Scarlet Raider run gave the visitors a 16-14 advantage. The Eagles trailed for the remainder of the stanza as Rutgers-Newark won.

Juniata led 3-0 in the fourth frame but Rutgers-Newark wrestled the lead away. The Eagles were able to tie the set on several occasions and got to 23-22 but the Scarlet Raiders scored the last two points to knot the match at two sets apiece. Rutgers-Newark got ahead 7-3 in the final set as it went on to win the frame and match.

If the Eagles defeat Cairn 3-0 tomorrow night at Memorial Gym, Juniata would be tied with Eastern Mennonite for the fourth and final playoff berth in the CVC. The tiebreaker then goes to point differential between the two teams, which would favor JC.

Match time on Saturday is at 7 p.m. It will also be Senior Night and the team will honor seniors Albert and Shelton prior to the match.


Mavericks Victorious on Senior Day
Medaille takes down D'Youville (3-1)

Medaille Mens Volleyball
Tuesday, March 29, 201
6

 


BUFFALO, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team celebrated Senior Day on Tuesday night, host the Spartans of D'Youville College. The good times started with a pre-game ceremony honoring Pete McKelvey (Buffalo, NY, Canisius), Joe Hacherl (Tonawanda, NY, St, Joseph's CI), Jack Hagerty (Wheatfield, NY, Niagara Wheatfield), and Nate Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport); and continued as the Mavericks took down the Spartans (3-1; 25-17, 23-25, 25-18, 25-18).

Coming into tonight's matchup the four seniors had contributed to (72) wins; (29) AMCC victories; (27) NEAC victories, (3) AMCC titles, (1) NEAC regular season title; (1) NEAC postseason crown; and (25) straight wins over NEAC foes.

They added another to the win column thanks in part to some phenomenal defensive play. The Mavs held D'Youville to a hitting percentage of (-.143) in the first set, and (.000) in sets number two and four. The only set in which the Spartans were able to hit for a positive percentage was set number three, mustering only a (.115) hitting percentage.

There were a number of stand put performances for Medaille defensively, but it all started up front with sophomore Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista). Bloomberg had a team and career high (9) blocks, two of which came of the solo variety. Nate Schneider and McKelvey both had (5) blocks each, while Schneider (9) and Hacherl (8) led the Mavs in digs.

The blue and gold were just as good on the offensive side of the net, finishing with a hitting percentage of (.227) or better in three of the four sets on Tuesday. Six different Mavericks ended the match with at least four kills, as Hagerty led the way with (9). Schneider and Bloomberg each had (8), while Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) added (4) of his own to go along with his team leading (5) service aces.

Schneider (2) and Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches) (2) also had multiple aces on the evening, and freshman Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) led the team with (21) assists as the Mavs won their (20)th match of the season. The win improves Medaille to (13-0) in NEAC play, as the Mavericks will finish out the regular season by traveling to Hilbert College for the final NEAC Crossover event of the season.

The two-day affair kicks off on Friday when Medaille faces Wilson College at 6:00pm.


Brad Schneider Named AMCC Player of the Week
AMCCSports.org
Monday, March 28, 201
6

 


The freshman had (12) kills and (23) assists on Wednesday

 

The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference announced their weekly award winners Monday afternoon, and Medaille's own Brad Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport) was named this week's Volleyball Player of the Week.

Schneider played one of the best matches in his career on Thursday night against AMCC foe Penn State-Behrend. Offensively, Schneider had (12) kills, (23) assists, and four service aces. He hit at a (.231) clip, while also sharing the team lead in assists.

He was just as impressive defensively, coming away with four digs and four blocks in the (3-1) win over the Lions.


Rainbow Warriors Men’s Volleyball Rallies Past Irvine; Clinch MPSF Tourney Berth
Hawaii Men's Volleyball
Saturday, March 26, 201
6

HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team clinched a postseason berth into the eight-team Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament with an improbable, come-from-behind, five-set victory over No. 14 UC Irvine in a rematch at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 23-25, 25-27, 26-24, 25-23, 15-11.

The Rainbow Warriors (14-9, 9-9 MPSF) secured a spot into the tournament by outlasting the Anteaters in five sets for the second straight night. UH did so with its best offensive output of the season, hitting a season-high .475 in a match that lasted nearly three hours.

Freshman opposite Stijn van Tilburg recorded a career-best 27 kills while senior outside hitter Sinisa Zarkovic tallied 25 kills for the second straight night. van Tilburg hit .479 while Zarkovic posted his first double-double of the season and seventh of his career with 13 digs while hitting at a .537 clip.

Outside hitter Kupono Fey chipped in with 12 kills, six digs, and four blocks. Setter Joe Worsley dished out 59 assists along with 10 digs. Brett Rosenmeier came off the bench and recorded three timely aces.

Michael Saeta led the Anteaters (8-17, 5-13) with 18 kills, hitting .359. Thomas Hodges added 16 kills (.448) while Jason Agopian recorded 12 kills (.647) and five blocks. Irvine, which hit .427 as a team, had one match point in the third set but could not close out the match, which featured two deuce sets and a combined 224 points.

UH trailed for the first half of Set 1 before van Tilburg got hot with a pair of kills sandwiching an ace to tie it at 16. The teams traded points until back-to-back kills by Zarkovic and van Tilburg gave UH the advantage at 21-20. But the Eaters answered right back with three straight points including consecutive kills by Kyle Russell and Agopian. After a UH point, Agopian's fifth kill gave UCI the 25-23 victory.

UCI jumped out to a 12-8 lead in Set 2 and led throughout until the Warriors caught them at 21 following an ace by Rosenmeier and kill by Fey. The teams traded points with the Warriors erasing two set points until Russell's eighth kill gave the Eaters the 27-25 victory.

Irvine pulled ahead 23-20 late in Set 3 after a four-point run that included a pair of blocks. But the Warriors rallied with three straight points capped by a Rosenmeier ace. UH erased one match point at 24-23 before getting set point of their own after a Frank kill and UCI hitting error. Fey ended the rally with a kill to send it Set 4.

Down 11-7 in Set 4, the Warriors used an 8-2 run which included three kills by Zarkovic for a 15-13 lead. The teams traded leads three times until another ace by Rosenmeier gave UH a 20-18 lead. The Warriors extended their lead to 22-19 after kills by van Tilburg and Zarkovic but the Eaters closed to within 23-22. An Irvine attack error gave Hawai'i set point and an Anteater service error sent the match to a fifth set.

UH jumped out to an early 7-3 in Set 5 after stringing together three straight points including a kill by Fey and block by Frank. Hawai'i led 11-7 after a Franciskovic dump and the Warriors sided-out the rest of the way, which was capped by a Worsley-Frank-Fey triple block.

UH returns to the continent for its final regular season road trip at UC Santa Barbara, April 1 and 2 before returning home to host California Baptist, April 8 and 9.


Mavericks Hold Off Lions in Four Set Nail-Biter
Medaille defeats Penn State-Behrend (3-1)
Medaille Mens Volleyball
Thursday, March 24, 201
6

 


Senior Joe Hacherl led Medaille with (11) digs against Penn State-Behrend

 

BUFFALO, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team played host to the Lions of Penn State-Behrend on Thursday night, for the final of two meetings between the AMCC foes. It was a toughly fought match throughout, but it was the Mavs defending their home court at the end, beating the Lions (3-1; 22-25, 26-24, 26-24, 25-21).

Medaille had a number of large leads in set number one, but each time Penn State-Behrend answered with a long run of their own as the Lions let it be known that they would not be an easy out.

Set number two started tight and continued that way throughout the game. A (4-0) spurt with kills from Nate Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport) and Brad Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport) gave Medaille a slight advantage early on. However, the Lions chipped away and used a (5-0) run of their own to take an (11-8) lead. They held on to that lead until a pair of Pete McKelvey (Buffalo, NY, Canisius) service aces sparked a (7-2) run as Medaille re-took a (20-19) lead late.

Penn State-Behrend looked to take a stronghold on the match, going up (23-22) with the serve on their side; however, a pair of kills and a huge block by sophomore Sam Bloomberg shut the door on the Lions and gave the Mavs the (26-24) win.

The Mavericks rode that momentum into set number three, sprinting out to a quick (6-1) lead. That momentum quickly eroded, as the Lions answered with a (6-1) run of their own; knotting things at (7) a piece. The back-and-forth chess match between the two sides continued throughout the third set; that was until Medaille rattled off six of the last seven points to overcome a (23-21) deficit and take the set (26-24).

With the match one set away, the Mavericks used their offensive power to put the Lions away. Two separate runs of (6-1) and (7-2) aided Medaille, as they took set number four (25-21).

Brad and Nate Schneider led Medaille offensively, combining for (32) kills while Brad also added (23) assists. Freshman Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) matched that with (23) assists of his own, as the Mavs hit for a team percentage of (.289) on the night.

Senior Joe Hacherl (Tonawanda, NY, St, Joseph's CI) led the Mavericks with (11) digs; while Bloomberg was a monster in the middle, totaling (6) blocks, with senior Jack Hagerty (Wheatfield, NY, Niagara Wheatfield) and Nate Schneider not far behind with (4) each.

The win improves Medaille's record to (19-9) overall, as they will close out their home slate on Tuesday when they host D'Youville College on Senior Night. The festivities will begin in the Sullivan Center at 7:00pm.
 


Saints fall short in four against No. 7 Mustangs
Marymount Mens Volleyball
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

OWINGS MILLS, Md.—The Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team took on Continental Volleyball Conference opponent, No. 7 Stevenson University on Wednesday evening. The Saints fell after a hard-fought battle in four sets, 3-1 (25-21, 27-25, 25-27, 25-19).

The Saints took an early 1-0 lead after sophomore Jordan Pawlicki set up sophomore TJ Wiechecki for the kill. Both teams got off to an early battle, trading points as the set went along. The set produced 11 ties and three lead changes before the Mustangs began pulling away. Stevenson pieced together a 3-0 run to take the 22-17 lead before Marymount was forced to take a timeout. Sophomore Connor Choate put the ball down following the timeout, cutting the deficit to two. Marymount was able to piece together a 2-0 run later on, following a kill from Wiechecki and a Mustang error, however, the run wasn't enough for the Saints, falling 25-21.

In set two, the Saints trailed 2-0 early on, but Wiechecki answered with a kill to get things started for the blue and white. After battling back-and-forth, the Saints took their first lead at 14-13. The lead resulted from a Mustang error followed by a service ace from Wiechecki and a kill from Choate. Stevenson battled back and regained the lead at 17-16 before Marymount would take its first timeout of the set. MU pieced together another 3-0 run to claim a one-point advantage over SU, 23-22. Set two went into extra points before the Mustangs prevailed 27-25.

