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!
UCLA, Stanford, USC top VBM NCAA 2017 recruiting-class ranking
By Mike Miazga, volleyballmag.com
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Once again the usual suspects find themselves parked atop our men’s college top recruiting-class rankings.
Our 2017 VolleyballMag.com rankings are based on voting done by a VBM panel of NCAA Division I-II men’s coaches and do take into consideration international signees and transfers.
A year ago, Stanford stood atop this list with UCLA checking in at No. 3.
UCLA, which had the most first-place votes this year by a good margin, cleaned up on 2017 VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50 selections with five and is this year’s top-ranked class. The Bruins have the No. 3 recruit in the class in setter Adam Parks.
Stanford checks in at No. 2 and possesses the No. 1 recruit in the class in Maryland product Jaylen Jasper, who will be named the 2017 VolleyballMag.com boys’ high school player of the year later this month.
USC, which has generated a number of highly ranked classes over the last decade, was out of the top 10 last year, but checks in at an elite No. 2 position this year, thanks to a massive recruiting class for coach Jeff Nygaard. The Trojans welcome a class-high seven Boys Fab 50 selections, including 6-10 Sam Lewis, who is the No. 4-ranked recruit in the class.
BYU, runner-up at the last two NCAA championships, was voted No. 4 thanks in part to snagging highly touted Puerto Rico native Gabi Garcia, who had originally committed to Cal Baptist before that program was disbanded. The Cougars also added another international player in Brazil 6-9 middle Felipe De Brito Ferreira.
Defending MPSF champion Long Beach State rounds out the top five with coach Alan Knipe landing three Fab 50 selections and adding two international players, one each from Denmark and England.
Six teams on this year’s list also appeared in last year’s recruiting rankings. Stanford is No. 2 this year and was first last year. UCLA is first this year and was third in 2016. Ohio State was fourth a year ago and is ninth this year. Penn State is 10th this year after turning in a No. 6 class in 2016. UC Irvine is No. 6 this year after being No. 8 last year, while Loyola was ninth in 2016 and is seventh this year. Long Beach State moved up to five this year after having the No. 10 class last year.
No. 1 UCLA
Incoming players: Colin Bailey (6-6, OH-RS, Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.), Rise VBC); Grant Maleski (6-9, MB, Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.), Adversity VBC); Ian Parish (6-9, MB, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.), MB Surf); Adam Parks (6-4, S, Oak Park (Calif.), Rise VBC); Alex Parks (6-3, OH, Oak Park (Calif.), Rise VBC); Garland Peed (6-1, S, Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.), Coast VBC)
Analysis: The Bruins garnered many first- and second-place votes among the VolleyballMag.com coaches voting panel for this class, which features five 2017 VBM Boys Fab 50 selections. Adam Parks is ranked the No. 3 recruit in the class of 2017 by VolleyballMag.com. Parish was part of the Loyola High School team that won a California regional title this spring.
“This is an outstanding group of student-athletes who will join us next year,” UCLA coach John Speraw said. “The combination of size, physicality and volleyball IQ will complement the current team and impact our gym immediately. They all are multi-dimensional athletes who could play different positions by the time they graduate and they all possess the character we look for.”
No. 2 Stanford
Incoming players: Leo Henken (6-5, OH-RS, University (St. Louis, Mo.), HP St. Louis); Jaylen Jasper (6-7, OH, Broadneck (Annapolis, Md.), Annapolis VBC); Kyler Presho-Hartung (6-8, MB, San Clemente (Calif.), 949 VBC); JP Reilly (6-4, OH-RS, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.), MB Surf)
Analysis: Cardinal coach John Kosty has put together yet another strong class after having VBM’s top-ranked class last year. All four players are 2017 VBM Boys Fab 50 selections, including Jasper, who is the No. 1-ranked recruit in the class according to VolleyballMag.com. Reilly is coming off a championship season with Loyola High School, while Henken and Presho-Hartung also come from strong youth pedigrees. All four players also have USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline experience.
“Our recruiting class brings us four highly skilled players who will have a great impact on our program,” Kosty said. “They join a highly touted 2016 recruiting class that will make us a young, but talented team.”
No. 3 USC
Incoming players: Sam Lewis (6-10, MB, Poly (Long Beach, Calif.), Team Rockstar); Mitch Haly (6-7, MB, Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa Bay VBC); Cole Paxson (5-10, libero, Laguna Beach (Calif.), Balboa Bay VBC); Noah Franklin (6-6, OH, Huntington Beach (Calif.), Team Rockstar); Clay Dickinson (6-7, OH, Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa Bay VBC); Billy Fauntleroy (6-7, OH-MB), New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.), Adversity VBC); Kyle Gear (6-6, OH, Gates Chili (Rochester, N.Y.), Victor VBC); Chris Hall (6-2, S, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), MB Surf); Christopher McBee (6-4, OH, Palos Verdes (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.), MB Surf); Pete Obradovich (6-4, OH, Laguna Beach (Calif.), Balboa Bay VBC)
Analysis: The Trojans restocked and then some here with 10 incoming recruits. Of that 10, seven earned VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50 designation earlier this year. McBee, Hall, Dickinson, Lewis, Haly and Paxson all have been part of the USA Volleyball HP programs.
“We are adding physicality and height,” USC coach Jeff Nygaard said. “We also are fortunate to be bringing in players that have next-level and international-caliber experience.”
Obradovich’s dad, Steve, played on the 1977 USC men’s NCAA title team before establishing AVP stardom.
No. 4 BYU
Incoming players: Cyrus Fa’alogo (6-4, S-OH, Copper Hils (West Jordan, Utah), Long Beach CC); Felipe De Brito Ferreira (6-9, MB, Colegio Regina Mundi, Brazil); Gabriel Garcia (6-5, RS, St. Francis School (Carolina, Puerto Rico), Borinquen Coqui); Garrett Halsey (6-5, RS-OH, Servite (Anaheim, Calif.), Balboa Bay VBC); Zach Hendrickson (6-0, libero, Saint Xavier (Louisville, Ky.), Louisville Fury); Branden Oberender (6-7, MB, Royal (Simi Valley, Calif.), Bones VBC); James Reed (6-4, RS-OH, Green Valley (Henderson, Nev.), Vegas United); Charles Siragusa (6-8, RS-OH, McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.), 949 VBC)
Analysis: The Cougars’ class features a mix of international players, highly touted juniors players and a transfer. Fa’alogo transferred in from Long Beach City College (where he was an all-CCAA state-championship tournament selection this spring) and will be a sophomore. He also is a former USA boys’ youth national team member. De Brito Ferreira has experience with the U19 Brazil national team, while Garcia, once headed to Cal Baptist before it shuttered its men’s program, received numerous votes from VBM’s Boys Fab 50 panel for being one of the top five recruits in the class of 2017. For more on Garcia, click here. Siragusa, out of the strong McQuaid Jesuit prep program in Rochester, N.Y., was a 2017 VBM Boys Fab 50 selection. Reed racked up impressive kill numbers for Green Valley High in Nevada.
No. 5 Long Beach State
Incoming players: Carlos Rivera (6-3, S, Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa Bay VBC); Alexander Anastassiades (6-8, RS, Huntington Beach, Calif.), HBC); Simon Anderson (6-9, MB, Middlefart, Denmark); Ryan Poole (6-5, OH, St. Ignatius College, England, Malory Eagles); Spencer Olivier (6-6, OH, Beckman (Tustin, Calif.), Balboa Bay VBC); Gary Adams (6-6, MB-RS), Murrieta Valley (Calif.), The HBC); Marc Moody (6-8, Lake Nona (Orlando, Fla.), Ocean Bay VBC).
Analysis: The 49’ers landed three VolleyballMag.com Fab 50 selections in their 2017 recruiting class in Rivera, Olivier and Moody.
“All of these players bring solid skill sets, high volleyball IQs and a thirst to compete,” Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe said. “We look forward to all of them joining our volleyball family and adding to our great team culture.”
Olivier has tasted success at the club and USA Volleyball HP levels. Rivera has been part of numerous Balboa Bay club teams that have medaled at junior nationals. Additionally, he’s a member of the Puerto Rican U19 national team. Anderson and Poole are international signees. Anderson played for the Middlefart VBC and was named the best middle blocker for the U19 NEUZA team and was ranked the No. 2 rising start in the Danish League in both 2015 and 2016. Poole has seen action with England’s U19 team and is a two-time England Junior Beach Volleyball player of the year.
No. 6 UC Irvine
Incoming players: Sean Farmer (6-4, S, Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Sports Performance); Alexandre Nsakanda (6-4, RS, Franco-Cite, Ontario, Canada); Joel Schneidmiller (6-6, OH, Saratoga (Calif.), Bay to Bay VBC); Zevan Williams (6-3, MB-OH, Clovis (Calif.), AJ Faille (6-0, libero, Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.), Rise VBC); JB Kam (6-3, OH, Orange Coast CC); Andre Castro (6-0, libero, San Diego Mesa College).
Analysis: The Anteaters’ recruiting class here covers the juniors, transfer and international player categories well. Farmer, Schneidmiller and Williams are 2017 Boys Fab 50 selections. Schneidmiller is rated the No. 2 recruit in the class by VolleyballMag.com. Farmer is a product of highly successful high-school and club programs.
“This class complements our current raw size and developing talent,” UCI coach David Kniffin said. “I expect these guys to change how we play the game. And I will lean heavily on their athleticism, experience and desire to win.”
Nsakanda is Canadian and the Anteaters added JUCO transfers in Kam and Castro.
No. 7 Loyola-Chicago
Incoming players: Devin Joslyn (6-6, OH, Canisius, Buffalo, N.Y.), Eden VBC); Thomas Kovanic (6-8, OH, West Aurora (Aurora, Ill.), Sports Performance); Garrett Zolg (6-3, S, Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif.), The HBC)
Analysis: Not a huge class by any means, but the Ramblers and coach Mark Hulse picked up three impact players. Joslyn, Kovanic and Zolg all are VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50 selections from earlier this year.
“This class dramatically improves our depth at two or three positions with all three guys coming in with the skills and tools to compete for starting roles right away,” Hulse said. “That will be big for us. As a young team with six or seven returning starters it adds a level of competitiveness to the gym and keeps guys hungry. Best off all, all three are high-character guys who have come from club and high-school programs with high expectations.”
No. 8 Pepperdine
Incoming players: Alex Gettinger (6-4, OH, Lafeyette (Wildwood, Mo.), HP St. Louis); Troy Magorien (6-5, RS, Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.), MB Surf); Jon Minsberg (6-1, S, Saddleback Valley Christian (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), 949); Zac Norvid (6-0, libero, Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Sports Performance); Spencer Wickens (5-11, libero, McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.), Pace Bootlegger).
Analysis: The Waves put together a fine class here. Gettinger, Norvid and Wickens are 2017 VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50 picks. Norvid recently was part of an Illinois high-school state-championship team, while Wickens comes from the boys’ volleyball hotbed of upstate New York.
No. 9 Ohio State
Incoming players: Robbie Murphy (6-5, OH, Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Hitmen VBC); Martin Lallemand (6-6, OH-RS, Athenee Royal de Hannut High School, Belgian youth national team); Spencer Lawrence (6-4, MB, Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa Bay VBC); Luke Meidel (6-1, libero, O’Fallon (Mo.); HP St. Louis); Chase Moothart (5-10, libero, Orange Coast College, Balboa Bay VBC); Todd Herget, 6-3, OH, Darien (Conn.), Mizuno East VBC).
Analysis: The two-time defending NCAA champions added plenty of roster depth. Murphy and Lawrence are Boys Fab 50 selections. Murphy was part of the recent Glenbard West High School team that won another Illinois state title. Moothart is a transfer from well-known JUCO Orange Coast in California, while Lallemand is a native of Antwerp, Belgium. Lawrence’s brother, Kyle, played at Ohio State from 2009-2013.
No. 10 Penn State
Incoming players: Henrik Lauten (6-5, OH, Warner University (Lake Wales, Fla.)), Jack Goedken (6-4, RS, Carlsbad (Calif.), Coast VBC), Louis Murray (6-2, libero-S, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.), MB Surf), Henry Payne (6-4, OH, Clarence (N.Y.), Eden VBC); Will Bantle (6-4, OH, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.), MB Surf.
Outlook: Payne is another upstate New York volleyball product, while Bantle recently enjoyed high-school championship success at Loyola of Los Angeles. Both are 2017 VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50 picks.
“Henry has shown a live arm and we believe his work ethic and athletic ability will serve him well at this level. He has taken advantage of his high-school and club experiences and I firmly believe he will contribute sooner rather than later with us,” Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said. “Will has shown outstanding ball control skills and a high volleyball IQ. His high-school and club development will certainly provide him with the experience to make the transition to the collegiate game very smooth. I have no doubt he will make those around him better.”
Lauten is a transfer from NAIA member Warren University in Florida., where he was an NAIA honorable-mention All-American selection after helping lead the team to the national semifinals last year. Murray has enjoyed success at both the high school and club levels, while Goedken is a product of the San Diego area.
Honorable Mention (alphabetical order): Ball State, Cal State Northridge, George Mason, Hawaii, IPFW, Lewis
After a great season with Zenit Kazan, USA’s Anderson back in training
By Lee Feinswog, Volleyballmag.com
Friday, June 16, 2017
Matt Anderson is back in Anaheim after taking time off after a great season with his Russian team, Zenit Kazan
A bonus from our time last week to the American Sports Center in Anaheim to watch the USA women train was a quick visit with international men’s star Matt Anderson.
Like many of the Olympic veterans early in a new quad, Anderson is talking time off after a busy year in which the USA won bronze in Brazil and then he headed back to Kazan, Russia.
“I had about four weeks off after the Olympics before I headed to Russia, and during that time there’s not a lot of relaxing time. There’s a lot of press you’ve got to do and people are pulling you in all different directions, but four weeks away from the game was enough to get that fire back and want to get back on the court and start playing again.”
After Brazil the former Penn State standout said he was emotionally tired and a lot of his time at home in upstate New York was spent with family and friends “and just chllin,’ he said. “I was watching sports and not even retaining the information. In one ear and out the other.”
Last fall he returned to his pro team, Zenit Kazan. Kazan is a city with a population of about 1.2 million in southwest Russia about 500 miles west of Moscow.
“I was there training about a week and then we went back to Brazil for the World Cup championships where we made it to the final again but lost to Sada Cruzeiro again
“Then it was back to Russia and the start of the Russian league, the Russian Cup, Champions League, and we went undefeated from that point. We won everything again. We won the Russian League for the fourth year in a row, won the Russian Cup (beating the Shoji brothers) for the third year in a row and won Champions League for three years in a row. Pretty dominant team.”
To say the least, since Zenit Kazan only lost two sets after December, winning the Champions League on May 1.
“After that I came back home and had three weeks where I did nothing,” he said with a smile. “Didn’t step foot in a gym, didn’t think about volleyball, just a good, relaxing, decompressing time.
“And then I decided I needed to get off the couch and start doing some things, so I came out here to work out.”
Anderson said he’ll back “100 percent. I’ll be back for the Grand Champions Cup in Japan and then also the qualification for the World Championships, which is being held in Colorado.”
He’s an interested observer of the USA men’s team that’s currently competing in the FIVB World League in Poland.
“I’m watching all the games and talking to the guys here and there,” Anderson said. “They’re a young team and when you’re young you need experience and sometimes you need to get smacked around a little to know the jump isn’t easy.”
The USA men’s roster currently includes veterans David Smith and Erik Shoji, who are no doubt using their experience to help the new players.
“I relied heavily on guys like Sean Rooney and Clay Stanley when I first to to the team, because they were still playing,” Anderson said. “And David Lee and guys who understood where I was and didn’t let me just hang out there. They held me to a standard. And you grow that way.
“I think (head coach) John (Speraw) has a really good mindset on that and even though I’m not there he’s going to keep them in line and striving to be not just good enough to win but be the best they can be.”
And when Anderson gets back, with Lee and Reid Priddy moving on, the 2012 and 2016 Olympian be one of the old guys.
“I make jokes about that all the time,” he said. “I’m only 30, so I’m not that old but it definitely feels like it sometimes.”
Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Year: Sam Burgio, Eden girls volleyball
By Corey Desiderio, Buffalo News
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Eden’s Sam Burgio was named the Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Year
at Wednesday’s Prep Talk Awards. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
The resumes of past Prep Talk Female Athletes of the Year have been impressive.
This year's honoree might just have them all beat.
On top of being named the Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls volleyball for the second straight year, Eden's Sam Burgio also took home the overall Prep Talk Female Athlete of the Year at Wednesday's Prep Talk Awards.
Burgio, who started playing varsity in seventh grade, is believed to be the first six-time state champion. She led the Raiders to the program's eighth straight NYSPHSAA championship as a senior, finishing with a team-leading 472 digs and a .418 hitting percentage.
Burgio was an All-WNY pick for the third time this season and is considered one of the best defensive players in the country. She's part of the University of Maryland's first-ever Top 10 recruiting class.
"I'd like to thank my parents and my coach, Stephen Pierce," Burgio said. "I couldn't do this without him. He's had my back for six years. And I'd like to thank my brother for being a great brother."
It was quite a night for the Eden girls volleyball program. Pierce was also inducted into the Prep Talk Hall of Fame.
Eden's Stephen Pierce inducted into Prep Talk Hall of Fame
By Corey Desiderio, Buffalo News
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Longtime Eden girls volleyball coach Stephen Pierce was inducted to the
Prep Talk Hall of Fame Wednesday evening. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
Eight straight state titles. Fourteen state titles overall. A New York State-record 995 overall wins.
Longtime Eden girls volleyball coach Stephen Pierce, who's retiring after 28 years on the job, was a no-brainer to be the 2017 inductee into the Prep Talk Hall of Fame.
Pierce joins some exclusive company with past inductees Dick Gallagher, the late Sister Maria Pares and Dennis DiPaolo.
"People always say you've touched so many lives, you've impacted young lives," Pierce said at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Conference Center Wednesday night. "And that's true, but as a coach who's watched many kids grow up from 8 years old into adults who are now in their 30s and having kids, what I'm most pleased about is how much they impacted my life. There are so many kids who I got the chance to work with who really enriched my life."
The newest member of the Prep Talk Hall of Fame wanted to leave two messages for the audience.
One was for the coaches.
"My message to the coaches is thank you," Pierce said. "From one of your colleagues, I know how much time you put in, the emotional and physical investment, the late nights, the weekends. And I know for most of the coaches who are here, who are program builders, it is not a two- or three-month job and then you're done with the season. It's a 52-week endeavor.
"All the lives that you've touched, all the lives that you'll continue to touch, I'd like to personally thank you all for that."
The other was for the athletes.
"You've put incredible amounts of time in a gym, on the field, you've deserved everything you've gotten and I think many of you are going to go on to do some great things," Pierce said. "But my one thing I'd like to say to you is more imploring.
"When you hang up the sneakers or the cleats, consider at some point in your adult lives coming back to this profession. It's not just because we want to keep this going for other young kids to experience what you've experienced. Even if you coach part time, give a little time on the weekends, it's such an incredibly rewarding experience."
Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys volleyball: Henry Payne, Clarence
By Budd Bailey, Buffalo News
Thursday, June 1, 2017
The Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys volleyball is Henry Payne of Clarence. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
We are unveiling the Prep Talk Players of the Year (more than 35 total honorees) as we count down to the Prep Talk Awards on June 14 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
#PrepTalkResume: Henry led Clarence to its first Division I championship in volleyball since 1999. He was a first team All-Western New York selection, in part because he made all of his teammates better. Henry won multiple Most Valuable Player honors in midseason tournaments.
Statistics 101: The Red Devils' standout is the school's all-time leader in career attempts and kills.
Favorite moment in high school competition: Winning the 2016 Section VI Division I championship against Lockport
Favorite high school teammate: All of my teammates, especially my brothers Teddy and Dale
Toughest high school opponent (team): Canisius
Toughest high school opponent (individual): Devin Joslyn and Griffin Schmit
Henry Payne gets up high at the net against West Seneca West early in the 2016 season. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
Role models: My parents
Pro/college athlete I look up to: Matt Anderson
I wouldn't be here without these people: My mom and dad, my brothers and sister - Seth, Claire, Dale and Teddy, all my coaches and teammates over the years, especially Coach Starr, Coach Pierce, and Coach Johnson.
When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm: Spending time with family and friends
Favorite academic subject: History
Planned college major: Kinesiology
Future plans: Play Division I volleyball at Penn State University
Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls volleyball: Samantha Burgio, Eden
By Budd Bailey, Buffalo News
Thursday, June 1, 2017
The Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls volleyball is Eden’s Sam Burgio. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
We are unveiling the Prep Talk Players of the Year (more than 35 total honorees) as we count down to the Prep Talk Awards on June 14 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
#PrepTalkResume: Won her sixth straight state title as the Raiders once again won their class. Sam was an Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American in 2016. She was an all-WNY pick for the third time in 2016 and this is her second straight Prep Talk Player of the Year honor. Sam is considered one of the best defensive players in the country.
Statistics 101: Sam finished with 472 digs to lead the Raiders in that category. She also had a .418 hitting percentage.
Favorite moment in high school competition: Winning my sixth state title was very monumental, because it was record-breaking and I won it with Molly Breier by my side.
Favorite high school teammate: Molly Breier
Toughest high school opponent (team): Clarence
Toughest high school opponent (individual): Meghan Neelon
Eden's Sam Burgio returns a ball during pool play at St. Mary's early in the 2016 season. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
Role model: Sue Burgio (mother)
Pro/college athlete I look up to: Kristin Carpenter
I wouldn't be here without: Stephen Pierce, Mom and Dad, Jacob Burgio, Carolyn Bell, Kim and Eric Werner, Kendall Pierce, and Heather Feldman
When I'm not playing or practicing my sport, I'm ...: Sleeping, eating or working out
Favorite academic subject: Math
Planned college major: Undecided
Future plans: Attending the University of Maryland.
California players dominate 2017 VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50
By Mike Miazga, volleyballmag.com
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Payne, Schmit and Joslyn
Boys youth volleyball is alive and well in California.
So says the results of the 2017 VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50 list, which ranks the top 50 senior-age boys players in the nation. The voting is done by a panel of NCAA men’s Division I-II coaches. The list is not an exclusive reflection on high-school, club or USA HP performance, but rather an amalgamation of all the top players in the country.
Of the 50 players on the list, 27 come from California.
Perennial national-power Loyola of Los Angeles landed Will Bantle, Ian Parish and JP Reilly on the Fab 50 list. Loyola recently defeated fellow power Corona del Mar of Newport Beach for the CIF Southern California Regional Division I title (the equivalent to a state title). CdM had beaten Loyola a week earlier for the CIF Southern Section Division I title.
Speaking of CdM, coach Steve Conti’s squad has three players on the Fab 50 list (Clay Dickinson, Mitch Haly and Jake Meyer) and four more on our 30 Underclassmen to Watch list (Brandon Browning, Kevin Korbine, Patrick Paragas and Diego Lopez).
Odds are you’ll be hearing plenty about both Loyola and CdM next month when we release our annual boys’ high-school All-American awards.
Two Illinois high schools also stand out on this year’s list.
Glenbard West, out of the Chicago western suburb of Glen Ellyn, is as powerful as ever with Sean Farmer, Robbie Murphy and Zac Norvid all appearing on the Fab 50. New Trier, out of the Chicago north shore suburb of Winnetka, has Niko Gjaja and Billy Fauntleroy. As this story was completed, both Glenbard West and New Trier were a win away from playing in the state finals tournament in Illinois.
In terms of club prominence on the Fab 50 list, Southern California-based Balboa Bay tops the list with seven Fab 50 selections, while HP STL out of St. Louis checks in with five. Manhattan Beach Surf and 949, both of out Southern California, each had four, while upstate New York-based Eden and the suburban Chicago Sports Performance and Adversity clubs had three selections each.
In addition to asking the panel of Division I-II coaches each year for their Fab 50 votes, they also are asked to rank the top five players in the senior class. Here are the top five in the graduating class of 2017 who will 2018 college-season freshmen:
1. Jaylen Jasper (6-7, OH, Annapolis VBC, Stanford)
2. Joel Schneidmiller (6-6, OH, Bay to Bay VBC, UC Irvine)
3. Adam Parks (6-4, S, Spectrum VBC, UCLA)
4. Sam Lewis (6-10, MB, Team Rockstar, USC)
5. Gage Worsley (6-2, Libero, Pacific Rim VBC, Hawaii)
2017 VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50
Name, Ht., Pos., High School, Club, College
Colin Bailey, 6-6, OH-RS, Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.), Rise (Thousand Oaks, CA), UCLA
Will Bantle, 6-5, OH, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.), MB Surf, Penn State
Kade Bontrager, 5-11 1/2, OH-Libero, Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.), HP STL, IPFW
Ben Chinnici, 6-3, OH, Pennridge (Perkasie, Pa.), Club Lehigh, Ball State
Ryan DeWeese, 6-5, RS, Natomas Prep (Sacramento, Calif.), NCVC, Northridge
Clay Dickinson, 6-7, OH, Corna del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa Bay, USC
Sean Farmer, 6-3, S, Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Sports Performance, UC Irvine
Billy Fauntleroy, 6-7, OH-MB, New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.), Adversity, USC
Noah Franklin, 6-6, OH, Huntington Beach (Calif.), Team Rockstar, USC
Gabriel Garcia, 6-5, RS, St. Francis School (Carolina, P.R.), Borinquen Coqui, BYU
Alex Gettinger, 6-3, OH, Lafayette (Wildwood, Mo.), HP STL, Pepperdine
Niko Gjaja, 6-3, S, New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.), Adversity, Princeton
Chris Hall, 6-2, S, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), MB Surf, USC
Mitch Haly, 6-7, MB, Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa Bay, USC
Zach Hendrickson, 6-0, Libero, Saint Xavier (Louisville, Ky.), Louisville Fury, BYU
Leo Henken, 6-5, OH-RS, University (St. Louis, Mo.), HP STL, Stanford
Will Hippe, 6-7, MB, DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.), HP STL, Ball State
Jess Hunt, 6-4, OH, San Clemente (Calif.), 949, Princeton
Taylor Ittner, 6-4, S, Placer (Meadow Vista, Calif.), NCVC, Northridge
Kirk Jackson, 6-7, MB, Fort Zumwalt West (O’Fallon, Mo.), HP STL, McKendree
Jaylen Jasper, 6-7, OH, Broadneck (Annapolis, Md.), Annapolis, Stanford
Devin Joslyn, 6-6, OH, Canisius (Buffalo, N.Y.), Eden, Loyola
Joe Kenzinger, 6-6, MB, Brother Rice (Chicago, Ill.), Ultimate, Lewis
Thomas Kovanic, 6-8, OH, West Aurora (Aurora, Ill.), Sports Performance, Loyola
Spencer Lawrence, 6-4, MB, Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa, Ohio State
Sam Lewis, 6-10, MB, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, Team Rockstar, USC
Grant Maleski, 6-9, MB, Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.), Adversity, UCLA
Jake Meyer, 6-4, MB, Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa Bay, USC
Marc Moody, 6-7, MB, Lake Nona (Orlando, Fla.), Ocean Bay, Long Beach State
Robbie Murphy, 6-5, OH, Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Hitmen, Ohio State
Zac Norvid, 6-1, Libero, Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Sports Performance, Pepperdine
Spencer Olivier, 6-6, OH, Beckman (Tustin, Calif.), Balboa Bay, Long Beach State
Ian Parish, 6-9, MB, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.), MB Surf, UCLA
Adam Parks, 6-4, S, Oak Park (Calif.), Rise (Thousand Oaks, CA), UCLA
Henry Payne, 6-4, OH, Clarence (N.Y.), Eden, Penn State
Cole Paxson, 5-10, Libero, Laguna Beach (Calif.), Balboa Bay, USC
Garland Peed, 6-1, S-Libero, Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.), Coast, UCLA
Aaron Plaisted, 6-3, OH, Wauwatosa (Wis.) East, Milwaukee, McKendree
Kyler Presho-Hartung, 6-8, MB, San Clemente (Calif.), 949, Stanford
Carlos Rivera, 6-3, S, Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa Bay, Long Beach State
Griffin Schmit, 6-5, RS, Canisius (Buffalo, N.Y.), Eden, Harvard
Joel Schneidmiller, 6-6, OH, Saratoga (Calif.), Bay to Bay, UC Irvine
Christian Seiber, 6-5, RS-OH, Cathedral (San Diego, Calif.), Coast, UCSB
Charlie Siragusa, 6-8, OH-RS, McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.), 949, BYU
Trent Williams , 6-2 OH, Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 949, NA (previous Cal Baptist)
Gage Worsley, 6-2, Libero, Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.), Pacific Rim, Hawaii
Garrett Zolg, 6-3, S, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), The HBC, Loyola
JP Reilly, 6-4, OH-RS, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.), MB Surf, Stanford
Spencer Wickens, 6-0, Libero, McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.), Pace, Pepperdine
Zevan Williams, 6-4, RS-MB, Clovis (Calif.), Pacific Rim, UC Irvine
Boys 30 Underclassmen to Watch List
Name, Ht., Pos., Year, High School, Club, College
Tim Baldwin, 6-6, OH, Jr., Oak Park (Calif.), Rise, BYU
Jonny Bowles, 6-7, RS, Jr., Chandler (Ariz.), Aspire, UC Irvine
Brandon Browning, 6-4, OH, Jr., Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), 949, USC
Sam Burgi, 6-3, OH-RS, Jr., Laguna Beach (Calif.), 949, UCLA
Max Cajuste, 6-3, OH-RS, Jr., Mira Coasta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), MB Surf, NA
Matt Coplen, 6-8, MB-RS, Jr., University (St. Louis, Mo.), HP STL, NA
Joe D’Attomo, 6-6, MB, Jr., New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.), Adversity, NA
James Hartley, 6-5, OH, Soph., Marvin Ridge (Waxhaw, N.C.), Carolina Union, NA
Cole Johnson, 6-6, S-OH, Jr., Central York (York, Pa.), Yorktowne, NA
Kevin Kauling, 6-7, S, Soph., Neuqua Valley (Naperville, Ill.), Sports Performance, NA
Kevin Kobrine, 6-3, RS, Jr., Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), 949, UCLA
Andrew Lyons, 6-5, OH, Jr., Maury (Norfolk, Va.), Coastal, NA
JT Martin, 6-7, MB, Jr., Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Ocean Bay, NA
Daniel Matheney, 6-4, MB-OH, Jr., Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.), Rockstar, NA
Andrew McSweeney, 6-3, OH, Jr., Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo, Calif.), 949, UCSB
Kyle Merchen, 6-3, S-RS, Jr., Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.), Mountain View, NA
Parker Mikesch, 5-11, Libero-S-OH, Jr., Beavercreek (Ohio), Vanguard, Ohio State
Jerod Nelson, 6-5, OH, Jr., Saint Francis (Mountain View, Calif.), MVVC, NA
Patrick Paragas, 6-0, S, Jr., Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), 949, NA
Cole Pender, 6-3, OH, Jr., Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.), Balboa Bay, UCLA
Diego Perez, 6-0, Libero, Jr., Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, Calif.), 949, NA
Sean Ryan, 6-3, OH, Jr., Lyons Township (LaGrange, Ill.), Adversity, NA
Buddy Scott, 6-6, S, Jr., Punahou (Honolulu, Hawaii), MVVC, NA
Scott Solan, 6-7, RS, Soph., Palo Verde (Las Vegas, Nev.), Vegas United, NA
Jacob Steele, 6-8, OH, Jr., El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.), Balboa Bay, Pepperdine
Ethan Talley, 6-7, RS, Jr., Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.), 949, Ohio State
Matthew Tompkins, 6-2, OH, Soph., Trinity (Euless, Texas), HP STL, Ohio State
Ryan Wilcox, 6-3, OH, Jr., Punahou (Honolulu, Hawaii), Spike and Serve VBC, UCSB
Brett Wildman, 6-5, OH-RS-S, Jr., Cox (Virginia Beach, Va.), Coastal, NA
In the original version of this list, Garrett Halsey of Anaheim, Calif., was incorrectly listed as a junior. He is a senior headed to BYU.
Reid Priddy's Bold Attempt to Hack The Beach--And Make His Fifth Olympics
By Storms Reback, flovolleyball.tv
Thursday, May 18, 2017
It was the storybook ending to a storybook career. With the U.S. men's national volleyball team down two sets to none against Russia in the bronze medal match of the 2016 Olympics, 38-year-old Reid Priddy came off the bench and led his team to a five-set victory.
After playing in four Olympic Games and earning two medals, Priddy could have retired from the sport and instantly been enshrined as a national hero. Instead, he decided to shift his focus to the beach side of the sport while retaining the same ambition that's fueled him for the past 17 years: to make the U.S. Olympic team.
Priddy isn't the first volleyball player from the national indoor team to switch to beach volleyball. Karch Kiraly, John Hyden, and Kerri Walsh Jennings have all done it. Making the transition is fairly common because sand is so much easier on the body, particularly the legs, in comparison to hard courts.
That doesn't mean it's easy.
I'M GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT MY WAY
Indoor volleyball and beach volleyball are so dissimilar they're considered entirely different sports by those who play them. Besides the obvious distinction--the playing surface--the weight of the ball, the size of the court, the number of players, the length of matches, and the atmospheric conditions are all different.
Having played plenty of beach volleyball in his career--he'd played in 27 AVP events prior to this season--Priddy wasn't bothered by any of that. "When I started playing volleyball, I aspired to be a beach player, not an indoor player," he said during a recent phone conversation. "I'd always wanted to play beach, and so after every Olympics, I'd play a few events."
As Priddy attempts to make the switch, he's experienced many of the difficulties you'd expect--adjusting to a new surface, searching for a partner, figuring out which role he's best suited for--but he hadn't accounted for one problem. "The most difficult part for me is that I've lived 15 years as a professional [volleyball player] with high infrastructure," he said. "I was surrounded by great coaches, players, stat people, video people. It was very difficult for me during this offseason to see the state of beach volleyball, just the lack of infrastructure. A lot of beach players love that autonomy, but I'm just not used to it."
Faced with the prospect of having to conform to a system that didn't jibe with the one he'd grown accustomed to, Priddy made a bold decision: He would create an entirely new one. "Around January, it hit me: 'If I really want to accomplish what I want to accomplish, then I'm going to have to do it my way. Instead of trying to relearn a different way, let's just create the way that I know,'" he said. "That led me to look into creating my own infrastructure and surrounding myself with experts so I'm not a one-man show. How are we going to hack beach volleyball in such a short amount of time? It seems to me it takes like 10 years for guys to become great on the beach. How do I speed that up and make it three?"
SEARCHING FOR A PARTNER
Most indoor players transitioning to the beach would make finding and committing to a partner their biggest priority, but for now Priddy is making the most of his free agent status. "It's been great because I've been able to play with almost everybody. If I would have locked in with one guy, maybe I'd be better this season, but I'm taking a long view on this. I'm kind of viewing this year as freshman year of college."
One of the first players Priddy teamed up with this season was AVP veteran Stafford Slick while Slick's usual partner Billy Allen was on a Volleyball Vacations trip in Cabo San Lucas. During their time together, Slick was impressed by Priddy's humility in the face of the challenge before him. "For him to be asking me volleyball questions was an interesting role reversal," Slick said. "I think he approached it super well. We created an open dialogue that allowed us to bounce ideas off one another. I didn't feel like I was out of place saying, 'This is exactly what you do.' One of the coolest things about Reid is his willingness to learn. He's a sponge."
Priddy and Slick only got one practice in before playing a single-elimination qualifier in Manhattan Beach, California, which gained them entry into a NORCECA event in La Paz, Mexico in early April. There they lost to a Cuban team they'd beaten in a one-set scrimmage the day before as well as a team from Mexico to get bounced from the tournament. "That was eye-opening for several reasons, one of which was just how quickly the games are over," Priddy said.
"It doesn't feel fast to me anymore because that's what I'm used to, but he's right," Slick said. "The vast majority of matches are done in 35-45 minutes. Occasionally, you'll hit a three-set match that will take an hour, but you're not getting much more time than that. Reid was pretty vocal about how fast he thought it was. 'It just happened so quick,' he said. 'I'm used to having an hour and a half to analyze what a team is doing, then being able to adjust to it and capitalize on it.'"
Priddy was also still in the process of figuring out which role he was best suited for on the court. "Am I a split blocker?" he said. "Am I a defender? Am I right side or left side?"
During their time together, Priddy played defense while Slick blocked.
When it came time to choose a partner for the AVP Huntington Beach Open in early May, Priddy went with Chaim Schalk, who played for Canada in the 2016 Olympics. They'd had casual conversations during the offseason about teaming up on the AVP--as a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, Schalk is eligible to play on the AVP, whereas his usual partner Canadian Ben Saxton is not--but they didn't commit to doing it until just before the deadline to sign up.
Initially, which roles they would play on the court were unclear, as the natural position for both is defender. "Both of us are big enough, physical enough, and strong enough to do both skills, so we ended up split blocking," Schalk said. "It worked out OK. We made a lot of good plays but maybe not as many as you get when you have someone who's known to be a blocker as the No. 1 option."
Like Slick, Schalk is a beach veteran who could see the areas in which Priddy needs to improve his game. "One of the biggest differences between beach and indoors is that you need to shorten your approach," Schalk said. "You need to jump straight up and down and not do too much broad jumping. It makes such a big difference when you can get out of the sand quickly. He's getting it, but there are moments where he reverts back to his old habits. It's going to take a little bit of time, but I believe he's going to be really, really good. He's on a whole other level mentally and he has all the skills to become a phenomenal beach volleyball player."
Given Priddy's desire to play with and learn from a variety of different partners this season, it should come as no surprise that when he plays in the AVP Austin Open this weekend he'll be doing so with his third partner in as many events: Maddison McKibbin.
NOTHING'S EVER BEEN HANDED TO HIM
Priddy and McKibbin earned a wild card into the main draw of the event in Austin, but Priddy and Schalk weren't so fortunate in Huntington Beach, having to play in the qualifier bracket.
"I had talks with three major players within the AVP that made me think that a wild card was coming, but that didn't happen," Priddy said. "So, yeah, it was surprising. I went through the qualification process and made it onto the tour back in 2000, so I've done that. I don't feel like they would've been giving me a leg up."
He released a barely audible sigh.
"I see it as being consistent with my whole career."
By that Priddy means that nothing in his career has ever been handed to him. He's had to work hard for every bit of success he's had. After enjoying a successful career at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, Priddy was told by officials at the University of Southern California that he would be getting a scholarship--only to have it taken away at the last minute and given to someone else.
Priddy ended up at Loyola Marymount, where he initially struggled with the nuances of passing to the point that it was hurting his self-confidence and the team's chances of winning. During a practice his sophomore year, his coach, Rick McLaughlin, blew up at him. "You know what?" McLaughlin yelled. "I'm never going to sub you out, so if you suck, you're just going to have to deal with it." Inspired to work even harder, Priddy went on to become a three-time All-American.
After making the national team for the 2004 Olympics, Priddy discovered that the team's coach, Doug Beal, shared his philosophy. After the team suffered several tough losses in the run-up to the Olympics, Beal addressed the sense of entitlement he felt the players possessed, telling them, "You don't just get to win." Those words had a profound effect on Priddy. "That's when I really started to appreciate the fact that there are 12 teams in the Olympics, 144 different players who all have childhood dreams of succeeding, and once you get there, everything's up for grabs," Priddy said. "You have to get out there and grind and fight."
Perhaps the biggest test of Priddy's resolve came in 2014, when he tore the ACL in his right knee during an FIVB World League match in Bulgaria. If the injury had occurred just a couple days before, he might have retired, but the match he'd played the night before the injury reminded him why putting in all the hard work to rehab his knee would be worth it. "We lost the first two sets, and we just stayed steady and calm and collected, and we ended up winning in five," he said. "I remember hearing [head coach] John [Speraw] say that that was one of his favorite matches of the quad because it showed our competitive composure, and I saw exactly where I fit with that team. I could be the guy who steadies the ship when the ship needs steadying. If I don't have that experience, then maybe I move on. But having had that night, it was clear to me that Rio was a worthy focus."
In the days leading up to his knee surgery, Priddy went to church and prayed. "Lord, would you heal my knee?" Emanating from what he describes as an "inaudible voice," he heard the words, "The miracle that I will do will be far greater." He went on to make the roster of the national team that went to Rio, but prior to the medal round, his Olympic experience in 2016 was limited to playing just eight points against Canada. When his team lost to Italy in the semifinals, he was forced to ask himself a simple but important question: "Was it worth it?"
"Once I started to take inventory, it was very clear to me that the two years were an absolute success," he said. "My knee and my body were as strong as they'd ever been. I'd formed all these new, deep relationships with my teammates. My wife and I had a new baby girl. I was wearing the same No. 8 jersey, but it wasn't the same person filling that jersey. Going through all these experiences had formed a different person. That's when the idea of 'far greater' really started to come full circle."
For the bronze medal match against Russia, Priddy wrote "Far" on one of his shoes and "Greater" on the other and inhabited what he called a "space of gratitude."
"I entered that day ready to win or lose, to play or not play," he said. "None of it mattered because I knew that far greater things had taken place, that a miracle of a changed heart had occurred. So when my number got called, I was more in the moment than I've ever been in my career. I was thankful and grateful, and I was able to play to the best of my ability that day."
After entering the game, Priddy led his team from a two-set deficit to a five-set victory, surprising everyone but himself. "For me, it felt natural," he said. "That's the arena I'm used to: high stakes, unknown outcomes, and being the underdog."
PLAYING TO HIS MAX POTENTIAL
Priddy brought that same underdog mentality with him to the AVP qualifier at Huntington Beach, where he did his best to turn a potential negative (having to play four matches just to get into the main bracket of the tournament) into a positive. "We're going to play some great teams on Thursday," he said beforehand. "I hope we stay in this tournament long enough to get a bunch of usable information to take forward. I'm absolutely not focused on Huntington Beach. I'm focused on Tokyo and trying to build out a four-year plan."
Pirddy and Schalk won their first three matches. "We did some really good things together and played some strong matches and were getting better and better," Schalk said. "When we were on and we were a little bit fresher, we were really, really tough to deal with. For our third and fourth matches, it was super windy. It changes everything, but it can work for you or it can work against you. In the third match, we played a strong team and we dealt with it okay."
After Priddy and Schalk lost their fourth match of the qualifier to Branden Clemens and Ben Vaught, Schalk didn't blame the wind as much as the daunting task of having to win four matches in a row. "We were both really fatigued going into the match," Schalk said. "I think we pretty much hit the wall, energy-wise, and were battling just to get through each play."
Having to play four matches in a single day would be tough for any player on the tour, but when you're 39 years old the scrutiny surrounding your fitness level grows even more intense. When asked if Priddy's age had factored into their losses in La Paz in any way, Slick laughed at the notion. "When Reid came out and said, 'I'm going to make a run at beach,' a lot of his critics were like, 'How are you going to be able to compete? You're 39," Slick said. "For you to get into the beach game now is not even realistic physically.' But, dude, he flies and smashes balls, and then he's like, 'I can't believe it's over. We only played for half an hour.'"
Anyone who doubts Priddy's ability to keep up with the younger guys on the tour needs only hear him talk about his experience at the 2004 Olympics. "Being on this side of my career, I look back and I notice a very consistent theme and that is that there's been some really great wins but it's the losses that would come to define my career," Priddy said. "We had an epic win in the quarterfinals in Athens. We were down two sets to one, and it was 21-12 in the fourth set for Greece, and 15,000 Greek fans were all singing and dancing because they thought it was over. We clawed our way back and won in overtime in the fifth. Then we got spanked by Brazil 3-0, and in the bronze medal match we got spanked by Russia and I got subbed out halfway through and I remember sitting on the bench thinking that I literally had nothing left to give. I had given everything. That was when I vowed that I would never let physical fitness be a hindrance in my career."
Having said that, Priddy admits that he's been able to play at such a high level for so long because he's become more efficient, relying less on his physical skills and more on his mental ones. This is what he means when he talks about playing to his "max potential," which he describes in-depth in his recently released e-book "Max Potential Playbook."
"I've learned the probability of volleyball," he said. "I know the numbers in most situations and how to make the best decisions. The best decision might be an open hand tip right over the block. In those ways, my efficiency numbers are better. I was a much better out-of-system attacker at the end [of my indoor career]. I was always pretty effective in-system, but I was never the best high ball hitter. Having to go through the knee surgery and come back without a 42-inch vertical, I had to find new ways to kill the ball. Once I developed the skill of utilizing the block and playing against the blocker versus trying to avoid the block and play the defender, it became an easier game. At that point, you're almost playing a rigged game."
THE OLYMPICS ARE ADDICTING
Priddy readily acknowledges that what he's attempting to do is "a long play." But given the heights his career has taken him to, he's not setting the bar any lower for himself than representing the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.
To help turn his dream into a reality, he's formed what he calls a "mini national beach super team" to assist him in speeding up the learning curve he now faces. "We have the best stat person in the world," Priddy said. "I've got one of the best athletic trainers that I've ever worked with. Our first consultant is one of the best that's ever played beach volleyball." He also plans on taking an RV from one AVP stop to the next, filming his matches, and having data analysts break down the footage afterward.
Priddy is able to do all of this thanks to his long career overseas, playing in pro leagues in Italy, South Korea, Greece, Russia, and Turkey. The average player on the AVP tour can't afford to do the same, but Priddy's efforts may be the tide that raises all boats. "Hopefully, the idea takes off and changes the way it is in the U.S.," Schalk said. "Maybe that's what beach volleyball is missing, the professional side of it. I think him doing that could help show what this game could look like."
As much satisfaction as Priddy would get from improving the infrastructure of the sport, his ultimate goal remains representing his country at the 2020 Olympics. The people best qualified to judge his chances of doing so--those he's already teamed up with--like his chances, albeit with a few caveats.
"I've wanted to make the Olympics for the last eight years," Slick said. "But Phil [Dalhausser] and Jake [Gibb] are just gnarly. They've been dominant in the U.S. for the last 10 years. As a defender, there might be more of an opportunity for Reid. He doesn't have any physical limitations that would prevent him from doing it. The biggest hurdle is getting points. The infrastructure of beach isn't conducive to somebody going from zero points to the Olympics."
Schalk identified similar obstacles in Priddy's path but was optimistic about Priddy's chances of overcoming them. "He's going to have to work really hard and keep grinding away and working on his game," Schalk said. "Tokyo is four years away, so he's got a little time. He definitely has the work ethic and the drive to do it. He's got the mental edge, and he's a physical freak, too. So he's got the package. It's just going to be about putting it all together. It's definitely not going to be easy, but I like his chances."
When asked about his motivation, Priddy painted a portrait of a man looking to retain a high he'd been riding for nearly two decades. "The Olympics are addicting," he admitted. "I'm drawn to that high-stakes competition. I'm not going to have this chance the rest of my life, so if there's even a remote chance that it's possible, why not try?"
CAL BAPTIST DISCONTINUES MEN'S VOLLEYBALL
Monday, May 8, 2017
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – California Baptist University is discontinuing its men's volleyball program, effective immediately, as CBU prepares for a previously announced move to the Western Athletic Conference and NCAA Division I status, university officials announced Monday.
Director of Athletics Dr. Micah Parker also announced plans to add women's beach volleyball as an intercollegiate sport in the near future.
"Decisions to discontinue a program are never easy," Parker stated. "As we look at the long-term future of our athletics department, however, we feel this decision is needed based on budgetary and competitive factors as CBU moves toward D-I status."
Parker said CBU will honor scholarships for student-athletes affected by the decision. Current players with scholarships will have the option of receiving their scholarships until their eligibility would have elapsed. Incoming recruits have the option of accepting their scholarship offer for one year. CBU also is honoring official summer school scholarship offers for this summer.
Men's volleyball student-athletes who choose to remain students at CBU will continue to have access to current Academic and Sports Medicine facilities, Parker said. Otherwise, CBU will release current men's volleyball student-athletes who choose to transfer to other schools.
"We want to do whatever we can do to help our men's volleyball student-athletes continue their athletic and academic careers, whether that be finishing their academic degrees at CBU or at another institution," he added.