Sophomore Graham Clark put the ball down for a kill for the first point of the set, giving the Saints a 1-0 advantage. Wiechecki completed a 3-0 run with three-straight kills to give MU a three point lead later in the set, 6-3. The momentum shifted late in the set after the Mustangs took a 21-18 lead before Marymount took a timeout. The timeout proved to be effective leading Marymount to a 3-1 run to bring the game back within one. Marymount took another timeout after trailing by two, and once again pieced together a 3-1 run following the timeout. Set three was forced into extra points before Wiechecki and Choate had back-to-back kills to go ahead 26-25. Stevenson was forced to take a timeout. The set ended after the Mustangs committed an error and the Saints finished on top 27-25.

The Saints trailed early in set four after getting behind 8-3. MU took a timeout to turn things around, following up with a 4-0 run not long after, to tie the game at 10 all. Junior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz, Clark, and Pawlicki each added a kill during the run. SU answered with a 3-0 run of its own, before MU went on another 4-0 run to take the 14-13 advantage. Marymount lost the lead following a 2-0 run by Stevenson. Stevenson's offense proved to be too much for the Saints in the end, after it pieced together a 3-0 at the end of the set to lead 24-17. Marymount would score twice more before falling short, 25-19.

Wiechecki paced the Saints offense after notching a game-high 22 kills. Pawlicki kept the offense moving, racking up 47 assists. Sophomore Albert Johansson led the defense with a game-high 10 digs.

The men's squad will continue on the road to face No. 15 New York University, in New York, New York. The match is set to take place on Friday, April 1 at 6 p.m.


Keuka College Rallies for Victory Over Wells
Keuka Mens Volleyball
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

KEUKA PARK, N.Y. – The Keuka College Men's Volleyball team won the final three sets to defeat the Wells College Express 3-1 on Wednesday night in a North Eastern Athletic Conference matchup.

Keuka College (14-9, 9-6 NEAC) will step out of conference play on Thursday as they take on Elmira College. The Soaring Eagles are currently ranked ninth in the latest AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Poll.

Connor Hinman led the Keuka attack with 15 kills for the Green and Gold. Aaron Brill, Tom Campbell, and Connor Gail each finished with eight kills. Brill and Campbell also added six blocks apiece. Spencer Avery and Chris Corcoran split the setting duties and recorded 22 and 20 assists respectively. Cooper Lyon finished with a match-high 21 digs.

The Express led by as many as five it the opening set. Keuka was able to rattle off four straight points late, but it was not enough as Wells took the first set 25-22.

The second set was close with teams exchanging serves early on. The Green and Gold would take control late. With a 20-19 advantage, Tom Campbell had a kill, which was followed by a Brill kill and a Wells error. After a point by the Express, Tim Jackson had a kill and Aaron Brill ended it with an ace for the 25-20 victory.

Keuka took a fast 10-5 lead over Wells College in the third set. They would lead by as many as six in the set. The express made one push, a 6-2 run that narrowed the margin to three, 18-15. They would later make it a two-point game, but that would be as close as they would get. Connor Gail had a kill to close out the third set 25-22 and give Keuka a 2-1 lead in the match.

Wells held an early lead in the fourth. It would grow to 13-8, but Keuka went on a 7-1 run to take the lead from the Express. Wells answered and regained an 18-16 lead. Keuka responded with a 7-0 run to take control. The teams traded points to close it out. Keuka won the fourth set 25-20 to win the match 3-1.


Hawks Fall In Three to Duhawks
Hilbert Mens Volleyball
Monday, March 21, 2016

 

 

HAMBURG, N.Y. – The Hilbert College men's volleyball team returned to action tonight when they hosted Loras College. The Duhawks captured a 3-0 road win and improved to 10-12 while the Hawks fell to 9-14 overall.

Loras outhit Hilbert at the net earning 37 kills while their 14 blocks limited Hilbert's offensive production.

Hilbert finished in the negative hitting earning 23 kills and 19 assists.

The Duhawks were led by two players who earned double-digit points while Tyler Sieczkarek put together 8.5 points for the day.

Sieczkarek posted seven kills while Trevor Gabamonte led defensively with seven digs. Adam Heftka assisted 16 times (six digs) and Brett Kane sliced the opponents for a pair of service aces. Michael Podgorny was credited with the Hawks lone solo block, while Sieczkarek led with three block assists.

Loras, traveling from Iowa during their school's spring break, took three sets (25-17, 26-24 and 25-20). The Duhawks continue on tomorrow for a match at Penn State Behrend before they close the east-coast swing at Penn State Altoona.

Hilbert doesn't play again until next Thursday when they host D'Youville College in a March 31 7pm NEAC match.


Saints outlast Eagles in four-set thriller
Marymount Mens Volleyball
Saturday, March 19, 2016

 

 

ARLINGTON, Va.—The Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad notched another Continental Volleyball Conference victory on Saturday night, defeating Juniata College for the second time this season in a four-set thriller, 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-18).

The Saints trailed early in set one and battled point-for-point with the Eagles until late in the set. The Eagles put together a 3-0 run to pull away from the Saints, 16-19, before the Saints called a timeout to slow down the Eagles' momentum. Coming out of the timeout, Juniata committed a service error while the Saints rallied to cut the deficit to two. However, it wasn't quite enough as Marymount fell short in set one, 25-21.

Sophomore TJ Wiechecki got things started in set two with a kill. The Eagles answered quickly and both teams continued to battle for each point. Late in the set, MU pieced together a 3-0 run to force a timeout from JC. Marymount finished the set, 25-21, after taking advantage of an Eagles' service error followed by a hitting error. 

Set three started as another point-for-point battle, registering three ties early in the set. The Eagles were able to gain a small lead at 8-5 before the Saints put together a 3-0 run. MU tied the set at 19 on a kill by sophomore Graham Clark. The Saints again tied the game at 22-22, forcing a timeout by the Eagles. The momentum shifted in favor of Marymount as it took its second lead of the game at 23-22. JC didn't back down and forced the set into extra points before MU was able to capitalize on back-to-back Eagle errors, and ending the set with an ace from sophomore Jordan Pawlicki, 26-24.

Marymount took a commanding 3-0 lead at the beginning of the set after a kill from sophomore Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz, an error by the Eagles, and an ace from sophomore Connor Choate. The Saints led by as much as eight during the set, holding the advantage to at least four throughout. Ksiazkiewicz went back to work to finish the set, 25-18, with a kill.

Ksiazkiewicz paced the Saints' offense with 11 kills followed by Wiechecki with 10. Sophomore Erich Bratke and Pawlicki commanded the court, racking up 22 and 20 assists, respectively. Choate led the Saints on defense after scooping up five digs.

Marymount will continue CVC play on the road at Stevenson University on Wednesday, March 23. First serve is set for 7 p.m.


No. 4 Ohio State Outlast No. 6 Penn State
Nittany Lions drop a five set nail biter to Ohio State in Rec Hall Saturday night
Penn State Mens Volleyball
Saturday, March 19, 2016

 

 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- No. 6 Penn State men's volleyball (12-6, 7-1) dropped a nail biter to Ohio State (18-3, 9-1) in five sets (28-30, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 6-15) Saturday night at Rec Hall. 

"It was a match that was up and down," said head coach Mark Pavlik.

"It pointed out the last three weeks of of our season in one match, there were some stretches where we played some really good volleyball, and there were stretches where it got away from us. I thought tonight there were some great swings and some great defense, but now we have to put this behind us and move on to UC-Irvine."

Chris Nugent led the Nittany Lion offense with 16 kills on .111 hitting, adding a four digs and three service aces. Spencer Sauter finished second on the team tied for a season-high 13 kills hitting .188 while also collecting seven digs and three blocks. Andrew Roberts came in off the bench totaling 11 kills, one block, and one service ace to earn Mike Anderson Penn State Player of the Match honors for the first time this season. 

Setter Taylor Hammond finished the night with six digs and 47 assist and one kill. 

Tied 2-2 heading into the fifth set, Penn State kept it close matching the Buckeyes over the first six points of the set with the score tied 3-3. An attack error by Penn State followed by a kill from Miles Johnson prompeted a Penn State timout. Out of the timeout, Ohio State went on a 4-1 run prompting a second and final timeout from head coach Mark Pavlik. The Buckeyes finished out the set and clinched the game on a 6-1 run.

Penn State will return to action Monday night as they host the No. 13 UC-Irvine Anteaters in Rec Hall with a first whistle slated for 7 p.m.


D'Youville Men's Volleyball Drops Second Straight With Loss to Vassar
D'Youville Mens Volleyball
Friday, March 18, 2016

 

 

Hamburg, NY – The D'Youville men's volleyball team fell to Vassar College on Friday evening by the final score of 3-0.

D'Youville was defeated in three sets by the scores of 25-16, 25-11 and 25-21.

Sophomore Brock Tetreault (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) led the team with 10 kills and tied Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) for the team lead in digs with four. Chris Busha (Hamburg, NY/St. Francis) led the team with 11 assists, followed by Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) with nine.

Tying for the second in kills were Matt Loos (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale) and Alex Ritter (Pittsburgh, PA/Our Lady of the Sacred Heart) with four each. Loos also led the team with four total blocks, with Tetreault adding three.

The men will play again next on Tuesday, March 29th at 7pm against the Medaille Mavericks.


Lockport volleyball team earns nationals bid
Lockport Union Sun & Journal
Monday, March 7, 201
6

 


Lockport Volleyball Club 15-1's

 


The Lockport Volleyball Club 15-Under boys team earned a nationals bid recently in Harrisburg with an overall match record of 5-1.

The squad placed fifth in the event which earned them a spot in the Boys Junior National Championships in Dallas during the first week of July. The top 36 teams in the country at each age level will compete.

In Harrisburg, the LVC beat teams from Western New York, New Jersey, Long Island and Pennsylvania en route to their strong finish. LVC members include Kyle Otminski, coach Larry Wiepert, Matt Wiepert, Jon Miller, Nico Zanelotti, Aaron Sinica, Rhees Perry, Matt Donnelly, Sean Denniston, Zach Schneider, Mike Veihdeffer, Adam Gulick, Tom Frain, coach Tom Schneider; and coach Mary Schneider. The LVC 15s team includes four Lockport boys — Denniston, Perry, Veihdeffer and Zach Schneider. LVC members Marc Bixby and Jesse Donorovich of Lockport competed on teams at the 16-U age level as well.


Saints topple No. 4 Scarlet Raiders in five-set thriller
Marymount Mens Volleyball
Friday, March 4, 2016

 

 

NEWARK, N.J. —The Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad defeated No. 4 Rutgers University-Newark in a Continental Volleyball Conference matchup on Friday night in a five-set thriller. The Saints prevailed over the Scarlet Raiders (18-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-27, 15-13).