Parker said no schedule has been set for CBU to begin women's beach volleyball, which he described as an emerging NCAA sport that is growing in popularity.
MIVA rules NCAA men: Ohio State wins again, overpowers BYU
By Mike Miazga, volleyballmag.com
Sunday, May 7, 2017
The Buckeyes celebrate the victory/Ohio State Athletics photo by Walt Middleton
The National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship trophy doesn’t have to relocate.
No. 1 Ohio State, playing at home in front of 8,205 fans at St. John’s Arena in Columbus, Ohio, secured its second straight national crown with a 25-19, 25-20, 25-22 victory Saturday over BYU.
It was Ohio State’s third NCAA title since 2011 and the Buckeyes represent the fourth NCAA title in a row won by teams from the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association and fifth in seven years.
Ohio State also is the third straight school to win back-to-back titles, joining the MIVA’s Loyola (2014-2015) and UC Irvine of the MPSF (2012-2013).
“It’s incredibly special, especially for the seniors,” said Ohio State senior setter Christy Blough. “I don’t think we can go out on a better note than that. Doing it in front of this crowd was pretty amazing.”
Ohio State finished the season 32-2. BYU, which also lost to Ohio State in the 2016 finale at Penn State, ended 26-5.
“The first thing we need to talk about is the program of BYU,” said Ohio State coach Pete Hanson. “What a wonderful program they have. It takes a lot to get to this point in this tournament and clearly they know how to work at it. We beat a very good volleyball team. Hats off to (coach) Shawn Olmstead’s staff and all his players. It was a good match for the Buckeyes. To do what we did back to back is pretty darned special for this group of young men.”
Ohio State’s Nicolas Szerszen was named tournament most outstanding player. He was joined on the all-NCAA tournament team by teammates Christy Blough, Driss Guessous, Maxime Hervoir and Blake Leeson. BYU’s Brenden Sander and Hawaii’s Stijn van Tilburg also made the team.
“Before the tournament started, coach Hanson talked about each game that we progress to needs to be our best game,” said Blough. “Without a doubt this was our best game of the season. It makes it easy when the passers are passing well. It puts a lot of pressure on the other team. We also swung out of some bad situations. This was our best performance of the season.”
And it was a performance that occurred in front of a huge Ohio State fan turnout.
“The second thing we need to acknowledge is Buckeye Nation,” said Hanson. “They were off the charts tonight. Eight thousand people here to watch these guys play volleyball has never happened before in this community. The student-athletes on both sides deserved that. I’m so happy for them that they got to experience this environment.”
Szerszen, the 2016 AVCA national player of the year, had 16 kills, hit .480 and had eight digs for the Buckeyes against BYU. He was one of four Ohio State players to hit .400 or better.
“It helps with 6,000 people cheering for you in the gym,” said Szerszen, estimating the number of Ohio State fans in the building. “When you hear all the people, you want to do it for them because they came out to see us play.”
Szerszen said his team was focused in the finale.
“Throughout the season we had two matches we lost due to a lack of focus or relaxing,” he said. “I think the last match was the one we had to push. We had to finish it. We can never release the focus. We had to stay focused the whole game and push as hard as we can.”
Hervoir had 12 points, including 10 kills and four block assists. He also hit .471 on 17 swings.
Ohio State hit only .148 in the opener, but then hit .448 and .480 the rest of the way. Blough registered 35 assists in the contest.
The Buckeyes trailed 7-6 in the first set, but went on a 12-3 run and pulled away. Miles Johnson had six kills for Ohio State in the second set, while Hervoir and Szerszen each had four kills in the frame. Ohio State never trailed in the second set.
In the finale it was all Szerszen who had nine kills in 12 attempts, while Hervoir had four kills on five swings. BYU hit .455 in the third set. Szerszen put down a kill on match point.
Jake Langlois led BYU with eight kills, while Sander had seven kills and Tim Dobbert had five. BYU hit .243. Leo Durkin dished out 24 assists, while Ben Patch had three aces. Durkin and Patch each had four digs.
“Congratulations to Ohio State on an outstanding season and a great performance tonight,” said BYU’s Olmstead. “They definitely played a better volleyball match than we did tonight.
“It’s tough. I feel for our guys. I wish it was a different result. It’s life and it’s sport and those things are hard at times. How we handle those losses will show a lot about us and each one of these young men. They stayed out there and shook Ohio State’s hand and acknowledged the champions tonight and that was Ohio State.”
Durkin said Ohio State excelled in getting the Cougars off the net.
“They do a great job serving the ball hard and in seams,” he said. “Most of the time when we were on the net we were siding out at a high efficiency. It was a matter of us being on the net more.”
Durkin was proud of how his team competed until the end.
“The guys weren’t rattled,” he said. “We fought to the end. They did a great job. It sucks. You want opportunities. We were given great opportunities collectively as a group and we weren’t able to capitalize on them and stop them.”
BYU middle blocker Price Jarman added: “Ohio State is a tough team. They have really good players at different positions. We had to make choices on who to defend and try to take away.”
Jarman reflected on playing Ohio State for the second year in a row.
“They were pretty good last year too,” he said. “Last year was heartbreaking. We went in last year if we played our best and we would be the best team. That wasn’t the case. We focused this year on trying to be better. We kept them off the net a lot more this year than last year, but they also got even better at serving. It’s impressive and you respect their ability to do that and I don’t want to say this one stings less than last year. We felt more like underdogs coming into this one knowing how good they are and now we both get to stick around.
“Going forward we figured out we have to get a lot better at serving and now we have to get better at passing and maybe next year with both of those things figured out we’ll be OK.”
Of note, Ohio State assistant coach Kevin Burch has won an NCAA title in seven consecutive years. Burch also was part of the 2011 Ohio State team that won the NCAA title, was part of the Springfield College teams in 2012 and 2014 that won NCAA Division III titles, was part of the UC Irvine staff when the Anteaters won the title in 2013 and was part of the Penn State women’s staff when the Nittany Lions won the 2015 crown.
Also, in the postseason involving the four conference and NCAA tournament, there were only four instances in which a lower-seeded team won a match and in all four cases a No. 3 beat a No. 2. That included BYU beating Long Beach State in the semifinals.
Jerry Sullivan: Gleason's coaching odyssey winds up at Daemen
By Jerry Sullivan, Buffalo News
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Daemen introduced Don Gleason as their new mens volleyball coach Friday. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)
Money? Coaching volleyball has never been about the money. Back in the spring of 2013, Don Gleason worked as a volunteer assistant at USC. On his way back home to Buffalo from California, the Hamburg native worked half a dozen or more camps along the way.
Denver, Illinois, Purdue University, Bowling Green ... it was the journey of a lifetime for a young volleyball junkie. As Gleason made his way across the country, his love for the sport expanded as his wallet grew progressively thinner.
"When I got back to Buffalo, my bank account was negative-," Gleason said Friday after being introduced as the head coach for the Daemen men's team. "That's something I look back on fondly. Summer of 2013."
By then, Gleason knew that coaching was his calling. Two years earlier, he had earned his master's degree from RIT in industrial engineering. He had a 4.0 GPA. He had college loans. What he didn't have was the drive to be an engineer.
During his graduate year in college, at 22, he had begun coaching club volleyball in Rochester. He would spend four hours a week with the kids in practices and tournaments. During class, he'd be engineering practice plans in his head.
"It kind of dawned on me, 'Why am I so passionate about something that I'm only spending four hours a week on?' " Gleason said. " 'Maybe it's time to reassess this.' "
Sure, he could make more money if he put his RIT degree to use. Starting industrial engineers earn about ,000 a year. He was bright and had the mind for it. But the people he encountered in coaching seemed to smile more than people in the real world.
He told his folks about his career "pivot" away from engineering to coaching. The natural concerns about finances gave way to the joy any parent feels in knowing a child has found his true passion in life.
"I was all for it, absolutely," said his mother, Kelly. "I want them to do what they love. You get older and you learn that that's important. Very important."
Don Gleason Sr. would sometimes needle his boy, saying "Do you know how much money you could be making now?"
"On the flip side, I've seen too many people miserable at work for 30 or 40 years," Don Sr. said. "Chase it, you know? He's always been great on the court – point guard, setter, helping out the other guys on the court."
So Gleason chased the dream hard. Like any novice coach, he toiled in the small places. He spent a year as a men's and women's assistant at Medaille, two years as women's assistant at Yale, then a year each with the women at UB and Stony Brook.
He was close to a couple of head jobs, barely losing out. This past season, he assisted Stephanie Albano with the Daemen women's team that reached the Sweet 16 of the Division II Tournament.
Finally, he got his big chance. Daemen announced early this week that it will be adding a men's volleyball team, which will begin competition in NCAA Division II in the 2018-19 season. Gleason is their new head coach.
"I kept the faith, stayed patient, and this opportunity is more than I could have asked for," Gleason said. "Being local, being from Buffalo, being able to work on the men's side of volleyball. For everything to fall into place, and so quickly, it's really exciting."
It's a great opportunity for Gleason, and for Western New York volleyball. Daemen becomes the first college in the area to offer the men's game – and the lure of scholarship money – above the Division III level. In fact, they're the only such program in New York State.
Gleason said the local volleyball community has long been "perplexed" by the lack of a men's program in a hotbed for the sport. Western New York turns out a lot of major college players. Matt Anderson, one of the best players on the planet and a two-time Olympian, is from West Seneca.
Ohio State, which played Brigham Young for the NCAA title on Saturday, has two players from the area. Christy Blough of McQuaid is the Buckeyes' setter. Hamburg grad Zach Yerington is a redshirt freshman. There's a long list of locals who have gone to college careers.
"There are so many players right now out of Buffalo and Rochester who are playing at high-level programs," Gleason said. "I have to assume that with this opportunity, some of them would have loved to stay local and would have appreciated the opportunity to play at Daemen."
Expanding opportunity has been Bridget Niland's vision since becoming athletic director in 2014. A year later, Daemen went to D-II. Niland said sports keep a campus "full and robust." She said the percentage of athletes at the college has increased threefold since 2010.
Niland said the announcement of a men's volleyball program – the school's 17th sport – and Gleason's hiring was a nice conclusion to an "incredible week" for Daemen. On Thursday, NCAA president Mark Emmert spoke in a town hall in the school gym.
The men's volleyball program got a ,000 boost from the MotorMVB Foundation, a national organization that is dedicated to increasing the number of DI and DII men's teams and the scholarship money for those programs.
Anderson, who played against Gleason in high school and on the club level, helped by writing a letter of support to the college.
"I reached out to Matt, and he was very responsive, surprisingly," Gleason said. "He was in the middle of his playoff push in Russia. He definitely had his finger in this, helping to get this opportunity."
Gleason will have time to put together a new program. The Wildcats won't debut until January 2019, so he has a year to prepare and to recruit 12 to 15 players for the 2018-19 school year.
"I promise I won't leave any rock unturned," he said. "It's going to start right in Buffalo and Rochester. There's plenty of talented kids in that junior class.
"It's been a long six years of paying my dues and earning my stripes. To have it culminate here today is fantastic. It reassures me that if you follow what your passion is, you're going to find your way."
Daemen Announces Addition Of Men's Volleyball Team
,000 Grant From MotorMVB To Help Establish Program; Gleason Named Head Coach
Mike Miranto, Associate A.D. For Communications
Friday, March 5, 2017
AMHERST, N.Y. - Daemen College officials have announced the addition of men's volleyball to the stable of teams sponsored by the college for intercollegiate athletic competition. The official announcement was made at a press conference held on campus today at Lumsden Gymnasium, the future home of the Daemen men's volleyball team which will begin competition during the 2018-19 academic year.
In addition, it was announced that a ,000 grant from the MotorMVB Foundation was attained to aide in the establishment of Daemen's program. The MotorMVB Foundation (www.MotorMVB.com) is a non-profit organization that's mission is to stimulate the growth of boys' and men's volleyball at all levels in the United States. While there are presently 188 collegiate programs nationwide, the organization's goal is to help fund an increase to 380 programs by the start of the 2026-27 academic year. The foundation's ,000 grant will be dispersed over a three-year period.
"We are beyond excited to be adding men's volleyball to the sports offered here at Daemen College," said director of athletics Bridget Niland. "In researching ways that Daemen Athletics can continue to have a positive impact on the college's enrollment, it became evident that establishing a men's volleyball program is an avenue worth pursuing. With that being said, I don't think we could have acted this quickly without the great partnership we've built with MotorMVB. I want to thank them for their ongoing guidance and support as we work to bring another quality NCAA Division II program into our coffers."
"Thanks to the generosity of passionate volleyball donors, we are pleased to provide support to Daemen College. The leadership at Daemen has really impressed us and we are convinced that Bridget Niland and Coach Gleason will guide a thriving men's volleyball program for many years to come," said Wade Garard, CEO of MotorMVB Foundation. "Our foundation board chairman John Speraw always says there is nothing more important than providing opportunities for the young people of this country. We are pleased to be able to help do this for boys in Western New York and from across the country who will come to Daemen and enjoy a meaningful student-athlete experience."
Along with the formation of the program and the MotorMVB investment, the hiring of Don Gleason as the team's first head coach was announced today. Gleason, who assisted on coach Stephanie Albano's staff with the Daemen women's volleyball team during its run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season, brings a wealth of experience to the position with previous coaching stops at the Division I and Division III levels. The Hamburg, N.Y. native has been an assistant coach on the women's volleyball staffs at Stony Brook University (2015), the University at Buffalo (2014) and Yale University (2012-13). He got his start as an assistant for both the men's and women's programs at Medaille College in 2011, and later spent the spring of 2013 as a volunteer assistant at the University of Southern California. In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Gleason has extensive ties to the club volleyball scene, and he owns and operates Oasis Beach Volleyball Club for boys and girls ages 10-18.
"I am humbled and honored to be a part of this groundbreaking announcement," said Gleason. "It's truly a great day to be a Daemen Wildcat, and I'm very much looking forward to bringing a new and exciting level of men's collegiate volleyball to Western New York. In many ways, this feels like the culmination of so many efforts, but in actuality it's just the beginning. Building a program from scratch brings a whole set of challenges, but through conversations with Mr. Garard and coaches around the country who've gone through this, I couldn't feel more strongly that the time is right for us to do this here at Daemen College. I want to thank Bridget Niland and president Gary Olson for instilling their trust in me to complete the task at hand."
"We are incredibly fortunate to be bringing Don Gleason aboard as our head coach," said Niland. "According to the numbers we've been given, there are 55,000 high school-aged boys playing volleyball in our country, a good chunk of those right here in New York State and Western New York. I have the fullest confidence that Don is the right fit to recruit those student-athletes to Daemen, and to build this program from the ground up."
Daemen will become just the 27th NCAA Division II men's volleyball program in the country, and the only present team North of the Mason-Dixon Line. NCAA Division II programs compete with their Division I counterparts for the national collegiate championship, and Division III opponents will likely be included in the schedule as well, according to Niland. Daemen will begin as an independent with an eye on joining a conference like the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association somewhere down the line. Daemen received letters of support in this endeavor from the afore-mentioned John Speraw, chairman of the MotorMVB Foundation board and head coach of the United States Men's National Team, and from Men's National Team member and Western New York native Matt Anderson.
"We understand the complexities of competing as an independent NCAA Division II program," said Niland. "We've weighed such factors as scholarship funding, scheduling, travel and operating costs in making the decision to add this sport. Although the team's scholarship budget is yet to be determined, we believe that being the only scholarship program in the region will give us a leg up on recruiting qualified student-athletes."
"We're going to hit the ground running," added Gleason, who will remain on the Daemen women's volleyball staff as an assistant as well. "There's a lot of work to be done in spreading the word that we have a program, and a lot of kids to get out and see. From my past experience, I've learned that the recruiting trail can be long and winding, but you've got to get yourself out there to see and be seen."
Gleason will have a full calendar year to recruit team members, eyeing those prospective student-athletes in the high school graduating class of 2018. The Daemen men's volleyball team will officially open play sometime in January of 2019.
What People Are Saying About Daemen College Head Men's Volleyball Coach Don Gleason...
"Don is a tremendous young coach with infectious enthusiasm that players love. He is a student of the game, and I believe he has a promising future."