The Saints took an early 1-0 lead after a kill by sophomore Graham Clark, but quickly trailed 4-1. Sophomore TJ Wiechecki ended the Scarlet Raiders run with a kill of his own. Marymount continued to trail throughout the set, cutting the deficit to one on several occasions, but the Scarlet Raiders offense proved to be too much for the Saints in set one, as they finished on top, 25-18.

Marymount battled Rutgers until the very last point of set two. After going down 1-0, sophomore Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz answered for the Saints to tie the game at one apiece. Both teams continued trading points throughout the set forcing 10 ties and three lead changes. The Saints saw their first lead after a 3-0 run, which followed a timeout taken by Head Coach Hudson Bates. Clark started the run with a kill, while freshman Eric Wiles followed with an ace. Rutgers then committed an error of its own to give the Saints a 21-19 advantage. The Scarlet Raiders didn't go away quietly, forcing the set into extra points before the Saints prevailed 26-24. 

Set three started in favor of the Saints as they took the 1-0 lead following a kill from Wiechecki. The offense stayed hot as Marymount took a 4-1 lead before Rutgers was able to answer on a run of its own. After taking a 10-9 lead, the Saints maintained the lead throughout the rest of the set. MU led by as much as five before the set ended in its favor, 25-20, on a kill by Clark. 

In set four, the momentum shifted back-and-forth between both teams. Marymount had a slow start, trailing 4-1, before Bates called a timeout. The Saints battled back later in the set to take their first lead at 15-14. This followed a 3-0 run led by Clark, who racked up another kill, and sophomore Jordan Pawlicki who added an ace for the Saints. However, the rest of the set proved to be a tough battle, forcing 12 total ties and two lead changes before the Scarlet Raiders defeated the Saints, 27-25.

The last set came down to the wire after a hard-fought battle by both teams. The Saints trailed 2-0 early on before Ksiazkiewicz scored for the Saints. MU pieced together a 4-0 run mid-set to take a 6-4 lead. Marymount maintained its lead until falling behind late in the set 13-12. After Rutgers committed an error, Clark put up a wall to end the set with back-to-back blocks, 15-13. 

Ksiazkiewicz led the offense with 16 kills hitting an impressive .652 for the match. Clark was right behind Ksiazkiewicz, posting 14 kills of his own and racking up eight blocks, two of which were solos. Bratke led the Saints in assists with 32. On the defensive end, sophomore Albert Johansson racked up a match-high 10 digs. 

The men will continue on the road to face another CVC opponent, Cairn University, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 5. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m.


Mavericks Earn Split During Sunday Matinee
Medaille defeats Penn State-Behrend, falls to Mount St. Joseph

Medaille Mens Volleyball
Sunday, February 28, 201
6

 


Freshman Brad Schneider racked up (24) kills, (48) assists, and (14) digs on Sunday afternoon.

 

ERIE, PA – The Medaille Men's Volleyball team finished a three-day, two state road trip Sunday afternoon; taking on the Lions of Penn State-Behrend and (13) Mount St. Joseph College. The Mavericks fell to the number (13) team in the country (1-3; 22-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-25) before defeating the host Lions (3-1; 25-20, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23).

Medaille came into Sunday's contests coming off of a three-match, two-day trip to New Jersey to wrap up their longest weekend slate of the season. On Friday Medaille faced the number three and six teams in the country in Hoboken, before traveling to Ramapo College to take on the Roadrunners in Mahwah on Saturday morning.

By the time the Mavericks returned to action, they had traveled (838) miles to reach the first of their final two matches of the weekend against the Lions of (13) Mount St. Joseph. The Mavericks played the number (13) team in the country well in the first two sets, finishing with a hitting percentage over (.250) in each set.

Unfortunately for the Mavs, the Lions were able to outlast Medaille in each of those sets to take a (2-0) lead. The third set was the definition of a back-and-forth affair, until the Mavs were able to pull away late.

After Mount St. Joseph took an early (6-4) lead Medaille rolled off four of the next five points to take an (8-7) lead. After a Lion kill the Mavericks, led by a pair of kills from freshman Brad Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport), sparked a (4-0) run to take their largest lead of the set (12-8).

Mount St. Joseph battled back to tie the set at (21), but then the Mavs rattled off another (4-0) run to cut the Lions lead to (2-1). However, an impressive set offensively from Mount St. Joseph in the fourth and final set helped them edge the Mavs (3-1).

Brad Schneider had a triple-double in the defeat, earning (11) kills, (10) digs and (21) assists. Senior Jack Hagerty (Wheatfield, NY, Niagara Wheatfield) added (12) kills of his own, while fellow senior Nate Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport) had (12) digs.

After a brief rest, the Mavericks started their final match of the weekend against the host Penn State-Behrend Lions. Medaille looked to end the weekend on a high note, hoping to snap a four match losing skid.

It started as well as they could have hoped, taking control of the first set early. While they never put the Lions away, the Mavericks held them off each time Penn State-Behrend tried to make a run. Medaille took set number one (25-20).

After dropping set number two, the Mavs came out firing in set number three. Multiple kills from Hagerty and Brad Schneider gave Medaille a four point lead early. A (4-1) run sparked by a Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) kill upped the lead to six as the Mavs cruised to a (25-20) win.

Set number four saw Medaille climb back from a quick (2-9) deficit to clinch their ninth win of the season (3-1; 25-20, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23).

Brad Schneider continued his strong play, posting a double-double against Penn State-Behrend with (13) kills and (27) assists. Nate Schneider led the Mavs with (14) kills, while Hagerty and Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) both finished with (8) kills each.

Freshman Matt Dempsey finished the day with (30) assists as Medaille improved their record to (9-7) overall. Medaille will be back at it on Friday, March 4 when they travel to Wilson University to take part in the second of four NEAC Crossover weekends.
 


Saints grab two matches at Eastern Mennonite trimatch
Marymount Mens Volleyball
Saturday, February 27, 201
6

 

 

HARRISONBURG, Va.—The Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad battled the Royals of Eastern Mennonite University and the Lions of Penn State University-Altoona on Saturday afternoon. In match one, the Saints took on the Royals and won in four sets (28-26, 19-25, 25-16, 25-22). Later in the afternoon, the Saints swept the Lions in three sets (29-27, 28-26, 25-15).

Marymount vs. Eastern Mennonite

The Saints went to work early in set one to take the 3-1 lead after back-to-back kills from sophomore Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz. The momentum swung back and forth as both teams continued trading points and piecing together small runs. The set resulted in 10 ties between the teams before the Saints were able to capitalize in the end to win 28-26. The win was a result of a kill from sophomore Graham Clark followed by at attack error by the Royals and a block by Ksiazkiewicz.

Marymount trailed early in set two, falling behind 5-0 before sophomore TJ Wiechecki picked up a kill. Head Coach Hudson Bates took a timeout after trailing 10-4 early on. The squad came out of the timeout re-energized, putting together a 3-0 run. The Royals however, were able to maintain the lead and finished the set on top, 25-19. 

In set three, the Saints got off to a good start taking a 5-2 lead. The three-point advantage came after back-to-back kills from Ksiazkiewicz and sophomore Connor Choate. MU continued to dominate the set and put together several 3-0 runs to finish 25-16 over the Royals.

Set four proved to be a battle between the Saints and Royals. The Saints had a 22-18 advantage before the Royals were forced to take a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, EMU was able to get back within two before MU took its first timeout of the set. Sophomore Erich Bratke fed Ksiazkiewicz for the final point of the match, 25-22.

Wiecheki posted a match-high 18 kills to lead the Saints' offense, closely followed by Ksiazkiewicz who racked up 13. Sophomore Albert Johansson led the defense after tying for a match-high 11 digs.

Marymount vs. Penn State-Altoona 

Marymount started set one trailing 1-0 but quickly tied the set at 3-3. The battle began early as the momentum swayed back and forth reaching several ties throughout the set. The set went into extra points but the Saints pulled out the victory, 29-27, after back-to-back kills from Ksiazkiewicz and freshman Eric Wiles. 

The second set followed a similar pattern as both teams traded points with very few runs inbetween. The set came down to the wire, once again going into extra points. Clark gave the Saints the advantage, 27-26, and the Lions committed an error to end the set 28-26. 

The Saints cruised through the third set after taking a 3-0 lead. The Saints pieced together another 3-0 run later in the set to obtain a 10-point lead. Wiechecki and Caudell led the run with a kill each. Marymount ended the set and match with an ace from Wiechecki to win 25-15.

The Saints' offense was well rounded this match but Wiechecki and Ksiazkiewicz led with 13 kills apiece. Sophomore Jordan Pawlicki and Bratke split time in the setter position and racked up 20 and 21 assists, respectively. Johansson led the defense with nine digs. 

The men will continue on the road at Rutgers University-Newark on Friday, March 4. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. 


Men's Volleyball Take Two on Opening Day of NEAC Crossover
Mavs defeat Keuka and SUNY Poly, dropping just one set
Medaille Mens Volleyball
Saturday, February 13, 201
6

 


Brad Schneider had (18) kills and (30) assists on Saturday

 

BUFFALO, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team hosted the first day of the NEAC Crossover weekend on Saturday, going (2-0) against conference foes Keuka and SUNY Polytechnic.

Match number one pitted the Mavericks against the Wolfpack of Keuka, as each looked for their first win in NEAC play. It was a close match throughout, as both battled hard to get off to conference play with a good start. The Mavs took a (1-0) lead; however the Wolfpack climbed back in it with a (25-23) victory in game number two.

Medaille needed extra volleyball to claim the next two sets, but claim them they did for a (3-1; 25-21, 23-25, 26-24, 27-25) win. Four Mavs hit at least (10) kills, with senior Nate Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport) (14) and freshman Brad Schneider (Lockport, NY, Lockport) (13) leading the way. Brad Schneider also had (23) assists, while fellow freshman Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) led Medaille with (28).

Four Mavericks also had multiple blocks, with junior Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) (3) and junior Pete McKelvey (Buffalo, NY, Canisius) (3) leading the way for Medaille. The win improved the Mavericks to (5-3) overall and (1-0) in NEAC play, as they prepared to take on the Wildcats of SUNY Poly in their last match of the day.

The Mavericks took all the Wildcats could throw at them early, and took control later on as they cruised to a (3-0; 25-23, 25-16, 25-16) victory in match number two.

The freshman Schneider had a marvelous all-around performance, finishing with (5) kills, (7) assists, and (6) blocks against the Wildcats. McKelvey and senior Jack Hagerty (Wheatfield, NY, Niagara Wheatfield) also had fantastic defensive efforts against SUNY Poly, racking up (4) blocks each en route to their fifth win in six matches. The senior Schneider had (4) service aces to improve Medaille's record to (6-3, 2-0 NEAC).

The Mavs will wrap up their hosting duties tomorrow, when they face off against the Express of Wells College. The match is scheduled for a 12:00pm start.
 


AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Top 15 Week #3 Poll: February 9, 2016
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

 

Rank School (First-Place Votes) Total Points Adjusted 2016 Record Previous Week
1 Springfield (14) 251 10-1 1
2 SUNY New Paltz (3) 239 7-2 2
3 Carthage 208 9-1 6
4 Nazareth 203 10-1 5
5 Rutgers-Newark 190 8-1 3
6 Stevens 175 7-1 7
7 UC Santa Cruz 153 9-2 4
8 NYU 106 3-4 8
9 Vassar 100 8-1 10
10 Stevenson 94 5-2 13
11 Dominican 83 5-2 12
12 Mount St. Joseph 77 6-3 11
13 Elmira 72 8-2 9
14 Hunter 26 6-2 15
15 MSOE 15 5-4 NR

 

Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Rivier 12; Medaille 10; Endicott 8; Wentworth 8; MIT 5

Two teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of five combined points.

Dropped Out: Wentworth 14

Next Poll: February 16


 

2015 Girls’ High School All-Americans
The top performers of the 2015 fall high school season

Mike Miazga, Volleyball Magazine
Tuesday, February 2, 201
6

 


Jac'cara Walker, a 2015 First Team High School All-American

 

FIRST TEAM
Audriana Fitzmorris 
Height: 6'6" 
Position: Middle Blocker 
Year: Senior 
School: St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) 
Quick Stat: The 2015 Volleyball Girls’ High School Player of the Year had 603 kills and 249 digs in helping the Thunder win the state championship.

Jenna Gray 
Height: 6'1" 
Position: Setter 
Year: Senior 
School: St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) 
Quick Stat: Gray finished the season with 778 assists, 289 kills, and 267 digs en route to being named the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year.

Morgyn Greer 
Height: 6'3" 
Position: Outside Hitter 
Year: Senior 
School: Dripping Springs (Texas) 
Quick Stat: Greer helped Dripping Springs to a 51-3 mark and the Texas Class 5A title. The 5A-6A Texas Player of the Year finished with 629 kills and 358 digs.

Allie Gregory 
Height: 5'6" 
Position: Libero 
Year: Senior 
School: Assumption (Louisville, Ken.) 
Quick Stat: An all-state selection, Gregory was the MVP of the state tournament where she helped Assumption win its record 19th state title.

Molly Haggerty 
Height: 6'1" 
Position: Outside Hitter 
Year: Senior 
School: St. Francis (Wheaton, Ill.) 
Quick Stat: Haggerty blasted home 467 kills and 200 digs for Class 4A Illinois champion St. Francis. Legendary Spartans coach Peg Kopec calls Haggerty the best player ever to come through the storied program.

Morgan Hentz 
Height: 5'9" 
Position: Outside Hitter/Libero 
Year: Senior 
School: Notre Dame Academy (Park Hills, Ky.) 
Quick Stat: Hentz finished the season with 465 kills and 475 digs and was named Miss Kentucky Volleyball.

Norene Iosia 
Height: 5'10" 
Position: Setter 
Year: Senior 
School: Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.) 
Quick Stat: Iosia was at the controls for a Redondo team that won a second CIF Division I state title in a row, and she leaves the program as its all-time winningest player.

Khalia Lanier 
Height: 6'2" 
Position: Outside Hitter 
Year: Senior 
School: Xavier College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 
Quick Stat: Lanier registered 496 kills, 324 digs, and 28 aces for a 34-8 Xavier team.

Nicole Peterson 
Height: 6'0" 
Position: Setter/Outside Hitter 
Year: Senior 
School: Jesuit (Portland, Ore.) 
Quick stat: Peterson racked up 956 assists and 120 aces for a Crusaders team that won the Oregon Class 6A title with a 32-0 record.

Kathryn Plummer 
Height: 6'6" 
Position: Setter/Opposite 
Year: Senior 
School: Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) 
Quick Stat: Plummer finished the season with 368 kills (hitting .427), 368 assists, and 226 digs and earned the California Gatorade Player of the Year honor.

Jac’cara Walker 
Height: 5'10" 
Position: Outside Hitter 
Year: Senior 
School: P.K. Yonge (Gainesville, Fla.) 
Quick Stat: Walker hit .449 and had 399 kills and 328 digs for a Blue Wave team that went 31-1 and won its second state title in a row.

Kendall White 
Height: 5'5" 
Position: Libero 
Year: Senior 
School: Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) 
Quick Stat: White registered 366 digs and 27 aces for a Cathedral team that won the Class 4A Indiana state championship with a 36-0 record and was named Volleyball’s 2015 Team of the Year.

Second Team

Payton Caffrey 6'0", OH, Sr., Winter Springs (Fla.)

Bailey Choy 5'9", S, Sr., Iolani School (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Tiffany Clark 5'11", L, Sr., Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.)

M.E. Dodge 5'11", OH, Sr., East Troy (Wis.)

Kate Formico 5'8", L, Jr., Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)

Jasmine Gross 6'3", MB, Sr., Jesuit (Portland, Ore.)

Rachael Kramer 6'8", MB, Sr., Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Kristin Krause 5'9", S, Sr., Parkland (Allentown, Pa.)

Raegan LeGrand 5'10", OH, Sr., Papillion La Vista South (Papillion, Neb.)

Gia Milana 6'2", OH, Sr., Romeo (Mich.)

Megan Sloan 6'1", Opp., Sr., Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Anna Zwiebel 5'11", S, Sr., Sacred Heart Academy (Louisville, Ky.)

Honorable Mention

Kayla Afoa 5'9", OH, Jr., Kamehameha (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Orie Agbaji 6'3", OH/MB, Sr., Oak Park (Kansas City, Mo.)

Hunter Atherton 5'11", S, Sr., Dublin Coffman (Dublin, Ohio)

Abigail Buckingham 6'1", OH, Sr., Churchill (San Antonio, Texas)

Caitlyn Cooper 5'10", OH, Sr., Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas)

Gabby Curry 5'8", OH/L, Sr., Buford (Ga.)

Madeleine Gates 6'3", MB, Sr., La Jolla (Calif.)

Alexis Hart 6'0", OH, Sr., Truman (Independence, Mo.)

Shardonee Hayes 6'3", MB, Sr., Columbus (Ga.)

Sydney Hilley 6'0", S/OH, Sr., Champlin Park (Champlin, Minn.)

Cheyenne Huskey 6'2", S, Sr., Columbus (Texas)

Willow Johnson 6'2", Opp., Sr., Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

Darielle King 6'3", MB, Sr. DeSoto (Texas)

Sarah Langs 6'2", MB, Sr., Lovejoy (Lucas, Texas)

Brittany Mclean 6'1", OH, Sr., Rosemount (Minn.)

Kylie Miller 5'11", S, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)

Regan Pittman 6'5", MB, Sr. St. Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.)

Julia Scoles 6'1", OH, Sr., South Iredall (Statesville, N.C.)

Savvy Simo 5'10", OH, Sr., Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.)

Ronika Stone 6'3", MB, Sr., Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.)

Emily Tanski 5'10", OH, Sr., Father Gabriel Richard (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Shannon Webb 6'1", OH, Sr., Cherokee Trail (Aurora, Colo.)

MacKenzi Welsh 6'0", S, Sr., Plainfield East (Plainfield, Ill.)

Brittany Witt 5'7", L, Sr., Marian (Omaha, Neb.)


Season Preview: Men's volleyball readies for strength of 2016 slate
marymountsaints.com
Thursday, January 28, 201
6

 

 

ARLINGTON, Va. – A young program in the Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team, entering into its third campaign under Head Coach Hudson Bates, has already made significant strides after concluding the 2015 slate with the Saints' first postseason appearance in the Continental Volleyball Conference tournament. 

As a team they are hoping to earn a spot in the CVC championship this season and possibly make the program's first NCAA appearance. Bates is hopeful that with a full squad this year and the hard work his team put together in the offseason, their odds of achieving these goals are good. 

The team will return all of its players in addition to six new freshmen who look to make an instant impact on the squad. 

"We are looking for the freshman to continue pushing our sophomore class to higher competition, and a few of them are battling it out for starting positions," Bates said. "We finally have a full squad and each player can now focus on their role and position on the court." 

Hitters 

The Saints return sophomore opposite hitter TJ Wiechecki, who had a successful campaign as a freshman. In his first collegiate season, Wiechecki led the Saints' offense and finished second in the conference with 325 kills, earning him CVC Rookie of the Year and a Player of the Week nod. Bates was impressed with the improvement in his decision-making skills on the court and looks for Wiechecki to become more efficient with a higher hitting percentage this year. 

Also returning for the Saints is junior middle blocker Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz and sophomore middle blocker Graham Clark. The duo put up a wall in front of the net for Marymount last year, posting 189 blocks combined. Clark was also named to the All-Tournament team at the CVC tournament. 

"Due to roster size in past years, Tomasz has had to spend half of his time at the outside hitter position," Bates said. "This year, he is securely positioned as a middle blocker and will put up strong numbers in that roll." 

Sophomore outside hitter Connor Choate battled for playing time at the outside hitter position last season, and made some incredible progress to his game, according to Bates. He is now the most consistent and experienced outside hitter, as sophomore Albert Johansson moved to the libero position. 

Overall the Saints look to spread their offense out among all of their hitters. "Our hitters are focusing on one position now and we have a lot of options to go to at the net." 

Setters 

The setter position is looking to be filled by sophomores Jordan Pawlicki and Erich Bratke. The duo spent the offseason continuing to build off of what played out to be very successful seasons in 2015. Bratke led the team in assists with 878 and added 181 digs, while Pawlicki, who was the squad's libero in 2015, racked up 150 assists as well as 216 digs, good enough for fourth in the conference. 

This year Bates looks for the two to be more vocal on the court as well as provide leadership and game management for the team. He is excited to see what the two have to offer after the dedication they had in the offseason. 

Defensive Specialist 

The defense will be guided by sophomore libero Johansson. As a freshman, Johansson posted 139 digs, ranking fourth on the team behind Wiechecki who had 149. 

"Johansson has great potential and should compete with the top liberos from other schools in the CVC this season," Bates said. 

Junior Chris Lionette is also looking to get time on the defensive end after diving out for over 200 digs the past two seasons. 

"Lionette has been doing a great job raising competition in practice and being a leader off the court," Bates said. 

On the defensive end, the Saints also look to utilize there outside hitters to scoop up what Johansson can't. 

Schedule 

The men's squad will face a competitive schedule this year while competing in the CVC, as well as strong opponents in non-conference play, matching up against eight top-15 squads in the country, some more than once, according to the preseason poll released by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Due to weather conditions in their opening weekend of events, the Saints had to postpone their road trip consisting of three contests against New Jersey Institute of Technology, Lancaster Bible College and No. 2 Stevens Tech. With no delay though, Marymount will have its chance against the No. 2 Ducks for its now official season opener on Friday, January 29, as the Saints head to Union, New Jersey for a two-day event hosted by Kean University. In the tournament, the blue and white will open up with No. 2 Stevens and follow up with two matches on Saturday against No. 4 Nazareth College and No. 11 Kean. 

According to the preseason poll, another non-conference ranked opponent will take the court against the Saints on Friday, April 1, as MU travels to New York City for a matchup with No. 9 New York University. Through the entirety of the non-conference slate, the Saints will go toe-to-toe with three Division II opponents, hosting one of them, along with an NAIA school. 

"We look to jump right into the season with tough matchups right out of the gate," Bates said about his strength of schedule. 

In the conference, the Saints will face three teams ranked in the top 15 of the nation, twice. The AVCA ranked Juniata College (7), Rutgers University-Newark (8), and Stevenson University (14) all in the top 15. 

"We're going to have to put in hard work to compete with Stevenson and Rutgers and make the CVC Championship game," Bates said. 

Conference play will begin for the Saints on Friday, February 5 on the road at Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania. Play is set to begin at 7 p.m.

Marymount will close out conference play at Stevenson University on Wednesday, March 23, and will finish the regular season on Saturday, April 2 at Bard College. First round of the CVC will take place on Friday, April 8.
 


AVCA Division I-II Men's Week #2 Poll: January 18, 2016
Monday, January 18, 201
6

 

Rank School (First-Place Votes) Total Points Adjusted 2016 Record Previous Week
1 UCLA (19) 299 5-0 2
2 Long Beach State (1) 272 5-0 3
3 BYU 264 3-1 1
4 UC Irvine 222 2-2 4
5 Loyola-Chicago 213 3-2 6
6 Hawai'i 204 4-1 5
7 Ohio State 179 4-2 7
8 Stanford 162 3-1 11
9 UC Santa Barbara 131 5-2 8
10 Penn State 119 2-2 10
11 Pepperdine 113 2-1 12
12 CSUN 80 6-0 14
13 Lewis 64 3-3 9
14 Ball State 43 3-1 15
15 Southern California 13 0-4 13

 

Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Grand Canyon 4; California Baptist 3; George Mason 2; Mount Olive 2; Saint Francis 2

Three teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of nine combined points.

Next Poll: January 25, 2016


All-Western New York Boys Volleyball Team
Buffalo News
Saturday, January 16, 2016

 

The All-WNY boys volleyball first team. Front row, left to right: Calvin Nowicki (Eden), Declan Pierce (Eden), Jason Manley (Orchard Park), Griffin Schmit (Canisius). Back row, Cam Bartus (West Seneca West), Henry Payne (Clarence), Noah Chojnacki (Williamsville North), Jay Baumann (Lancaster) and Coach of the Year Andy Murtha (Maryvale). 
James P. McCoy/ Buffalo News

 

OH Griffin Schmit* Canisius 11 Three-year starter is repeat All-WNY pick. Had a .506 hitting percentage with 477 kills, 57 aces.

S Calvin Nowicki Eden 12 All-WNY All-Academic ranks in top five in his class. Considering St. Francis (Pa.) and Penn State Behrend.

OH Declan Pierce Eden 12 Four-year starter. Penn State-commit leaves as Eden’s career leader in digs and kills.

OH Jason Manley Orchard Park 12 All-state team selection led Quakers to Section VI Class A title. MVP of OP Tournament.

MH Cam Bartus W.S. West 12 Penn State-commit broke school record for kills in a season (618) and had 102 aces. Had 46 kills in sectional final loss.

OH Henry Payne Clarence 11 Two-year starter. Clarence’s go-to player finished with 640 kills, 165 digs and a .506 hitting percentage.

OH Noah Chojnacki Wmsv. North 12 Three-year starter averaged 23 kills per match as senior. Helped Spartans win Sectional title. Will attend BYU.

OH Jay Baumann Lancaster 12 Four-year starter and two-time All-WNY selection finishes scholastic career with 1,350 kills. Will attend UB.

*-American Volleyball Coaches Association of New York State All-WNY Player of the Year

 

All WNY 2015 First Team
Year Player School Position
12 Calvin Nowicki Eden S
12 Declan Pierce Eden OH
12 Jason Manley Orchard Park OH
11 Griffin Schmit Canisius RS
12 Cam Bartus West Seneca West MH
11 Henry Payne Clarence OH
12 Noah Chojnacki Williamsville North OH
12 Jay Bauman Lancaster OH
 
All WNY 2015 Second Team
Year Player School Position
12 Joe Zanelotti Williamsville South OH
12 Ryan Dils Hamburg S
12 Charlie Desmond Canisius S
11 Devin Joslyn Canisius OH
11 Chas Palka Canisius OH
12 Kyle Burns Grand Island OH
12 Matt Buss Frontier OH
12 Spencer Eagleton Orchard Park S
WNY Coach of the Year: Andy Murtha (Maryvale)

 

ECIC I First Team Niagara Frontier First Team
Yr Player School Yr Player School
11 Alex Andrzejewski Hamburg 12 Kyle Burns Grand Island
12 Kenny Rudz Lancaster 12 Adam Dryfhout Grand Island
12 Connor Thomas Williamsville North 12 Victor Willison North Tonawanda
12 Chris Mikulec Orchard Park 11 Treston White Lockport
12 Jeremy Schatz Williamsville North 11 Dave Pachla Grand Island
11 Zach Gerken Frontier 11 Charles Lamar Niagara Falls
11 Cameron Hassen Orchard Park 11 Ed Gath North Tonawanda
12 Connor Schultz Lancaster  
ECIC I Second Team Niagara Frontier Second Team
Yr Player School Yr Player School
12 Ben Janzow Clarence 12 Brendon Sheehan Grand Island
11 Jon Gordner Hamburg 12 Pat Cramer Grand Island
12 Josh Schauer Lancaster 12 Brian Wynne Grand Island
11 Sean Duffy Orchard Park 11 Kyle Laplant Kenmore West
10 Matt Donohue Orchard Park 10 Jessie Donorovich Lockport
11 Ian Barker West Seneca West 11 Brandon Casterline North Tonawanda
9 Nick Pozzuto West Seneca West 11 Chris Pauline North Tonawanda
12 Peter Battaglia Williamsville North  
ECIC II First Team Niagara Frontier Third Team
Yr Player School Yr Player School
12 Shawn Barbalato Williamsville South 12 Nick Gioeli Grand Island
12 Evan Manna Williamsville South 12 R.J. Souter Kenmore West
10 Drew Eliott Williamsville East 12 Aaron Tucker Kenmore West
12 Kyle Wishman Lakeshore 9 Zach Schneider Lockport
11 Jake Duell Iroquois 12 Jose Melendez Niagara Falls
10 Campbell Schoenfeld Starpoint 12 Cory Stoelting Niagara Wheatfield
12 Matt Dickerson Starpoint 12 Rory Farkas North Tonawanda
12 Mike Shanahan Williamsville East  

ECIC II Second Team

All-Catholic First Team
Yr Player School Yr Player School
11 Jon Weremblewski Iroquois 12 Daniel Barry Canisius
11 Tom Brown Iroquois 12 Charles Demond Canisius
11 Eric Senior Lakeshore 11 Devin Joslyn Canisius
11 Derek Klemer Starpoint 12 Jake Kaempf St. Francis
11 Alex Weinreich Sweet Home 11 Charles Palka Canisius
11 Sam Schatmeyer Williamsville East 12 Andrew Schake Canisius
12 Sean Brown Williamsville South 11 Sean Taggart St. Francis
11 Mitchell Binda Williamsville South  
ECIC III First Team All Catholic Second Team
Yr Player School Yr Player School
12 Connor Basinski Eden 12 Charles Hart Canisius
12 Ben Wrzeynski Eden 12 Ryan Kydd Cardinal O'Hara
10 Collin Rigley Eden 11 Connor Cummings St. Francis
12 Mike Ferguson Maryvale 12 Matthew Berardi St. Joe's
10 Ervin Harrell Cheektowaga 12 Alex Scheda St. Joe's
10 Jordan Nosal Maryvale 12 Joe DiGesare St. Mary's
12 Nick Patterson Amherst 12 Alex Hokaj St. Mary's
12 Matt Van Houten Depew  
ECIC III Second Team All-Catholic Player of the Year
Yr Player School 11 Griffin Schmit Canisius
12 Tom Greco Amherst
12 Mike Hidalgo Amherst
11 Andrew Harvey Amherst
12 Ryan Skowron Cheektowaga
11 Zach Reinhardt Cheektowaga
12 Joe Scapillato Depew
12 Adam Dommer Maryvale
12 Sean McCarthy Maryvale

 


All-WNY: Schmit helps Canisius run the table in volleyball
By Miguel Rodriguez, Buffalo News
Saturday, January 16, 2016

 


Canisius’s Griffin Schmit , shown hitting against Eden, is the 2015
boys’ volleyball Player of the Year. John Hickey/Buffalo News

 

The only way Canisius’ boys volleyball season could have been any sweeter would have been if the Crusaders capped their 16th straight Monsignor Martin Association regular and postseason championships with a state title.

An unofficial one will have to do for Canisius since its season ends with just its league playoff.

Before crying foul, consider:

The Crusaders did the unthinkable during the 2015 season. They beat all comers for the first time in program history, a perfect season. Thirty-four up. Thirty-four down.

Canisius’ list of accomplishments during this rare season includes six in-season tournament championships, wins over perennial local powerhouses and triumphs over three of four state semifinalists, including two wins over eventual state champion McQuaid of Rochester.

“If we could participate in the New York state tournament we certainly would. But in the absence of being allowed to do that, that’s why we play the schedule that we do,” 20th-year Crusaders coach Tom Weislo said. “I can’t imagine a team in New York state that we wouldn’t have beaten this year.

“We won all six of our tournaments, all of our matches, all of the playoffs … it’s pretty cool.”

Besides beating McQuaid twice, Canisius also beat state Class A final four teams Cicero-North Syracuse of Section III and Section II’s Shenendehowa. The Crusaders also beat Rochester-area powers Fairport and Penfield, along with perennial local championship contender Eden.

One or two hiccups with this schedule would have been understandable, but to come out of it without any blemishes …

“I think it’s hard to go undefeated, especially with the type of schedule we play and also with the number of matches there’s a chance that for whatever reason you might drop one in a tournament somewhere,” Weislo said. “The fact the guys were able to raise the level of their games and keep them at a high level was pretty remarkable. We played pretty much all the best teams in New York state and a few from out of state down in Virginia. It was a pretty special season.”

Schmit Player of Year

A special season filled with special talents, including Griffin Schmit. The Canisius junior and three-year starter earned Western New York Player of the Year honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Schmit, who is being recruited by Division I heavyweights UCLA, USC, Ohio State, BYU, Pepperdine and Princeton, finished with 477 kills and 82 blocks.