-Erin Appleman, Head Women's Volleyball Coach, Yale University
"I am more than happy to comment on this fine young coach. The players appreciated his delivery and his attitude in practice and worked very hard for him when he was in charge of the gym. There are still a number of us coaches who have coached both men's and women's teams, and Don seems to be from the same stock. His attention to detail, and his love for the game and for coaching make him one of the more experienced up-and-coming young coaches."
-Mick Haley, Head Women's Volleyball Coach, University of Southern California
"Don Gleason has impacted the upstate coaching community on the highest level. From coaching boys on the highest junior level to coaching women's college for Yale and USC. I have know him from his playing days as a junior and open playing days and he has always has been an overachiever."
-Cal Wickens, Head Men's & Women's Volleyball Coach, Nazareth College
"What a great time for Daemen to be the first D1/D2 men's volleyball program in the state. There is no better fit to lead the program than Western New York's very own Don Gleason. I'm excited about the hire, as I have worked with him both at the University at Buffalo and here at Daemen. I know what he can accomplish here. He has a multitude of experience in both the women's and men's games, so his knowledge about all aspects of the game is off the charts. His passion, drive and commitment will allow him to mold Daemen men's volleyball into a very successful program."
-Stephanie Albano, Head Women's Volleyball Coach, Daemen College
New men's volleyball program could be a perfect fit for Daemen
By Staff, Buffalo News
Thursday, May 4, 2017
U.S. Olympian Matt Anderson tops a long list of elite men’s volleyball talent
produced in Western New York high schools. (Matt A. Brown/ USA Volleyball.
Daemen College will fill a void on the local collegiate sports scene and tap into one of the area's athletic strengths by adding men's volleyball to its varsity sports offerings, the school has announced.
The college will conduct a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Friday, at which time is will introduce Don Gleason as the team's head coach and discuss a ,000 grant from the MotorMVB Foundation that has helped establish the program. Wade Garard, CEO of the Motor MVB Foundation, and Bridget Niland, Daemen director of athletics, also will be in attendance.
Western New York has a history of producing elite volleyball talent at the high school level, headlined by U.S. Olympian Matt Anderson, who played collegiately at Penn State. However, no local collegiate program above the Division III level offered the sport. As a result, top-flight players ventured to out-of-town schools to continue their careers. As a Division II program, Daemen can offer athletic aid that could entice players developed in Western New York to attend college locally.
Men's volleyball becomes Daemen's 17th varsity sport, and the college becomes the 27th Division II institution to offer men's volleyball.
NO. 4 NEW PALTZ FALLS TO NO. 1 SPRINGFIELD 3-1 IN 2017 NCAA TITLE MATCH
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director
Sunday, April 30, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Looking to repeat as NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball champions, the State University of New York at New Paltz fell just short on Sunday, succumbing to host and No. 1 Springfield 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 23-25, 21-25) in a sold-out Blake Arena.
For the Hawks, they conclude the season at 27-9 overall and 0-3 against the Pride this year. In a roller-coaster type campaign, New Paltz was on the verge on not even making the tournament but earned an at-large bid by the selection committee and played with house money throughout the bracket, collecting wins over Kean, No. 2 Vassar and No. 5 Wentworth en route to today's title game.
In the last four seasons, the senior class of Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa), Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), C.J. Borfitz (Inwood, N.Y./Lawrence) and Steve Gassert (Bellmore, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) have put up very impressive numbers and leave their winning legacy with the team.
The quartet helped New Paltz accrue an overall record of 115-21 (.846), a UVC record of 28-6 (.826) with two UVC titles (2014, 2016), four-straight NCAA Semifinal appearances (2014-17) and one NCAA championship (2016) during their careers.
As for the Pride (29-2 overall), the home team collects their 10th overall national title and fourth in NCAA Division III play since the tournament started in 2012 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017).
New Paltz came out firing in the first set and clicked on all cylinders, hitting .300 on way to a 25-22 opening stanza victory. However, Springfield regrouped and claimed the next three sets to close out the national title bout.
Offensively, Roessler led the way with 12 kills and junior Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) followed with 11 terminations and eight digs. Sophomore Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) tallied eight kills while Woessner and Borfitz both provided seven kills apiece.
Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) distributed 41 assists for New Paltz and freshman libero Robert Nolan (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) collected a match-high 16 digs.
The Hawks were dialed in during the first set, jumping out to an 11-8 lead and used two attacking errors by the Pride to go ahead 14-9. Springfield got within two (16-14) before a kill and ace by Woessner handed the Hawks an 18-14 edge. Executions by Schneider and Borfitz extended the New Paltz lead to 22-18 but the Pride would not go away and came to within one (22-21) until another Woessner kill and two more attacking errors by Springfield handed New Paltz the set one victory.
Set two started in favor of New Paltz as the Hawks led in the early stages, 5-2. Again, the Pride rallied and took a 9-7 lead before New Paltz responded and knotted the contest up at 12-12. Trailing 16-14, the Hawks took advantage of three consecutive Pride errors to go ahead 17-16. Tied at 20-all, Springfield used an attacking and serving error to tie the match at 1-1.
A seesaw battle ensued in the third set with neither team claiming more than a two-point lead until Springfield went ahead, 18-15. Following a kill from Bonilla, the Hawks clawed back to within one, 18-17, but again the Pride countered and bounced up 22-19. Kills from Schneider and Woessner brought the Hawks even closer but still trailed, 23-22, as Springfield was able to take control of the match, going up 2-1.
Much like the third set, stanza number four was tight with Springfield going up 10-8 before a 3-0 spurt by New Paltz off three Pride attacking errors gave the Hawks an 11-10 lead, forcing Springfield to call timeout.
Out of the break, the Pride regained the lead 16-13 and later 21-17. As was the story for the entire season, New Paltz would not go down without a fight and battled until the last whistle. Down to match point, 24-19, kills by Bonilla and Roessler brought the Hawks to within three, 24-21. However, a service into the net handed Springfield the 2017 title and 10th overall crown.
NO. 4 NEW PALTZ OUTLASTS NO. 5 WENTWORTH, 3-2, TO ADVANCE TO SECOND STRAIGHT NCAA TITLE MATCH
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director
Saturday, April 29, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Trailing 2-1 with their backs against the wall, the No. 4 men's volleyball program at the State University of New York at New Paltz rallied with a fourth-set win and claimed the fifth set against No. 5 Wentworth to advance to the team's second-straight NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball National Championship match on Saturday evening.
New Paltz (27-8) enjoyed a 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-12) win over the Leopards and will face host No. 1 Springfield in a repeat of last year's title match in which New Paltz won, 3-1. In two meetings this season, the Hawks are 0-2 against the Pride, taking just one set back on March 1.
Springfield has played in every NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball title match since its inception in 2012. The Pride won in 2012, 2013 and 2014 before falling to Stevens in 2015 and New Paltz just last year in Rochester, N.Y., hosted by Nazareth.
With the defeat, the Wentworth Leopards wrap up their season at 28-7 overall. The Leopards were looking for their first ever appearance in the NCAA Finals and made just their second-ever tournament entrance this season.
Three players enjoyed double-digit kill totals for the Hawks, with senior Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) flooring a match-high 18 kills on 29 attempts (.517). Classmate Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) joined with 14 kills, after his 26-kill masterpiece against Vassar yesterday.
Junior Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) tallied 13 kills and came through when the team need it the most, with the match-winning termination in the fifth set to send New Paltz back to the title bout, looking to hoist the trophy once again. Bonilla also provided eight digs, two aces and two blocks.
Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) orchestrated the offense with a match-best 53 assists, just three shy of matching his career high. Classmate Robert Nolan (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) aided the defense with a team-high 10 digs.
Relying on the bench more in this match than ever during the tournament, the Hawks received some solid play and numbers from senior C.J. Borfitz (Inwood, N.Y./Lawrence), freshman Nick O'Malley (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) and sophomore Nick Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa).
New Paltz led 14-11 in the first set following a Grace kill and went ahead 20-14 after an ace from junior Nick Denoncourt (Rochester, N.Y./Penfield) and a kill from sophomore Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport). Executions by Denoncourt and Bonilla handed the Hawks the opener.
Set two was a tale of two runs by both teams. Trailing 11-10, New Paltz countered with a 5-0 run to take a 15-11 lead. However, the Leopards answered right back with an 8-0 spurt of their own to reclaim a 19-15 edge. A late run by the Hawks pulled the Blue & Orange within three (23-20) but Wentworth proved too strong in the second stanza.
In a back-and-forth third set, the Leopards came on top to take a 2-1 lead. Tied at 18-all, Wentworth went on a 4-2 run to take a 22-20 lead. Consecutive kills by Woessner tied the set up at 22 even before a pair of errors down the stretch by New Paltz had the Hawks on the brink of elimination, down 2-1.
In do-or-die mode, the Hawks could not have gotten off to a better start in the fourth period, jumping out to a 9-3 lead following an ace by Bonilla and forcing the Leopards to take a timeout. Wentworth clawed back and got to within two (13-11) and later one (16-15) before three straight attacking errors by the Leopards gave New Paltz a 19-15 advantage. A Woessner kill and several more miscues by Wentworth knotted the match up at 2-2.
In the win-or-go home fifth and final set, both teams were evenly matched and tied at 6-6 before kills from Schneider, Woessner and Borfitz and several more attacking errors by Wentworth gave New Paltz a 10-7 lead. Executions from Bonilla and Roessler increased the edge to 13-10. Leading 14-12 and out of a timeout, Bonilla wound up and spiked the Hawks into their second-straight NCAA title game, winning set five 15-12.
NEW PALTZ SQUEAKS BY KEAN 3-2 IN NCAA FIRST ROUND
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director
Saturday, April 22, 2017
UNION, N.J. – In a back-and-forth contest, the No. 4 men's volleyball team at the State University of New York at New Paltz prevailed over host Kean 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 25-27, 15-13) to advance to the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball quarterfinals on Saturday.
With the victory, New Paltz improves to 25-8 overall and will take on Hudson River rival, UVC foe and No. 2 Vassar in the national quarterfinals next Friday, April 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Springfield College. Kean, meanwhile, ends the season at 26-9.
This will be the third match between New Paltz and Vassar as the programs have split their meetings this season with Vassar winning a 3-2 contest at New Paltz on March 29 before the Hawks knocked off the Brewers in the UVC Semifinals, 3-1, on April 14.
Junior outside hitter Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) led all players with a match-high 17 kills on 29 swings (.414) and provided two digs, two blocks and two aces.
Senior middle blocker Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) followed with 11 kills (.400), five digs, four blocks and four aces. Classmate Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) chipped in 10 kills and four blocks.
Freshman Nick O'Malley (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) contributed eight kills and three digs while sophomore Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) tacked on five kills, three aces and three digs.
Running the offense was freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North), who finished with a match-high 45 assists. Freshman libero Robert Nolan (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) led the defense with 10 digs.
In the first set, the Hawks led 12-9 and again 15-11 and 17-13, which forced Kean to take a timeout. Leading 24-18, the Cougars clawed back to within three (24-21) before a Bonilla kill gave New Paltz the opener, 25-21.
After falling in set two, 25-20, the Hawks bounced back in the third set with a 6-1 lead to begin and would later lead, 13-7. Another Bonilla kill and ace made the contest 19-12 in favor of New Paltz and a pair of Woessner executions gave the Hawks a 22-16 edge en route to the 25-19 win.
Despite leading 10-5 and 13-8 in the fourth, the Cougars battled back and took the set 27-25 to force the final and deciding fifth set to see who would advance in the tournament.
Using the home crowd to their advantage, Kean went ahead 8-4 at the turn of the fifth set. However, a kill by Roessler and several attacking errors by the Cougars knotted the set at 8-8. Bonilla enjoyed a kill to give New Paltz a 12-11 cushion and Hawks used three Kean errors by Kean to escape with the 15-13 win.
Vassar Trio, Springfield's Vega, NYU's Li Highlight ECAC DIII North Men's Volleyball Awards and All-ECAC Teams
Friday, April 21, 2017
DANBURY, Conn. – The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has announced its 2017 Division III North Men’s Volleyball major award recipients and All-ECAC selections.
Matthew Knigge of Vassar College and Luis Vega of Springfield College shared the honor for ECAC North Offensive Player of the Year. Senior Trey Cimorelli, also of Vassar, collected the honor for Defensive Player of the Year, with New York University’s Alex Li garnering the accolade for Rookie of the Year. Vassar’s Richard Gary completed the major awards with the honor for Coach of the Year.
Knigge’s award comes after he won Player of the Year in the United Volleyball Conference (UVC). In 32 matches, the junior middle hitter has posted 334 kills on 602 attempts, good for a .427 attack percentage, and accounted for 454.5 points for the Brewers. Knigge has also posted 160 total blocks to average 1.38 per set thus far, a mark which leads the nation as Vassar prepares for the NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship beginning April 28.
Vega earns ECAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year after serving as an offensive catalyst for the Springfield attack this season and leading the Pride to the top overall seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. In 25 matches during the regular season, the senior amassed 324 kills while wracking up 381 total points in 77 sets played. With the NCAA tournament on the horizon, the outside hitter currently leads the nation in attack percentage (.463) and ranks fifth in the country in points per set (4.95) and kills per set (4.21).
Cimorelli garners ECAC Defensive Player of the Year following a season in which he claimed his second-consecutive UVC Libero of the Year award. The senior appeared in 33 matches for Vassar during the regular season and UVC tournament, compiling 319 digs for an average of 2.73 digs per set. Keyed by two separate five-match streaks with 10 or more digs, Cimorelli was the only player in the UVC to crack the 300-dig mark. He enters the NCAA tournament as the nation’s active career leader in both digs (1,153) and sets played (437).
Li’s ECAC Rookie of the Year honor caps an accolade-filled freshman campaign in which he was named ECAC North Rookie of the Week on four occasions. The rookie outside hitter established himself as a crucial cog in the NYU attack, leading the Violets in multiple offensive categories en route to earning top rookie honors in the UVC. In 25 matches during the regular season and UVC tournament, Li posted 402.5 points, 343 kills and 3.73 kills per set, all of which represented team bests.
For Gary, the honor for ECAC Coach of the Year comes on the heels of leading Vassar to its first-ever regular-season conference title. In his first year at the helm, Gary guided the Brewers to a 26-7 mark during the regular season and conference tournament, including a perfect 8-0 mark in UVC action. Under his guidance, Vassar earned an at-large bid to the NCAA DIII Men’s Volleyball Championship to mark the program’s first appearance in the tournament since the NCAA began sponsoring a championship in 2012.
Co-Offensive Player of the Year
Matthew Knigge – Vassar College, Jr.
Co-Offensive Player of the Year
Luis Vega – Springfield College, Sr.
Defensive Player of the Year
Trey Cimorelli – Vassar College, Sr.
Rookie of the Year
Alex Li – New York University, Fr.
Coach of the Year
Richard Gary – Vassar College
All-ECAC First Team
Matthew Knigge – Vassar College, Jr.
Alex Li – New York University, Fr.
Steven Tarquinio – Hunter College, Sr.
Luis Vega – Springfield College, Sr.
Kyle Jasuta – Springfield College, So.
Luis Garcia Rubio – Springfield College, Sr.
Trey Cimorelli – Vassar College, Sr.
All-ECAC Second Team
Sean Bisnett – Regis College (Mass.), Jr.
Ben Crusinberry – Hunter College, Sr.
Ricardo Padilla Ayala – Springfield College, Jr.
Zechariah Lee – Vassar College, Jr.
Joseph Muir – Hunter College, Jr.
Nicolas Sanchez – Hunter College, Sr.
Eli Irizarry Pares – Springfield College, So.
Bates announces move to UVA women's volleyball program
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va. – After four years of building a strong foundation for the Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team, Head Coach Hudson Bates has announced his resignation and acceptance of an assistant women's volleyball coaching position at the University of Virginia.
"I am forever grateful for the support and opportunities to grow during my time here with this incredible and ever progressing athletic department," Bates said. "I have to thank President Dr. Shank in particular for his support of all athletics throughout the years. It has been an incredible experience getting this program off the ground and none of it would have been possible without the administrative support and the incredibly hard work from the founding athletes throughout the years. I am looking forward to my next endeavor, but will always look back fondly on my time here at Marymount."