“Griffin always seems to come up with a big kill or block at important times,” Weislo said. “And as his understanding of the game and his position continues to improve, he will keep getting better and better.”

Repeat picks

Besides Schmit, a few other familiar faces dot the Coaches All-Western New York first team.

West Seneca West’s Cam Bartus was without question the Indians’ go-to guy during the season, and the Penn State commit responded by breaking his own single-season record for kills (618). The two-time All-WNY pick also led his team in blocks and digs. Bartus finished his last two seasons with a combined hitting percentage of .410 and 1,131 kills.

Fellow Penn State-commit Declan Pierce also is a repeat first team selection. The Eden senior and future college libero earned nine all-tournament selections, including one MVP, during his final three seasons with the Raiders. Eden went 74-20 during his career with the team, including a 48-0 mark in division.

Lancaster’s Jay Baumann also earns his second straight first-team selection. The senior and four-year starter earned numerous all-tournament honors during his career and was selected all-region last season after helping Lancaster win the Section VI Class A title.

First-time honorees

Besides Schmit, the only other junior on the All-WNY first team is Clarence’s Henry Payne. Considering he often faced double or triple blocks in his matches, that didn’t stop Payne from finishing with a hitting percentage over 50 percent. Payne, whose Division I suitors include Ohio State, Penn State and Pepperdine, earned all-tournament honors at Sweet Home and Orchard Park but still considers his first all-tourney selection at OP as a sophomore as his favorite memory.

Other first-time All-Western New York first team picks include seniors Calvin Nowicki of Eden, Jason Manley of Orchard Park and Noah Chojnacki of Williamsville North.

Nowicki, whose top memory was returning for the first day of practice last season after breaking his hand during baseball season, was one of the top setters in the area and has a vicious jump serve.

Jason Manley recorded 24 kills for OP in its Section VI Class A title-game victory Lancaster. He led the Legends in kills and aces, en route to an all-state team selection.

Chojnacki, a three-year starter, will take a one-year missionary trip before attending BYU. He has a 95 average and is a member of the National Honor Society. He earned all-tournament picks at Sweet Home and Grand Island.

email: mrodriguez@buffnews.com


Nowicki makes most out of move to Eden
By: Aaron Garland, Sports reporter | Hamburg Sun
Thursday, January 14, 201
6

 


Photo by Karen Gioia: Calvin Nowicki was a two-year
standout for the Eden boys volleyball team.

 

At this point, Calvin Nowicki has his college choices narrowed down to three — Princeton, Saint Francis University and Penn State Behrend. The volleyball programs at those schools, the former two being Division I while the latter is D-III, all are interested in bringing aboard the All-Western New York setter. 

Nowicki, a senior at Eden, made quite the name for himself in a short time on varsity for the Raiders. In his only two years playing on the Eden boys volleyball team, the smooth setter made All-WNY second team in 2014 and was a first team selection this season. 

Nowicki’s arrival at Eden in the fall of 2014, as a junior transfer from Falconer, was important to Eden volleyball.

But his move to the district also paid personal dividends. He thinks his last two seasons playing Raiders volleyball is the foremost reason he’s received the amount of attention he has from college programs. 

In the summer of 2014, Nowicki moved in with his grandparents, David and Terry Nowicki, who had just relocated Boston after they each retired. The basis of the decision was to keep busy with volleyball, in the hopes he could parlay that into impressing renowned college teams. 

You see, Falconer, where Nowicki was enrolled through sophomore year, doesn’t offer boys volleyball. So, when his club season ended each July, he wasn’t playing any organized indoor volleyball until club picked up again later in the fall, causing him to readjust for about a month at the start of every season. 

With Nowicki entering his junior year, when college recruiting often intensifies, he took advantage of a fortuitous situation. His grandparents welcomed in Nowicki, who then chose to attend Eden over Hamburg, as the Boston home sits on the border of the districts. 

And when club volleyball began last year — and this one — there wasn’t any rust. He was already in midseason, tiptop form. In turn, colleges, specifically a D-I team like Saint Francis, where Nowicki will soon make a visit and potentially receive an offer from, took notice. 

Nowicki thinks he still would have gotten decent exposure had he not went to Eden, but playing for a reputable high school team and gaining that additional two and a half months on the court has made a gargantuan difference. 

“I was in contact with both the Saint Francis and Princeton coaches during the high school season and when they actually got to see me play it was during club season,” Nowicki said. “It was good for them to see me play after a few months of being back in the game (during high school) and then playing at the high level of club season, rather than having them come watch me play when I’m still trying to get back into volleyball.”

By the time those coaches saw Nowicki setting for his team at Eden Volleyball Club, any deficiencies or rust were gone. 

“Going to Eden made a big difference in my ability to play at the Division I level,” Nowicki said.

“(Transferring) has always kind of been an option because of me playing travel volleyball in Eden,” Nowicki added. “It was really a hassle traveling from Jamestown to Eden three, four nights a week for seven years. My grandparents moved to Eden and we kind of took the opportunity.”

Some colleges also watched Nowicki play during this past high school season. They had planned to scout at some big summer club tournaments, including nationals, until he broke his hand near the end of Eden baseball’s season and missed all of that. 

Had he not had the option of transferring to Eden, had Terry and David, a retired Town of Tonawanda assistant police chief, not agreed to take in their grandson for a couple years, Nowicki’s college prospects might have had another look. 

In any event, he’s waiting to hear back from the admissions office of an Ivy League school and listing the pros and cons of playing for each interested program. Wherever he ends up, the intention is to study petroleum engineering. 

“My grandparents are both retired and had four kids,” Nowicki said. “To finally retire and not worry about working or having any kids at home, and to offer to take me as soon as they retired and moved into a new house, I’m so grateful for that. They’re such great people and it’s amazing what they’ve done for me.”

Help from the Pierces

A couple weeks ago, Nowicki was selected as Eden’s 2015 MVP at the team banquet. He and fellow senior Declan Pierce, an outside hitter and Penn State commit, had a chemistry that made the duo a pain to defend. When they were on, Nowicki said he doesn’t know if there was a better setter-hitter combination in New York State. 

Eden coach Robert Pierce, early in the fall, said Nowicki can be magical at times, with how he fluidly controls an offense and sets others up for success. That’s not to mention all of the extra time he spends training and perfecting his craft, often with Declan Pierce.

The two have been on the same Eden Volleyball Club squad since they were 9 years old, and that was on a 12U team. In the summer, they enter doubles beach tournaments together. 

“For the last eight years we’ve been playing together nonstop, year round,” Nowicki said.

Nowicki actually got his start in volleyball on the beach. He didn’t play on an indoor court until he was on that 12U team as a 9-year-old. He was a natural fit to the indoor game. 

Nowicki’s father introduced him to the sport, and he began to religiously play on the beach at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pa. His physical skills, evidently, transferred quite well to indoor volleyball.

It was the intangible traits, like communicating with more than just one other teammate and on-court leadership, that Nowicki felt he needed to work on most to become a great indoor player. According to the back-and-forth he’s had with college coaches, he’s become proficient in those areas. 

“Most of the college coaches I’ve talked to have been very fond of my volleyball experience and volleyball IQ,” Nowicki said. “That I have the ability to take a group of guys and put them together to create an actual team, rather than a bunch of different guys playing their own game on the court. When you put the skill of all the guys together, you might not have the most talented players, but you have a good team.”

Robert Pierce has coached Nowicki every year he’s been part of organized volleyball. Because of that, and the fact that he was the first to express the idea of transferring to Eden, Nowicki said Robert Pierce has had, perhaps, the most positive impact on the progression and direction of his volleyball career. 

The coach was there when it started for Nowicki, and when things got more serious, which aligned with his move to Eden. 

“He influenced me to come to Eden and he’s made a huge impact on my life as a coach that most people don’t have because most people don’t have the same coach for nine years,” Nowicki said. “He’s a great guy and he is a phenomenal coach and knows everything there is to know about volleyball. I probably wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today without him.

“Even if it was just a joke at first to toy around with, because I was so young, he was definitely the first person to say, ‘Hey, come to Eden. It would be great for you to have this opportunity.’”

Closer to the action

While at Falconer, Nowicki tried to play basketball and baseball, but club volleyball interfered too much. However, he was on Eden’s baseball team that made the Section VI B-1 finals in the spring because it was no longer a lengthy trip to volleyball practices, no longer a chore to get there. 

Nowicki also appreciates the expanded academic opportunities he’s had at Eden. A little bigger than Falconer, Eden offers classes Nowicki didn’t have access to before. 

And he’s taken advantage. In June, the senior said he’ll graduate anywhere from No. 4 to 7 in his class. 

The assimilation has been rather easy for Nowicki. 

The class sizes at Eden are not drastically larger than they were at Falconer, and there’s more academic and athletic challenges for him. And before even enrolling, Nowicki had Eden friends from his involvement with Eden Volleyball Club, particularly his good buddy Declan Pierce. 

There are similarities between Falconer and Eden, Nowicki said, but it’s those slight changes that have made all the difference. 

“It’s a small town and I grew up there,” Nowicki said of Falconer. His parents still reside in that area and he plans to return there once the club volleyball season ends in the summer. “That’s always going to be important to me.”

After the summer, Nowicki is still undecided where he’ll live. Mostly because he has several options. 

“If I never moved, I would have never gotten the exposure I did,” Nowicki said, “and be talking to the coaches that I am now.”

Twitter: @Garland_SUN


NCAA Men's Season Preview 2016
VBM's pick of the top teams to watch this men's volleyball season

Megan Kaplon, Volleyball Magazine
Wednesday, January 6, 201
6

 


BYU will be strong this season if they can fill the whole left by graduated libero Jaylen Reyes.



The NCAA Division I men’s volleyball season kicks off in earnest this weekend. Before you dive in, read our season preview, which highlights the teams we think will come up big this year. Please note, the teams are listed alphabetically, not ordered in any kind of ranking.

Ball State
2015 Record: 13-16 
2015 Postseason: MIVA Tournament, Quarterfinals 
Head Coach: Joel Walton 
Key Returners: Edgardo Cartagena (RS Jr., OH, 6-5), Hiago Garchet (S, Sr., 6-6), Marcin Niemczewski (Sr., OH, 6-5), Mike Scannell (Jr., OH, 6-3), Brendan Surane (Jr., OH, 6-6), Matt Walsh (So., MB, 6-11) 
Key Losses: Matt Sutherland (OH, 6-3), David Ryan Vander Meer (L, 5-9), Shane Witmer (OH, 6-3) 
Newcomers: Jeff Hill (RS Fr., L, 6-0), Jake Romano (Fr., S, 6-6), Parker Swartz (Fr., MB, 6-5), Lemuel Turner (Fr., MB, 6-6), Adam Wessel (Fr., L, 5-11)

Preseason All-MIVA selection Matt Walsh will lead the Cardinal in the 2016 season. The sophomore middle blocker ranked third in the nation in blocks last year and boasted the second-best hitting percentage on his team. The Cardinal will face tough challenges from MIVA opponents Lewis, Loyola, and Ohio State, but should be able to string together a strong season with a good group of returning upperclassmen along with five players looking to make their college debuts.