Bates joined the Marymount athletic department in 2013, building the program's first team. He transformed a team that went 9-20 the first season to a season-long national ranking and Continental Volleyball Conference regular-season champions this year. Dropping just one league game throughout the season to tally a 13-1 CVC record, the Saints posted the program's best tally in four years, going 19-10 in 2017.
Additionally, he has worked with several All-CVC honorees in junior TJ Wiechecki, who has been named to the team three-straight times including Rookie of the Year. This season, the program set a new mark, landing three Saints on the all-conference team. Wiechecki, who was a three-time CVC Player of the Week and two-time ECAC South Player of the Week, made his third appearance, while senior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz, who was the program's first AVCA All-American last season, earned his spot on it for the second-straight year. Junior setter Erich Bratke, who became the program's first AVCA National Player of the Week, was also named to All-CVC for the first time in his career.
Through the four years, Bates has coached his players to three-straight league playoff appearances including the top seed this season. This year, Marymount worked its way to the No. 8 team in the country, the highest in program history. The success also translates into the classroom, as the team boasts a 3.11 average GPA.
"Hudson has built a great foundation and put us on the map as a nationally ranked program in a very short time," Director of Athletics Jamie Reynolds said. "He leaves the program in a very good place and has set us up for success in the years to come. We thank him for his dedication to starting the program and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."
Bates will be joining recently announced new Head Coach Aaron Smith of UVA's women's volleyball program; Smith was named head coach in February this year.
The two played high school volleyball together in Richmond for Monacan where Bates was a setter on the team and Smith was a hitter.
The Marymount athletic department will be opening an immediate national search for the next head coach of the Saints' men's volleyball program.
NEW PALTZ FALLS TO NO. 10 NYU 3-2 IN 2017 UVC FINALS
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director
Satursday, April 15, 2017
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Looking for back-to-back United Volleyball Conference (UVC) titles, the No. 4 State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team fell just short on Saturday, dropping a 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 24-26, 27-25, 15-9) decision to No. 10 NYU in the finals held at Vassar College.
The No. 4-seeded Hawks now sit at 24-8 overall and will await their fate in the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Tournament, with the selection show on Monday. The No. 2-seeded Violets, meanwhile, move to 18-9 overall, winning their first-ever UVC title and the automatic bid into the tourney.
Despite winning the first set, 25-20, the Hawks allowed NYU to take the next two, falling 25-23 and 26-24 to trail 2-1. New Paltz won a tightly contested fourth set, 27-25, but ran out of steam in the fifth, losing 15-9.
Overall, both senior Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) and junior Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) floored 18 kills apiece to led the New Paltz attack. Roessler provided four digs while Bonilla registered five digs, three aces and two block assists.
Freshman Nick O'Malley (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow), sophomore Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) and senior Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) tallied nine, eight and seven kills, respectively. Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) distributed a career-high 56 assists and notched eight digs.
Both Roessler and Woessner were named to the 2017 UVC All-Tournament team following the event.
In the first set, New Paltz jumped out of the gates and claimed an 11-7 lead. NYU never led during the opening stanza as the Hawks won 25-20.
NYU adjusted in the second set, taking an 11-7 led of their own. Trailing 22-18, the Hawks battled back and tied the set at 22-all thanks to kills by Roessler, Schneider and Woessner. However, the Violets held on to tie the match at 1-1.
The Violets stormed to a 10-3 lead in the third set before two nice rallies from New Paltz tied the set at 16-16. Following a Bonilla kill, the Hawks grabbed a slim 21-20 edge but the Violets outscored New Paltz 6-3 the rest of the way to go up 2-1.
With their backs against the wall, the Hawks were in danger of going down in four, trailing 24-23. But New Paltz enjoyed a 4-1 spurt to take set number four, 27-25, using kills by Bonilla and Roessler and a set-clinching ace by Bonilla.
Headed to the fifth and final set for all the marbles, NYU burst to a 12-7 lead and scored the final three points of the contest to claim the UVC crown.
Marymount falls in CVC semifinals to fourth-seeded Royals
Friday, April 14, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va.— An impressive performance by the No. 13 and top-seed Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team was not enough to overcome fourth-seeded Eastern Mennonite University in the Continental Volleyball Conference Tournament semifinal matchup on Friday afternoon, falling short in an intense five-set battle, 3-2 (25-17, 31-29, 18-25, 13-25, 12-15).
The men's squad strung together several small runs to take a commanding 13-7 lead in set one and forced an Eastern Mennonite timeout. Marymount continued to press on the offensive end, notching four-straight kills late in the set. Junior Ben Steranka added two while junior TJ Wiechecki and sophomore James Knight added a kill apiece for the Saints. Wiechecki notched his sixth kill of the match to end the set in favor of the Saints, 25-17.
After trailing 10-5, MU pieced together a 6-0 run to push ahead 14-11. Wiechecki led the run with another two kills. Both squads traded points down the stretch, forcing set two into extra points. Back-to-back kills by Wiechecki and senior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz gave Saints an opportunity for set point, 30-29. EMU committed an error and the Saints prevailed on top, 31-29.
The Saints pushed ahead 6-5 in set three, but the Royals rallied back to tie the set at six apiece. The momentum shifted in favor of EMU and the Royals took over the lead. MU trailed 17-13 before rallying with a 3-0 run of its own to get within one, 17-16, however, the push wouldn't be enough to overcome the difference and the Saints fell short, 25-18.
The Saints fell behind 4-0 early in set four. Struggling to get the offense going, MU made several changes to the lineup. The Royals defense at the net proved to be too much and Marymount dropped set four, 25-13, to send the game to a deciding set.
Set five proved to be a fight from point one. Sophomore Remington Shahan put the ball down with force to strike first for the Saints, 1-0. Marymount pushed ahead 7-5 following a kill by Ksiazkiewicz. The Royals mounted a comeback and scored four-straight points to pull ahead, 9-7. The Saints used a timeout, and Ksiazkiewicz came out swinging to get back within one, 9-8. The blue and white went on to drop set five, 15-12.
Wiechecki continued his impressive 2017 campaign, tying his career-high with a game-high 31 kills, while also bolstering 10 digs and four total blocks. His performance earned him another accolade of the season, landing a spot on the All-Tournament squad. On the offensive end, Ksiazkiewicz also added 13 kills while hitting .321. Junior Erich Bratke connected with six different Saints to post a career-high 58 assists. On the defensive end, junior Connor Choate scooped up a game-high 20 digs.
The No. 13 Saints close out the season at 19-10, after making its third-straight appearance in the CVC semifinals.
Vassar Falls in UVC Semifinals to New Paltz Friday
Friday, April 14, 2017
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (April 14, 2017) – The No. 2 Vassar College men's volleyball team played host to the United Volleyball Conference Tournament semifinals on Friday afternoon, but the Brewers couldn't get it going as defending national title holders and fourth-ranked New Paltz defeated VC in four games with scores of 34-32, 25-22, 24-26 and 25-18.
The loss snapped the Brewer's 14-match winning streak, as Vassar dropped to 26-7 on the season. The Hawks (24-7) will advance to take on New York University in the UVC Finals Saturday, after the Violets defeated Stevens Institute of Technology in the other semifinal Friday evening.
The story of the contest was the serving from the visiting Hawks, as the powerful service from New Paltz forced out of rhythm for much of the contest. VC also had its struggles with the serve, knocking 18 balls out with the serve while posting just four aces. The Brewers did have opportunities though, especially in a marathon first-set that needed 34 points to earn the win for New Paltz.
In the set, Vassar led by five at one point, taking a 12-7 lead on a kill from senior Quinn Rutledge. New Paltz battled back and eventually tied the match at 14 on an ace by Anthony Bonilla. The Hawks would have set point first at 24-23, but Bonilla erred twice in a row to give the Brewers a set point. Vassar would have four set points in fact in the game, but two kills and a solo block by Jake Roessler earned the set for the Hawks.
In the second set, Vassar led 16-15 midway through the set, but four straight points from the Hawks forced a timeout from the Brewers. VC would rally back to tie the game twice at 19-all and 21-21, but the visitors tallied four of the last five points to earn the 2-0 lead.
In the third game, New Paltz led by as many as six points at 11-5 after an error from the Brewers. VC wouldn't go away, rallying to take a 17-16 lead on a solo block from George Diehl. New Paltz scored the next five points, and was two points to from clinching the set at 23-20, but Vassar outscored the Hawks 7-1 over the final eight points to get back into the match.
The rally wouldn't come to fruition though for the No. 2 ranked Brewers, as New Paltz posted a side-out percentage of 72 percent in the fourth set to stifle any run VC would have, rolling to the 25-18 win and making its third appearance in the finals in the last four seasons.
Junior All-American and 2017 UVC Player of the Year Matthew Knigge led all Vassar hitters with 19 kills on 40 attempts, hitting .350 for Vassar while adding eight assisted blocks as well.
Freshman Yoni Auerbach also chalked up eight kills and three digs, while Diehl finished with eight kills and four total blocks. Junior Zechariah Lee totaled 44 assists, two aces, eight digs and three blocks, and senior Trey Cimorelli posted eight digs. Senior Christian Lizana also posted six kills and eight digs for VC, which hit .212 (51-23-132) on the evening.
New Paltz was paced by the 22 kills from Roessler, as he finished with six digs and three solo blocks as well. Bonilla tallied 14 terminations and nine digs, and Steven Woessner added 11 winners for the Hawks. Freshman setter Matthew Grace dished out 46 helpers, chalking up eight digs, and Robert Nolan led all players with 15 digs.
The Brewers will now wait and hope that their name will be picked for an at-large bid to be among the field of teams for the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Vassar came into the weekend ranked No. 1 in the West Region, ahead of Stevens, Carthage and Dominican (IL).
No. 8 Saints fall in trimatch at No. 3 Stevens
Saturday, April 8, 2017
HOBOKEN, N.J.— The No. 8 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad dropped two matches to round out regular-season play on Saturday afternoon. The blue and white in match one to Southern Virginia University, 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-22), and later fell to No. 3 Stevens Institute of Technology in three sets, 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 29-27).
Marymount vs. Southern Virginia
MU trailed SVU early in set one, 6-3. Junior TJ Wiechecki posted a kill, followed by a service ace by freshman Sam Safley to bringj the Saints within one, 7-6. The blue and white couldn't overcome the difference and dropped set one, 25-17.
Set two remained close until Marymount tied the set at 10 all following a kill by Wiechecki. The Saints continued to trade points with the Knights. Wiechecki bolstered back-to-back kills to get back within two late in the set, 22-20. The Knights were forced to take a timeout, but their offense proved to be too much for the Saints, falling short, 25-21.
Marymount pieced together a 4-0 run to take an early 7-5 lead over Southern Virginia in set three. The blue and white maintained a lead until the Knights battled their way back into the matchup to pull ahead, 20-19. The Saints used a timeout and Wiechecki added another kill to tie the set back up at 20. Wiechecki added two more kills down the stretch, but the effort wasn't enough and the Knights prevailed on top, 25-22.
Wiechecki led the Saints on the offensive end with 16 kills while hitting .542, while freshman Joseph Zanelotti registered 28 assists. On the defensive end, junior Connor Choate scooped up a game-high 10 digs.
Marymount vs. Stevens
Both squads traded points early on before the Ducks pieced together several small runs to pull ahead. The Saints used their first timeout after falling behind, 21-12. MU went on to drop set one, 25-13.
Sophomore Remington Shahan struck first in set two to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. MU continued to battle and stay within striking distance of the Ducks including back-to-back kills by Safley and Wiechecki to tie the set at 12 all. Marymount fell behind 22-17 after Stevens pieced together two runs, which was enough to hold off the Saints, 25-19.
In set two, the Saints fell behind 16-12 midway through the set, and used a timeout to regain composure. Out of the timeout the momentum shifted in favor of the Saints as they pieced together a 6-1 run to pull ahead, 18-17. Sophomore Eric Wiles led the run with two kills and a block.
Marymount continued to battle Stevens, forcing set three into extra points. The last-ditch effort by the Saints wasn't enough to outlast the Ducks, and the Saints lost set three, 29-27.
Wiechecki paced the Saints on offense, registering nine kills. Zanelotti posted a team-high 26 assists while Choate led the team on the defensive end with five digs.
The Saint will now gear up for the Continental Volleyball Conference Tournament, set to begin on Friday, April 14. The full tournament will be hosted on the campus of the Saints due to taking the top seed and being named regular-season champions. Further details to come.
Albano Receives AVCA 30 Under 30 Award
Lea Sobieraski, Athletics Communications Graduate Assistant
Thursday, April 6, 2017
AMHERST, N.Y. – Daemen College head volleyball coach Stephanie Albano has been named as one of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Award recipients for 2017. This award was created in 2009 to honor thirty of the up-and-coming coaches under the age of 30 at all levels of the sport.
After serving as the program's associate head coach for the 2015 season, Albano was promoted to her current role as head coach in 2016. In her first year at the helm, Albano led the Wildcats to one of the most successful seasons in program history, finishing with an overall record of 25-8. This marked the ninth time in the last 18 seasons that the Wildcats have posted 25 or more wins, and the first time it's been accomplished since the program transitioned to the NCAA Division II level.
Albano guided the Wildcats to an impressive 13-1 mark in East Coast Conference play, and the program's first ECC regular season championship last fall. Daemen earned the No. 1 seed and hosting rights for the conference tournament, marking the first time Daemen has hosted an ECC Championship tournament in any sport. The Wildcats also accomplished another Daemen Athletics first, earning a No. 1 regional ranking in the NCAA Division II East Region poll.
After a hard-fought loss in the conference tournament finals, Albano and the Wildcats received an at large-bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament. The tournament berth marked the first time a Daemen program was selected to participate in an NCAA Championship since gaining full Division II status prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Daemen was also chosen to serve as host of the eight-team East Regional pod. The Wildcats advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round, but were defeated by American International College in the regional championship match.
Albano collected other prestigious awards as a result of her leadership and the team's historic achievements during the 2016 campaign. She was voted as the ECC Coach of Year by her peers, and was also named the AVCA East Region Coach of the Year by member coaches from the East Region.
"I'm honored to be recognized as an award winner, however the award goes way beyond just myself," Albano said. "It is a credit to all the young women on the team this past year and their persistence and hard work. I also couldn't have been successful without my amazing coaching staff of Kaley Vazquez-Regan and Don Gleason. Their input and dedication to the team helped the program achieve new heights. Lastly, I'm thankful to working in a supportive athletic department."
Before coming to Daemen, Albano served as an assistant coach for the University at Buffalo women's volleyball team under the direction of head coach Reed Sunahara in 2014. In her one season on the Bulls' staff, Albano helped lead the team to an overall record of 17-15 and the program's first Mid-American Conference Tournament appearance since 2010. Her stint there came after time spent as the associate head coach at Medaille College from 2012-14, where she helped the Mavericks to their first-ever Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship and an automatic NCAA tournament bid. Albano began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Canisius College from 2009-10.
A Lancaster, N.Y. native, Albano helped the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to two Atlantic Coast Conference championships during her collegiate career from 2005-09.
Arcadia Closes Inaugural Season with Loss at Stevenson
Thursday, April 6, 2017
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Arcadia University men's volleyball team got off to a quick start but was unable to sustain its momentum as it dropped a 3-1 decision at Stevenson University Thursday night in the final match of its inaugural campaign.
FOR THE RECORD: The Mustangs improved to 19-10 for the season with their third consecutive victory. The Knights closed their first-ever varsity season with a mark of 12-18, which included nine losses to nationally-ranked opponents.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Arcadia opened the first game with a 6-2 run and never looked back on its way to a 25-16 win in the opener, which they closed with a 6-1 run that was capped by a kill from freshman Jason Manley. The Knights opened the second game with a 5-1 run and led 14-12 after a kill from freshman Edwin Waters Jr. before a 6-1 run put Stevenson out in front for good in the game, 19-16. The Mustangs went on to win the second game 25-21 to tie the match score at 1-1 before cruising to 25-11 and 25-8 wins in the final two games to take the match 3-1.
ARCADIA LEADERS: Freshman Austin Braas totaled nine kills and seven blocks, while Waters Jr. also finished with the night with nine kills. Manley tallied seven kills and seven digs, while freshman Robie Moctezuma hit .556 with five kills on nine swings. Senior Sean Cohen notched 29 assists and seven digs in the final match of his collegiate career.