BYU
2015 Record: 17-10 
2015 Postseason: MPSF Quarterfinals 
Head Coach: Shawn Olmstead 
Key Returners: Tim Dobbert (RS So., Opp., 6-10), Michael Hatch (Sr., MB, 6-8), Joseph Grosh (Jr., MB, 6-7), Price Jarman (So., MB, 6-8), Jake Langlois (Jr., OH, 6-10), Kiril Meretev (Jr., OH, 6-8), Ben Patch (So., Opp., 6-8), Brendan Sander (So., OH, 6-4), Robbie Sutton (Sr., S, 6-6), Matt Underwood (Sr., Opp., 6-6) 
Key Losses: Phil Fuchs (OH, 6-4), Jaylen Reyes (L, 6-1), Josue Rivera (OH, 6-3) 
Newcomers: Chandler Gibb (RS Fr., L, 6-1), Andrew Lincoln (Fr., S, 6-7), Christian Rupert (Fr., MB, 6-7), Tanner Skabelund (Fr., OH, 6-9)

With a new coach—former BYU women’s coach Shawn Olmstead, who took over the men’s team after the 2015 season for Chris McGown—and the return of the 2013 Freshman of the Year Ben Patch adding to a deep and experienced roster, the Cougars could be back to top form this year. In 2015, they failed to make the NCAA tournament after a national runner-up finish in 2013 and a national semifinalist performance in 2014. The 6-foot-10 Jake Langlois led the Cougars in 2015 with 246 kills and will be a big part of the offensive effort again in 2016. The second and third biggest offensive contributors from the 2015 Cougar squad, Matt Underwood (212 kills) and Brendan Sander (163 kills), also return. Patch and Langlois gained valuable international experience over the summer playing for Team USA at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, but Tim Dobbert, reappearing as a sophomore after being granted a medical redshirt for the 2015 season, will challenge for playing time on the right pin. The Cougars’ weak point is likely to be passing, and senior Evan Chang, sophomore Erik Sikes, or redshirt freshman Chandler Gibb will have to step up to fill the hole left by libero Jaylen Reyes’ graduation. BYU opens the season on January 8 with a tough challenge as it hosts reigning national champs Loyola.

George Mason
2015 Record: 15-13 
2015 Postseason: MIVA Runner-up 
Head Coach: Jay Hosack 
Key Returners: Christian Malias (Jr., L/OH, 6-2), Brian Negron (So., S, 6-7), Radoslav Popov (Jr., OH, 6-2), Paco Velez (RS Jr., Opp., 6-3), Jack Wilson (RS Jr., OH, 6-6) 
Key Losses: Hunter Stevens (MB, 6-8) 
Newcomers: Kyle Barnes (Fr., OH, 6-4), Seth Blevins (Fr., L/OH, 6-0), Will Calaman (Fr., L, 5-9), Justin Coleman (Fr., S, 6-3), Aaron Cymbor (Fr., OH, 6-3), Bryant Ekstein (Fr., MB, 6-6), Garrett Kollar (RS Fr., MB 6-6), Langston Payne (RS Fr., Opp., 6-5)

With new head coach Jay Hosack at the helm after six seasons as an assistant at Penn State, look for George Mason to make a statement this year. The Patriots lost only one starter from the 2015 MIVA runner-up squad, in addition to welcoming six true freshmen (five of whom are in-state recruits) and benefitting from two other players entering the lineup conversation after redshirting last year. To kick off the season, the Patriots will host UCLA and then travel to Provo, Utah, to play UC Irvine and BYU. Juniors Radoslav Popov and Jack Wilson will lead the offense again, with Paco Velez, the top server in the EIVA last year, returning to terrorize opponents from behind the service line. Redshirt freshman Garrett Kollar or true freshman Bryant Ekstein will challenge upperclassmen Dom Edgley and Ryan Rosenmeier to replace the graduated Hunter Stevens at the middle blocker position.

Hawaii
2015 Record: 24-7 
2015 Postseason: National Play-In Match 
Head Coach: Charlie Wade 
Key Returners: Kupono Fey (Jr., OH, 6-5), Jennings Franciskovic (Jr., S, 6-5), Kolby Kanetake (Sr., L, 5-8), Sinisa Zarkovic (Sr., OH, 6-4), 
Key Losses: Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7), Scott Hartley (OH, 6-5), Davis Holt (MB, 6-9), Brook Sedore (Opp., 6-5) 
Newcomers: James Anastassiades (Fr., OH, 6-4), Colton Cowell (Fr., OH, 6-1), Steven Duhoux (Jr., S, 6-4), Nainoa Frank (Fr., MB, 6-5), Patrick Gasman (Fr., MB, 6-8), Mamane Namahoe (RS Fr., L, 6-0), Luke Owens (RS Fr., MB, 6-7), Brandon Rattray (Fr., OH, 6-4), Jasper Rhodes (Fr., OH/Opp., 6-5), Brett Rosenmeier (Fr., OH, 6-5), Dalton Solbrig (Fr., MB, 6-6), Stijn Van Tilburg (Fr., OH/Opp., 6-8), Joe Worsley (Fr., S, 6-0) 


With nine incoming freshmen and only three returning starters from the 2015 Hawaii squad that went to the NCAA tournament play-in match, this will be a transition year for Hawaii. However, the three returners include a couple of AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans—Sinisa Zarkovic and Jennings Franciskovic—as well as outside hitter Kupono Fey, who alongside Franciskovic competed for the U21 national team this summer. If they can help head coach Charlie Wade harness the power of the large and talented group of freshmen, transfer Steven Duhoux and three redshirt freshmen, Hawaii could maintain some momentum from its successful 2015 season.

Lewis
2015 Record: 27-4 
2015 Postseason: National Runner-Up 
Head Coach: Dan Friend 
Key Returners: Scott Fifer (Sr., S, 6-3), Jacob Schmiegelt (RS Jr., MB, 6-6), Bobby Walsh (Sr., MB, 6-9) 
Key Losses: Eric Fitterer (Opp., 6-9), Greg Petty (OH, 6-6), Geoff Powell (OH, 6-4), Lucas Yanez (L, 5-10) 
Newcomers: Ryan Coenen (Fr., OH, 6-9), Kai Cromwell (Fr., L, 6-0), Evan Gebert (Fr., OH, 6-3), Dalen Instenes (Fr., OH, 6-5), Jacob Kerschner (Fr., S, 6-4), Danny Maurer (So., MB, 6-8), Julian Moses (RS Fr., OH, 6-4), Mitch Perinar (RS Fr., Opp., 6-6), Giovanni Llinas Rosa (RS Jr., OH, 6-7), Michael Simmons (RS Fr., OH, 6-4), Jake Walenga (RS Fr., L, 6-0), Matt Yoshimoto (Fr., S, 6-5)

Lewis lost its top three offensive producers—Greg Petty, Geoff Powell, and Eric Fitterer—to graduation last spring, along with libero Lucas Yanez. However, with 22 men on the roster, Coach Friend will not be without options to replace these key players. Four redshirt freshmen will make their college debuts after sitting out last season, and the Flyers also bring in six true freshman and two transfers. The three returning starters from the national runner-up squad will carry a heavy burden, but as they’ve proven many times before, it’s never a good idea to count out the Flyers.

Long Beach State
2015 Record: 15-13 
2015 Postseason: MPSF Tournament, First Round 
Head Coach: Alan Knipe 
Key Returners: Matt Butler (Jr., S, 6-0), Dan Glamack (Sr., OH, 6-6), Taylor Gregory (Sr., MB, 6-7), Cody Martin (Sr., OH/Opp., 6-1), John La Rusch (Sr., Opp., 6-6), Andrew Sato (RS Jr., L, 5-10), Curtis Stallings (Jr., S, 6-5), Bryce Yould (Jr., MB, 6-4) 
Key Losses: Ryan Windisch (L, 6-0) 
Newcomers: Davis Cannon (RS So., Opp., 6-7), T.J. DeFalco (Fr., OH, 6-4), Kyle Ensing (Fr., OH, 6-7), Amir Lugo-Rodriguez (RS Jr., MB, 6-7), Kysen Olsen (Fr., Opp., 6-4), Josh Tuangia (Fr., S, 6-3), Jeff Utupo (So., OH, 6-4)

This will be an interesting year for Long Beach State. The 2015 season was certainly not one of the 49ers best, but standout libero Andrew Sato returns for 2016 after taking a redshirt year, and four freshmen—including the nation’s top recruit T.J. DeFalco, who spent the summer training with the national team—will join the roster. In an exhibition match on November 6, LBSU swept 2015 national runner-up Lewis by the impressive scores of 25-8, 25-15, and 26-24, and DeFalco and his fellow freshmen Kyle Ensing and Josh Tuaniga made significant contributions to the effort, all of which bodes well for the 49ers this season—and for a few seasons to come.

Loyola Chicago
2015 Record: 28-2 
2015 Postseason: National Champion 
Head Coach: Mark Hulse 
Key Returners: Peter Hutz (Sr., S, 6-4), Jeff Jendryk (So., MB, 6-10), Owen McAndrews (RS Jr., MB, 6-5), Trevor Novotny (Sr., OH, 6-0), Nicholas Olson (Sr., MB, 6-10), Ben Plaisted (So., Opp., 6-5), Jake Selsky (So., L, 5-11) 
Key Losses: Cody Caldwell (OH, 6-6), Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6) 
Newcomers: Avery Aylsworth (Fr., L, 6-0), Baron Hahn (Fr., MB, 6-8), Dane Leclair (Fr., S, 6-4), Collin Mahan (Fr., OH, 6-5), Markus Melbardis (Fr., OH, 6-4), Cole Murray (Jr., OH, 6-4), Paul Narup (Fr., MB, 6-7), Will Tischler (Fr., OH, 6-7)

The reigning 2014 and 2015 national champion Loyola Ramblers enter the 2016 season facing a couple of big challenges: fill the gaping holes left on the outside by graduating senior Cody Caldwell and the 2015 AVCA National Player of the Year Thomas Jaeschke, who decided to forgo his senior season to turn pro, and get used to seeing a different face at the head of the bench. Former assistant coach Mark Hulse took over the program when Shane Davis departed in late December for Northwestern women’s team. Three of the Ramblers' seven incoming freshman are outsides and could step up to fill one or both of the vacant spots, with 6-foot-7 Will Tischler and Collin Mahan the likely front-runners. Trevor Novotny, the undersized senior outside hitter from Wisconsin who has gotten sporadic playing time throughout his Loyola career, could also finally have a chance to shine. The players who earn the starting spots will also have to have rock-solid serve receive since Caldwell and Jaeschke, along with libero Jake Selsky, made up the core of LUC’s reception. The Ramblers will rely heavily on the leadership of Selsky and senior setter Peter Hutz, and sophomore middle Jeff Jendryk will come up big for the Ramblers again.