STEVENSON LEADERS: Landon Shorts hit .414 while totaling a match-high 14 kills and 10 digs for the Mustangs. Jason Gardner was the team's next-highest scorer with seven kills. Jared Chin handed out a match-high 30 assists.
Big West denies UCSD's quest for Div. I
Mark Zeigler and Tod Leonard, sandiegouniontribune.com
Thursday, April 6, 2017
UC San Diego’s sports programs suffered an upset defeat this week, and it happened not on a field or court but rather in a collection of conference calls and emails.
The university on Thursday was informed by the Big West Conference that its application to join the league and thus begin its path to NCAA Division I status in all sports would not be happening at this time.
The San Diego Union-Tribune first reported the results of the vote, and UCSD Athletic Director Earl Edwards confirmed he was told by Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell that the board of chancellors and presidents representing the nine conference schools voted against expansion.
For UCSD’s entry to be approved, a super-majority of seven “yes” votes was required. That did not happen when the board of directors completed their tally last week. The Big West cited confidentiality for the board members in declining to provide specifics on the vote count.
“It basically boiled down to the fact the conference has not been in expansion mode,” Farrell said in a telephone interview Thursday night. “It was not something we were pursuing until the interest of UC San Diego came to us.
“At the end of the day, our board of directors just felt that right now they’re comfortable with the makeup of the conference. They’re comfortable with the balance of the membership. There wasn’t an overriding interest in changing it.”
The Big West is made up of four UC schools (Irvine, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Davis), four Cal State schools (Long Beach, Fullerton, Northridge, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) and Hawaii, which was the last school to be admitted into the conference in 2012.
UCSD has been in the NCAA’s Division II since 2000-01.
In May 2016, UCSD students voted overwhelmingly to approve a hike in fees that would fund Division I athletics, specifically with a move into the Big West. In January, the UCSD faculty approved the rise to Div. I with a support of 62 percent when only a simple majority is required.
UCSD was hopeful that it had put the pieces of financing and support together in such a way this time as to sway the Big West positively.
“It’s a high level of disappointment,” Edwards said. “Obviously, we were hoping to be accepted right away.
“I’ve been in this business for 30-plus years. When you look at athletics and realignment and new membership, there are a lot of things that take place. It’s not uncommon for us to find ourselves in the position we’re in.
“We are still going to pursue moving to Division I with the hope that things will change in the relatively near future.”
The timeline is somewhat critical for UCSD, because while Edwards said the school needs to let the Big West decision “digest,” there is an important piece of the Tritons’ bid that carries an expiration date.
A fact-finding report published before May’s student referendum said UCSD must receive a Big West invite by Sept. 15, 2018, or the student approval is null and void.
That would leave UCSD with a seemingly small window to persuade the Big West to take another look without having to reorganize campus support.
“I’d have to look at the situation and see where we are,” Edwards said of another voting process. “When it comes to the student vote, there are a lot of factors involved. There is timing in terms of economics, and what the students are thinking as a body.”
Farrell said he could not speculate on when the Big West might consider UCSD’s application again.
“There is no plan to do so,” Farrell said. “At the same time, I learned a long time ago, you never say never in this business.
“I think UC San Diego is still going to be very attractive as a Division I school at some point in time in the future,” he said. “I’m not here to tell them what they should do in the future. There’s nothing negative about UC San Diego. I can only say glowing, positive things about them.”
Schools often are denied in their first attempt at joining a new conference. Bakersfield was denied by the Big West twice after transitioning from Div. II to Div. I, and then once by the Western Athletic Conference before the WAC finally admitted it in 2013.
In an interview with the Union-Tribune in January, Farrell said, “In the sports that are important to us I think we’ve got a pretty good reputation nationally. So I don’t think the pressure is there for us to move (to expand) if we don’t want to. It’s not going to make us look bad.”
The conference had four men’s basketball teams ranked in the top 100 in RPI in 2015-16; Hawaii’s women’s volleyball team made it to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2015; and three different baseball teams have reached the College World Series in successive years.
On Thursday, Farrell said the schools are pleased with the balance they have between the UC and Cal State institutions.
“That’s been a real positive feeling in our conference,” he said.
A move to Div. I would take at least six years — two to elevate athletic scholarships to minimum levels, followed by a four-year transition period before achieving full-fledged status that allows postseason participation.
Mavericks Downed in Final Matchup of The Year
Lions Outlast Mavs (25-16, 25-20, 25-23)
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
BUFFALO, NY – The Mavericks Men's Volleyball team hosted Penn-State Behrend in the final matchup of the 2017 campaign. Medaille missed the NEAC playoffs play one game despite a quality conference record and headed into the last day of the year with a record of (15-14 overall; 10-6 AMCC). It was also the end of the Lions season and they looked to improve on a (12-13 overall; 2-6 conference).
Today marked the last day in the career of Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint), a staple in the Medaille offensive attack for the past four years. Crosby came into the game with (863) kills, with over (200) in each of the last three seasons. His (268) kills in 2017 were only eight away from his previous career high of (276) in 2015.
After the senior celebration, the first set got off to a fast start with the Lions pouncing on the Mavericks, opening up a (10-3) lead. The deficit turned out to be too much and Behrend cruised to a (25-16) first set victory. The Lions out-killed the Mavs (13-12) but only committed (1) error compared to the (8) by Medaille. 6695
Set number two was a much closer affair that saw teams trading points early to arrive at an (8-8) score. The turning point of the game when Behrend went on an (10-3) run to jump out to an (18-10) lead. Medaille fought their way back going on a (10-5) run and brought the deficit to just (3). The Lions composed themselves and took the next (2) points to take the set (25-20) and increase their lead, (2) sets to (0).
Down two sets Medaille had their backs against the wall and needed a win to continue the matchup. The set began similar to the second set, the teams were neck and neck, but remained close until the end. The set saw (12) total lead changes and the teams tied late at (23). The twelfth and final lead change happened when the Lions took a (24-23) lead. After an incredible volley, Behrend outlasted the Mavs, got the point and took the match with a (25-23) set victory.
Crosby ended the match leading all players with (14) kills, giving him (282) on the season and a new career high. Helping out Crosby was Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) with (5) kills and Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) with (29) assists.
The loss put the final record on the season for the Mavericks at (15-15 overall; 10-6 AMCC). Penn State Behrend ended their season with a (13-13 overall; 2-6 UVC).
Lions Sweep Medaille in Season Finale
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
BUFFALO, NY – The Penn State Behrend men's volleyball team closed out the 2017 season with their first-ever program win over Medaille, sweeping the Mavericks 3-0 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action on Wednesday.
The Lions (13-13, 4-3 AMCC), winners in seven of their last 10 matches, recorded a 25-16, 25-20 and 25-23 victory led by eight kills from Trenton Munk (Baden, PA/Ambridge) and Tyler Herrmann (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley). Munk posted a .667 hitting percentage to go with three blocks.
Behrend committed just one error as a team in the first set, hitting .545 with 13 kills on 22 total attacks for a nine-point win. A service error by the Lions was the only point surrendered in the first nine points of the set for an 8-1 lead. Behrend took a double-digit lead at 19-9 on a kill from Herrmann and finished on back-to-back errors for a 25-16 decision.
In the second set, Medaille came out with a 3-1 lead and the Lions reeled off a 14-5 run behind seven points from the serving of Josh Mathews (Rochester, NY/Churchville-Chili) that included two aces. Down the stretch, the Mavericks won four straight point to make it 23-20, but Herrmann registered a kill of an assist from Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY/Eden) and Munk closed out the set with a kill at 25-20.
The third set was tied 18 times before Behrend completed the sweep with a 25-23 victory. The Mavericks took a 23-21 lead with consecutive kills by Shawn Barbalato. After the Lions timeout, Munk knocked in a kill and Anthony Sprentz (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) got an ace to bring it to 23-all. A Medaille attack error combined with a Munk kill finished the small 4-0 run for the win.
Nowicki dished out 18 assists and Dillon Hildebrand (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) added seven kills.
Behrend finished the season at .500 with a 13-13 record.
NEW PALTZ SUFFERS 3-0 SETBACK AT NO. 1 SPRINGFIELD
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Despite leading 22-18 in the first set, the No. 5 State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team fell 3-0 (26-28, 21-25, 14-25) to host No. 1 Springfield on Wednesday night in the second rematch this season of the 2016 Division III National Championship at Blake Arena.
With the defeat, the Hawks conclude the regular season at 22-7 and will now prepare for the 2017 UVC Tournament hosted by No. 1 seed Vassar from April 13-15. New Paltz, the No. 4 seed, will take on No. 5 seed MIT on Thursday, April 13 at 5 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
The Pride, meanwhile, improve to 25-1 and have now won 25 straight matches. Springfield is set to host the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball National Championship from April 28-30. Springfield has gone 2-0 against New Paltz this season, claiming a road win at New Paltz on March 1 (W, 3-1).
Senior middle blocker Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) led the attack with 11 kills followed by junior outside hitter Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz), who floored 10 kills. Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) distributed 28 assists.
As a team, Springfield hit .424 and had two players finish with double-digit kills in Sean Zuvich (.588) and Luis Vega (.588).
In the opener, the Pride jumped out to a 7-4 lead but the Hawks were able to recover and would claim a 16-14 lead following a Roessler kill. New Paltz then went up 22-18, however, multiple attacking errors by the Hawks let Springfield knot the set at 25-25 to head to extra points.
Despite sitting at set point 26-25 following a Bonilla kill, the Pride were able to close out the set and complete the comeback with three straight points to hand New Paltz the 28-26 defeat.
After giving up the lead in the first set, the wind seemed to have been taken out of the Hawks' sails in the next two sets as New Paltz fell 25-21 and 25-14.
Hawks Volleyball Completes Season Celebrating Their Seniors
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
HAMBURG, N.Y. – The Hilbert College men's volleyball team closed out their 2017 season celebrating their six senior's careers while they welcomed seven Special Olympians to the starting line-up.
The Hawks put up a strong battle losing the first two sets by a total of five points (25-23, 25-22) to Thiel before they suffered a 25-12 final set and match loss to the Tomcats.
Michael Podgorny earned team-high kills (12) while Adam Heftka did what he does, setting for 20 assists in his final collegiate contest.
Brandon Henry led defensively with 12 digs and David Arlaud tossed in two block assists.
Anthony Pellicano picked-up a service ace and four digs while Kurtis Maloney added two more kills and Tanner Makowski finished with three kills, one block assist and three digs.
Prior to the start of the game, the Special Olympians from the Western New York chapter stood tall with the seven announced Hilbert starters. They stayed in format and wished the Thiel Tomcats good luck as they passed each other at the net just before the first serve.
Adam Heftka completed his four-year career with 2413 assists and 108 block assists which places him at the top of the volleyball programs All Time List. He finished with 87 service aces, one shy of tying the career record and one block away from forcing a two-way tie for second place (141) in Total Blocks.
Barbalato Named NEAC Defensive Player of the Week
Freshman had (25) total blocks last week
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Freshman Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) was a monster for Medaille last week and was a big part of the Mavericks three wins in five matches. Barbalato finished the week with (36) total kills and an astonishing (.413) hitting percentage. He hit for over (.300) in four of the Mavs five matches last week and even hit for (.643) against Keuka on Saturday. He also served up (6) service aces offensively. Defensively he was just as good, if not better. Barbalato ended last week with (25) total blocks, (12) more than the next Maverick. (6) of those were solo blocks, and he averaged (1.39) blocks per set.
CVC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - APRIL 3, 2017
Ricky Crumlish, Rutgers University-Newark
Monday, April 3, 2017
Battling for a postseason berth Rutgers University-Newark turned to junior outside hitter Ricky Crumlish last week, with Crumlish rising to the occasion and leading their attack. Crumlish, a junior from Tonawanda, N.Y., tallied his three of his four highest kill outputs this season in helping the Scarlet Raiders to a pair of wins, including a win over ranked Eastern Mennonite. Crumlish tallied a career-high 20 kills in a 3-1 win over Eastern Mennonite, adding five digs and four total blocks. Earlier in the week, he recorded 18 kills against Marymount and 16 against Cairn. On the week he averaged 4.5 kills per set, finishing with 54 kills in three matches. He added nine service aces, 22 digs, and 11 total blocks on the week; averaging 5.8 points per set.
Arcadia Defeats Sage, Falls to Kean in Tri-Match
Sunday, April 2, 2017
UNION, N.J. – The Arcadia University men's volleyball team went 1-1 in a tri-match at Kean, opening with a 3-1 victory over Sage before falling to the host Cougars 3-0.
FOR THE RECORD: Arcadia's record now stands at 12-17 for the season following Sunday's action. Kean improved to 22-8 with the win, while Sage fell to 14-14 following the loss.
ARCADIA 3, SAGE 1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-20)
ARCADIA LEADERS: Freshman Austin Braas hit .500 in the match with 14 kills and two errors on 24 attempts, while classmate Jason Manley also scored 14 kills with four digs. Fellow freshmen Bryce Galloway and Edwin Waters Jr. added eight kills each, while senior Sean Cohen handed out 43 assists with nine digs.
SAGE LEADERS: Bailey Cecchi had a match-high 15 kills and completed his double-double with 12 digs to lead the Gators, while Zachary Karl chipped in with eight kills. Austin Laverty handed out 32 assists with seven digs.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Arcadia outscored Sage 67-46 in the match while hitting .245 as a team. The Knights totaled 48 kills, 11 blocks and eight aces. Sage hit .130 in the match with 38 kills.
KEAN 3, ARCADIA 0 (25-7, 25-17, 25-13)
ARCADIA LEADERS: Waters Jr. had six kills and two digs, while Cohen had 15 assists.
KEAN LEADERS: Dylan Flor led a balanced attack with seven kills one 10 attempts, while Nick Buseski had six kills on nine attempts. Ian Capp had 27 assists with three aces and three digs.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Kean, which spent most of the season in the AVCA Coaches' Poll, outscored Arcadia 48-19 in the match while hitting .635, totaling 36 kills and just three attack errors. The Knights hit .105 with 18 kills.
Mavericks Fall to Wells Express
Men's Volleyball falls (3-1) in NEAC finale
Sunday, April 2, 2017
BUFFALO, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team wrapped up their final NEAC weekend with a match against Wells College for a spot in the NEAC Postseason Tournament. The Mavericks fought hard throughout; however, just didn't have enough to take down the Express as Wells came away with the (3-1; 25-12, 23-25, 25-18, 27-25) win.
The Mavericks got kills from eight different players on the offensive side of the net, with Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches) leading the way with (12). Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) and Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) both had (9) each a piece as Medaille matched or bested the Express in two of the four sets when it came to total kills.
Unfortunately it was the attack errors that haunted Medaille, as the Mavs committed (27) attack errors while Wells committed just (17). Those numbers were also reflected in the hitting percentages as Wells had three sets of over a (.300) percentage, while the Mavs had just one above (.200).
Barbalato continued his stellar play by adding a team high (4) total blocks defensively. Crosby also had a great weekend for the Mavs, finishing Sunday with (4) aces and (6) digs to go along with his (9) kills.
Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) led all Mavericks with (38) assists and Daniel Joseph (El Dorado, CA, Union Mine) had a team best (7) digs as Medaille fell to (15-14) overall and (10-6) in NEAC play.
Medaille will wrap up their 2017 season at home on Wednesday, when they host Penn State Behrend for Senior Day. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
D'Youville Concludes Season with Win Over Keuka
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville men's volleyball team ended their 2017 season in winning fashion, taking down the Keuka Wolfpack Sunday afternoon by the final score of 3-2.
After the first set was tied at 7-7, the Spartans began to pull away as they led 15-12 over Keuka. Their lead increased to six at 21-15, but the Wolfpack came back to within three of the Spartan's lead. Despite closing the gap, Keuka was unable to come all the way back as D'Youville took the first set 25-21.
The Spartans led again in the second set 15-12, but the Wolfpack tied it up at 17-17. Keuka then went on an 8-2 scoring run to finish out the set 25-19, evening the score at 1-1.