Ohio State
2015 Record: 22-9 
2015 Postseason: MIVA Semifinals 
Head Coach: Pete Hanson 
Key Returners: Christy Blough (Jr., S, 6-5), Gabriel Domecus (Jr., OH, 6-3), Driss Guessous (RS Jr., MB, 6-8), Miles Johnson (Jr., OH, 6-6), Nicolas Szerszen (So., OH, 6-4) 
Key Losses: Michael Henchy (OH, 6-7), Shawn Herron (MB, 6-9) 
Newcomers: Will Eichel (Fr., S, 6-5), Blake Leeson (RS Fr., Opp., 6-7), Kevin Sowski (Fr., MB, 6-7), Darcy Taig (Fr., OH, 6-6), Sanil Thomas (Fr., L/S, 6-0), Zach Yerington (Fr., MB, 6-5)

Led by head coach Pete Hanson, who was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame during the organization’s 2015 Convention in Omaha, the Buckeyes have the makings of a team that could challenge the rebuilding Lewis and Loyola for the MIVA title. Despite suffering two big losses in kills leader Michael Henchy and No. 1 blocker Shawn Herron, the Buckeyes have returners Christy Blough, Gabriel Domecus, and Nicolas Szerszen (who was the 2015 MIVA Freshman of the Year and ranked second on the team in total kills behind Henchy last season). Ace-leader Miles Johnson anchors the team that includes rookie and Fab 50 selection Will Eichel, who will challenge setter Blough for playing time.


Penn State
2015 Record: 21-10 
2015 Postseason: National Semifinals 
Head Coach: Mark Pavlik 
Key Returners: Matt Callaway (RS Jr., MB/Opp., 6-7), Taylor Hammond (RS Sr., S, 6-4), Chris Nugent (Jr., OH, 6-4), Jalen Penrose (RS So., OH, 6-8), Matt Seifert (RS Sr., MB, 6-9) 
Key Losses: Connor Curry (L, 6-3), Nick Goodell (Opp., 6-9), Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9) 
Newcomers: Luke Braswell (Fr., S, 6-4), Royce Clemens (RS Fr., L, 6-1), Jason Donorovich (Fr., OH, 6-9), Kevin Gear (RS Fr., MB, 6-7), Matthew McLaren (RS Fr., OH, 6-4), Frank Melvin (Fr., OH, 6-5), Calvin Mende (Fr., Opp., 6-11), Lee Smith (RS Fr., OH, 6-6) 


The Nittany Lions only lose three players from their 2014 national semifinalist roster, but the losses include their two biggest kill generators, Aaron Russell and Nick Goodell, and four-year starting libero Connor Curry. However, redshirt sophomore Jalen Penrose, who started seven matches for the Lions in 2014 and put away 128 kills and 13 aces, gained some international experience playing for Team USA at the World University Games over the summer and could perhaps help fill the hole left by Goodell’s graduation. In addition, all four incoming PSU freshmen—including Pennsylvania natives Luke Braswell and Frank Melvin—made the 2015 Volleyball magazine Fab 50 list, and they, along with the four athletes who chose to redshirt last year, could also enter the playing time conversation. Chris Nugent, who ranked third on the team with 221 kills last year, will shoulder a large portion of the offensive load, but he should be up to the challenge.


Stanford
2015 Record: 10-18 
2015 Postseason: N/A 
Head Coach: John Kosty 
Key Returners: Kyle Dagostino (So., S/L, 5-9), Evan Enriques (So., L, 6-2), Madison Hayden (Sr., OH, 6-3), Conrad Kaminski (Sr., MB, 6-8), James Shaw (Sr., S, 6-8), Gabriel Vega (RS Jr., OH, 6-7) 
Key Losses: Grant Delgado (L, 5-9), Spencer Haly (MB, 6-7), Daniel Tublin (OH, 6-8) 
Newcomers: Russell Dervay (Fr., S, 6-1), Jordan Ewert (Fr., OH, 6-4), Matt Klassen (Fr., OH/Opp., 6-6), Chris Moore (Fr., MB, 6-5), Ryan Smith (Fr., OH, 6-6)

Last year, Stanford, missing setter James Shaw for half of the season, suffered at the hands of its MPSF opponents and failed to make the postseason. In 2016, the 6-8 All-American Shaw returns to the starting lineup, and kills leader Madison Hayden and blocking leader Conrad Kaminski are back for their senior seasons, hoping to help the Cardinal climb back to national prominence. Coach Kosty also brought in a solid recruiting class, including Jordan Ewert, one of the top five recruits in Volleyball’s 2015 Boys’ Fab 50 list. The Cardinal will be tested early with road matches at Ball State, IPFW, and BYU.

UC Irvine
2015 Record: 28-5 
2015 Postseason: National Semifinals 
Head Coach: David Kniffin 
Key Returners: Jason Agopian (Sr., MB, 6-7), Andrew Benz (Jr., MB, 6-5), Tamir Hershko (Jr., Opp., 6-6), Kyle Russell (Sr., OH, 6-9), Michael Saeta (Jr., Opp., 6-5) 
Key Losses: Michael Brinkley (L, 5-10), Zack La Cavera (Opp., 6-4), Roberto Frazzoni (S, 6-2), Travis Woloson (OH, 6-4) 
Newcomers: Karl Apfelbach (RS Fr., Opp., 6-8), Matthew August (Fr., MB, 6-4), Dante Chakravorti (Fr., S, 6-3), Sando Feng (RS Fr., MB/Opp., 6-7), Grant Friedman (Fr., OH, 6-5), David Parker (RS Fr., OH, 6-1), Matthew Younggren (Fr., MB/Opp., 6-9), Logan Zotovich (RS Fr., S, 6-2)

Returning big hitters Tamir Hershko, Kyle Russell, and Jason Agopian will make the difference for the Anteaters this year. Hershko is the only Volleyball magazine First Team All-American or AVCA First Team All-American to return to NCAA competition this year, and the Israeli National Team player will likely have another banner year. The loss of First Team All-Americans Zack La Cavera and Michael Brinkley stings, as does the graduation of setter Roberto Frazzoni. Redshirt freshman Logan Zotovich and true freshman Dante Chakravorti are the only setters listed on the roster.

UCLA
2015 Record: 13-14 
2015 Postseason: MPSF Tournament, Quarterfinals 
Head Coach: John Speraw 
Key Returners: Jake Arnitz (So., OH, 6-7), Jackson Bantle (Jr., L, 6-1), Michael Fisher (Jr., OH, 6-5), J.T. Hatch (So., OH, 6-1), Christian Hessenauer (So., Opp., 6-5), Eric Matheis (So., S, 6-2), Hagen Smith (Jr., S, 6-0), Mitch Stahl (Jr., MB, 6-7), 
Key Losses: Trent Kersten (MB, 6-9) 
Newcomers: Dominic Brousard (Fr., OH, 6-1), Davis Gillett (Fr., L, 5-9), Jonah Kay (Fr., MB, 6-5), Micah Ma’a (Fr., S/Opp., 6-3), Dylan Missry (Fr., OH, 6-4), Spencer Sachs (Fr., L, 5-11)

Ranked fifth in the AVCA’s Preseason Poll, UCLA hopes to take advantage of a year when they lost just one starter. Last year’s team points leader JT Hatch and fellow sophomore Jake Arntiz return to produce from the pins, with Christian Hessenauer and Mitch Stahl joining the offensive effort. Freshman setter and opposite Micah Ma’a has already proved his worth in the fall season and in the Bruins’ exhibition match versus the University of British Columbia, running a 6-2 with Hagen Smith. Another freshman, Davis Gillet, could challenge junior Jackson Bantle for the libero role. With no seniors on the roster, other players will need to step up and fill leadership roles, but with national team head coach John Speraw at the helm, UCLA could be a legitimate threat this season.

UC Santa Barbara
2015 Record: 17-10 
2015 Postseason: MPSF Tournament, First Round 
Head Coach: Rick McLaughlin 
Key Returners: Hayden Boehle (So., L, 6-1), Bobby Curtis (RS So., Opp., 6-5), Jacob Delson (RS Jr., OH, 6-5), Ryan Hardy (RS Sr., MB, 6-7), Austin Kingi (RS Sr., OH, 6-4), Jonah Seif (Sr., S, 6-8) 
Key Losses: Kevin Donohue (OH, 6-3), Weston Nielson (OH, 6-6), Jake Staahl (MB, 6-6) 
Newcomers: Corey Chavers (Fr., OH, 6-6), Henri Cherry (RS Fr., MB, 6-6), Connor Drake (RS Fr., MB, 6-8), Kevin Fults (Fr., Opp., 6-3), Jackson Hollister (RS Fr., Opp., 6-6), Brandon Hopper (Fr., MB, 6-7), Owen Karlenzig (Fr., OH, 6-5), Jake Lorscheider (Fr., OH)

UCSB is poised to make waves this year, and its four-set defeat of defending national champ Loyola in the first weekend of the season proves the Gauchos are ready to battle through a tough MPSF schedule. Second team All-American setter Jonah Seif will have to find a new go-to hitter after the graduation of Kevin Donohue, but he has several good options in Jacob Delson, Austin Kingi, Connor Drake, and Matt Marsh. Middle Ryan Hardy will have to help make up for the departure of Jake Staahl, who led the team with 113 blocks last year (one more than Hardy’s 112). Libero Hayden Boehle returns to anchor the defense, while five true freshmen and three redshirt freshmen will enter the battle for playing time.


AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Top 15 Preseason Poll: January 6, 2016
Monday, January
6
, 2016

 

Rank School (First-Place Votes) Total Points Adjusted 2015 Record 2015 Final Rank 
1 Springfield (8) 242 25-7 2
2 Stevens (6) 235 31-4 1
3 SUNY New Paltz (2)  227 27-6 3
4 Nazareth (1) 206 28-7 T-4
5 UC Santa Cruz 164 24-6 T-4
6 Carthage  141 23-6 7
7 Juniata  138 24-5 8
8 Rutgers-Newark  125 22-10 12
9 NYU 119 17-11 9
10 Baruch 73 25-10 10
11 Kean  71 31-6 6
12 Elmira  67 20-14 11
13 Dominican  61 15-11 15
14 Stevenson  46 19-14 NR
15 Mount St. Joseph  23 19-9 13

 

Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: MIT 21; MSOE 21; Wentworth 19; Lasell 15; Endicott 3; Rivier 3;

5 teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of 20 combined points.

Next Poll: January 26