Keuka took the lead early in the third set at 9-6 before D'Youville took over the lead at 12-11. Back up 18-15, the Wolfpack would then give up the lead again as the Spartans went ahead 19-18. The two teams traded points until they were tied at 22-22, but D'Youville would score the final three points of the set to win 25-22 and taking a 2-1 lead in the match.
Keuka had the advantage early in the match and didn't lose it until the score was tied 16-16. After that, the Spartans were not able to get ahead of the Wolfpack as they went down 22-18 and would eventually lose the set 25-21, tying the match 2-2 and forcing the match to a fifth set.
The fifth started off with Keuka taking complete control. They built a 6-2 lead and improved it to 10-6, but D'Youville was not out of the match yet. The Spartans came back to tie the set at 11-11 and then took the lead at 13-12. D'Youville would go on to score the two final two points of the match, winning the fifth set 15-13 and the match 3-2.
In his final game as a Spartan, Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) led the team with four service aces, 49 assists and 15 digs for a double-double. Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego) led the team with 18 kills, his season high. Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) chipped in 13 digs to go with eight kills and three blocks.
Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) added 16 kills and three digs. Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) had nine kills and seven digs, with Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) chipping in with two digs. Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) had four digs, three kills and a service ace in the match.
Penn State Behrend Wins in Four Against Wilkes
Sunday, April 2, 2017
WILKES-BARRE Pa. – Tyler Herrmann (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) tallied 11 digs and nine kills to lead Penn State Behrend past Wilkes 3-1 in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon.
The Lions (12-13) finished their road-trip weekend with a 25-13, 25-19, 20-25 and 25-23 decision over Colonels (7-14). Behrend took a 2-0 lead in the match, before Wilkes rallied from being down early to capture the third set. The Lions used a late run to take the fourth set and the match.
Trenton Munk (Baden, PA/Ambridge) knocked down 11 kills and eight blocks, while Dillon Hildebrand (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) added 14 kills.
Setters Anthony Sprentz (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) and Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY/Eden) contributed 25 and 17 assists, respectively. Sprentz also tallied six digs and Nowicki managed seven kills, four digs and two blocks.
Behrend returns to action on Wednesday at Medaille. Match time is 7 p.m.
Podgorny Reaches for 17 Kills against SUNY Poly
Sunday, April 2, 2017
BUFFALO, N.Y. – After SUNY Poly held on for a 27-25 opening set win, the Hilbert College Hawks struggled through the following two sets and suffered a 3-0 loss in their final NEAC contest of the season.
Michael Podgorny created opportunities for the Hawks finishing with 17 kills (4 errors) and added seven digs in the teams 22nd loss of the season.
Brandon Henry led with nine digs while Adam Hektka added another solo block to his career total. The senior setter also posted 24 assist as he continues to stretch his overall assists total to 2393.
SUNY Poly earned 14 points on service aces, collected 36 team kills (.342) and finished with seven blocks (14 block assists) as they limited Hilbert in sets two and three (25-12, 25-14).
The men's volleyball team concludes their 2017 season at home this Tuesday, April 4. The Hawks will honor their six seniors prior to the start of the game. Be sure to arrive early to thank Adam Heftka and Tanner Makowski as they conclude their multi-season careers. Also being honored this year are four seniors who closed their athletic careers as 1st year volleyball players: Brandon Henry, Nathaniel Hyman, Kurtis Maloney and Anthony Pellicano.
No. 9 Men's volleyball sweeps CVC trimatch to close out league play
Saturday, April 1, 2017
LANGHORNE, Pa.— The No. 9 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad rolled past Cairn University and Alvernia University in a Continental Volleyball Conference tri-match on Saturday afternoon. The Saints downed host Cairn in straight sets, 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-17), before adding a second sweep against Alvernia, 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-17). Marymount rounded out CVC play for the regular season, improving to 13-1 before heading into postseason play.
Marymount vs. Cairn
Junior TJ Wiechecki posted back-to-back kills to open set one and give the Saints a 2-0 lead. MU extended its lead to 7-2 following a 3-0 run. The Saints continued to be a force on the offensive end, and sophomore Remington Shahan closed out the set in favor of MU, 25-20.
Marymount continued to dominate, taking a 4-0 lead in set two. Junior Jordan Pawlicki bolstered two service aces, and sophomore Eric Wiles notched a kill in the early run. Wiles added three more kills mid-set to push the Saints ahead 14-6 and force a Cairn timeout. The blue and white finished the set out on top, 25-17.
The momentum shifted back-and-forth in set three, seeing several ties and lead changes early on. Marymount took the lead again at 14-13 and never looked back. A 3-0 run gave the Saints a four-point lead, 18-14. MU controlled the tempo for the rest of the set, prevailing on top 25-17.
Wiechecki and Wiles bolstered eight kills apiece to pace the Saints on the offensive end. Pawlicki notched a game-high 30 assists, and junior Connor Choate scooped up a game-high 13 digs.
Marymount vs. Alvernia
The Saints pulled ahead 11-6 following a 4-0 run pieced together by MU. Three-straight kills by Wiechecki and junior Carson Caudell gave the Saints an eight-point advantage, 16-8. The blue and white capitalized on two errors by Alvernia to win the set, 25-14.
The momentum stayed in favor of the Saints in set two. Back-to-back kills by junior Graham Clark and Caudell to give Marymount a 12-4 advantage. The blue and white stayed on top, and set two ended in favor of the Saints following a 3-1 run, 25-18.
MU fell behind in set three, before posting a 3-0 run to tie the set at 11 all. Another 4-0 run gave the Saints a 15-12 lead. Wiechecki, freshman Sam Safley and junior Ben Steranka each added a kill during the run. Clark connected with freshman Joseph Zanelotti to end the set in favor of the blue and white, 25-17.
Wiechecki bolstered a game-high 16 kills, while Zanelotti posted a game-high 35 assists. On the defensive end, junior Erich Bratke notched a game-high 10 digs.
The men will head to Hoboken, New Jersey on Saturday, April 8 for another tri-match to end the regular season. The Saints will take on host No. 3 Stevens Institute of Technology at 2 p.m., followed by a matchup against Southern Virginia University at 4 p.m.
Medaille Takes Two at NEAC Crossover
Mavs take down SUNY Poly and Keuka
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Medaille wraps up NEAC play Sunday against Wells College
BUFFALO, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team traveled to D'Youville College on Saturday afternoon, looking forward to the fourth and final NEAC Crossover weekend with a chance to secure a spot in the conference championship tournament. When Saturday started the Mavs were sitting one spot out of the field in fifth place; however, a (3-0) win over SUNY Poly and a (3-x) win over Keuka gave Medaille momentum going into their last NEAC game of the regular season.
It all started with a matchup against the Wildcats, one of the two teams that Medaille was chasing for a spot in the postseason. The Mavs swept the Wildcats earlier in the season and needed a similar result in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Medaille did just that with a convincing (3-0; 25-22, 25-12, 25-20) win. The first set was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams trading the lead early and often. The Mavericks earned the largest lead by any team in set one when a kill by Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches) made it (11-7).
SUNY Polytechnic made things interesting and even had a (22-21) lead late in the set; however, some fantastic serves by Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) sparked a (4-0) run to close things out for Medaille. The Mavs rode that wave all the way through the second set, closing out game two on an (11-1) run to take a dominant (2-0) lead.
Set number three saw Medaille jump out to a big lead early, hoping to close out the Wildcats and get that much closer to a playoff berth. The Mavericks dominated play early, going up by as many as six before the Wildcats started to claw their way back.
SUNY Poly came all the way back to tie things at (14) but the Mavericks were just too much on Saturday, closing out the match on a (5-1) run to secure the victory.
Crosby and freshman Joe DiGesare (Lancaster, NY, St. Mary's of Lancaster) led Medaille with (8) kills each, while fellow freshman Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) wasn't far behind with (7). Sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) dished out (3) assists, had (2) service aces and collected (4) digs as the Mavs performed extremely well offensively.
The Mavericks defense was just as good against the Wildcats, as sophomore Daniel Joseph (El Dorado, CA, Union Mine) paced Medaille with (8) digs and Barbalato had a team best (6) total blocks. Crosby and Ebert both chipped in with (4) total blocks each as the Mavs turned their sights onto the Wolves of Keuka in match number two.
Things didn't get any easier against the Wolves, as the Mavs and Keuka put on an offensive clinic during the last match of Saturday night. The Mavericks earned (17) kills and hit for a (.389) percentage in set one to take an early (1-0) lead.
Medaille used a combination of offense and defense to take set number two, hitting (.261) percent and holding Keuka to (-.143) percentage as the (25-14) win put the Mavericks up (2-0). After a disappointing third set Medaille closed out Saturday with a nice (25-20) win to take the match (3-1).
Crosby and Barbalato both impressed once again against the Wolves. Crosby led Medaille with (12) kills and (6) service aces while adding (5) digs and (3) total blocks. Barbalato was just as good, earning (10) kills and (2) service aces to go along with a team high (5) total blocks.
Dempsey served up (45) assists and Joseph had a team high (11) digs as the Mavericks improved to (15-13) overall and (10-5) in NEAC play.
With their wins on Saturday, Medaille now finds itself in a three-way tie with SUNY Poly and Wells sitting at (10-5) in conference play. The results of Saturday set up a win and you're in matchup between Medaille and Wells on Sunday, with the two scheduled to face off at 12:00 pm.
Scarlet Raiders Upset 11th-ranked EMU in Home Finale
Saturday, April 1, 2017
NEWARK, N.J. (April 1, 2017) – Behind a 20-kill performance from junior Ricky Crumlish and a gutty fourth-set comeback, the Rutgers University-Newark men's volleyball team upset 11th-ranked Eastern Mennonite University, 3-1, in a Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) match in The Golden Dome Saturday afternoon in Newark.
Rutgers-Newark improves to 12-15 overall and 6-6 in the CVC, and Eastern Mennonite drops to 9-4 in the conference and 20-8 overall.
The Scarlet Raiders will visit Juniata College and Thiel College next weekend to close out their regular-season schedule.
Down 23-20 late in the fourth set, the Scarlet Raiders battled back, scoring three-straight to tie at 23. Each team fought off one set point, before the Scarlet Raiders clinched the 27-25 set-four win and the 3-1 upset.
"It was great to watch the guys battle for that win, especially coming back in the fourth set," Head Coach Pedro Trevino said after the match. "Our team showed an incredible amount of fight all match, but seeing them pull through late was awesome. I am really proud of the entire group."
Saturday's set scores were 17-25, 25-22, 25-23 and 27-25.
Rutgers-Newark 25, EMU 17
The two teams split the first 12 points of the match, and junior Justin Sandy delivered four early winners for the Scarlet Raiders. Each team had 12 tallies after 24 markers (12-12), and a kill from junior Ricky Crumlish helped Rutgers-Newark to a 13-12 advantage.
Trailing 16-14, Eastern Mennonite went on a set-changing run, scoring nine-straight points to open a 23-16 margin, eventually closing it out for a 1-0 lead.
Rutgers-Newark 25, EMU 22
EMU scored 4-of-5 to start the set, but the Scarlet Raiders rallied behind three kills from sophomore Brendon Frank to tie the score at nine-all. A Crumlish winner gave Rutgers-Newark a 13-12 edge after 25 scores, and the two teams went point-for-point during the middle portion of the set.
A kill and an ace from sophomore Arnan Romua allowed the Scarlet Raiders to take a 20-17 lead, and a combo-block from junior Jalen Sorrell and Romua gave R-N set point at 24-20. Two points later, Crumlish sealed it with authority, tying the match, 1-1.
Rutgers-Newark 25, EMU 23
R-N surged ahead early behind a pair of Crumlish hammers, and a big-time kill from Frank upped the Rutgers-Newark lead to five at 12-7.
The Scarlet Raiders kept pushing, and behind kills from Sandy and Crumlish extended to a 16-9 advantage. EMU chipped away behind senior Scott Brigham, getting within one at 23-22, but an error and Crumlish kill lifted Rutgers to the 25-23 set win and a 2-1 lead.
Rutgers-Newark 27, EMU 25
EMU doubled up Rutgers-Newark early in the fourth set (8-4), and the Royals were able to stay at least two points ahead through the first 30 markers. A combo-block from Gutowski and Frank pulled the Scarlet Raiders within one at 17-16, and moments later Gutowski and Crumlish combined on a block to tie the score at 19-all.
Things swung back in favor of EMU at 23-20, but the Scarlet Raiders shook it off, ripping off four-straight points to go up 24-23. Each team fought off one set point, before Rutgers-Newark tallied the final three markers in the match – a Sorrell kill, a Crumlish kill and an EMU attack error.
Crumlish put down 20 kills (.262), five digs, four blocks and two aces. He eclipsed the 15-kill mark for the fourth time in five matches and has been an absolute monster of late for Rutgers-Newark. Sandy and Frank each had 13 kills and Sorell had seven, while Romua double-doubled with 47 assists and 11 digs. Freshman Jake Connors had 14 digs and Frank added nine. Sorrell tallied a sterling eight blocks in a very strong defensive performance as the Scarlet Raiders picked up 11 team rejections.
Rutgers-Newark totaled 73 points, 57 kills, five aces, 55 assists and 45 digs, and EMU totaled 69 points on 54 kills, four aces, 11 blocks, 53 assists and 48 digs. R-N had a hitting percentage of .248 for the match with a set-high .387 rate in the second, while EMU tallied a .219 hitting percentage.
Friday's CVC showdown at Juniata College is slated for a 7 p.m. start.
Hawks Volleyball Takes Keuka to Four Sets in Day One
Saturday, April 1, 2017
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Michael Podgorny averaged 5.57 kills per set but the Hilbert College men's volleyball team went 0-2 in opening day of the NEAC cross over weekend hosted by D'Youville College.
The Hawks slipped in four sets to Keuka before they finished the day with a 3-0 loss to Wells.
Adam Heftka was credited with 8.29 assists per set as Podgorny (2.57) and Tanner Makowski (2.14) were the only two players to post 2.0 or higher in digs per set.
Hilbert collected double-digit kills in three of the four sets against Keuka in the noon contest. The Hawks slipped in the first set, 25-16, won the second 25-20, played to a competitive 25-22 loss and then suffered a 25-17 defeat. Collectively, their strongest hitting percentage set (.226) was the second game which they won. Keuka finished with a .252 attack percentage for the match as Hilbert closed with a .092 percent.
Podgorny reached his second 20 kill match of the season. The 6'2 outside hitter ended with 23 kills (9e/56 a) for a .250 percent. David Arlaud added seven kills (1 error).
Podgorny and Makowski notched double digit digs with 13 and 12 receptively.
Hilbert was much stronger hitters against Wells, though they suffered a 25-12, 25-17 and 25-22 defeat. For the match, the Hawks worked for a .211 percent.
Heftka assisted on 25 of the Hawks' 31 kills and Podgorny benefited from the senior setter's passes posting 16 kills. Makowski was two shy of ten kills and Heftka led with seven digs.
Heftka moved into solo possession as the program's leader in Block Assists after he added three more to his career total. The Grand Island native needs just two more service aces to claim the #1 spot in the program's All Time list with two matches remaining.
Hilbert travels back to D'Youville for a 10 am game Sunday, April 2 against SUNY Poly which will conclude their NEAC schedule. The Hawks will close their 2017 season with a 7pm game Tuesday, April 4 against Thiel College. Prior to the first serve, the program will honor their six graduating seniors.
D'Youville Upsets Wells; Loses to SUNY Poly in NEAC Crossover
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville men's volleyball team went 1-1 on Saturday as they hosted the NEAC Crossover, defeating the Wells Express 3-0 and falling to the SUNY Poly Wildcats 3-0.
The Spartans played very well in their first match of the day against Wells. Tightly contested throughout, D'Youville won in three sets 27-25, 25-23 and 25-22. In the first set, the Spartans never trailed. They went up 20-12 over the Express before Wells came storming back and tied it at 24-24. It became tied again at 25-25, but D'Youville would go on to win 27-25.
In the second set, it was tied 16-16 until Wells went on to take a three-point lead at 21-18. D'Youville would then rally, scoring seven of the next nine points to take the second set 25-23. The third set was similar in that the Express led midway through the set, this time 18-15. However the Spartans would again come back to take a 19-18 lead and then continued their hot streak to go on to win the third set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) recorded a game high 38 assists in the match. Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) added a match high 19 kills as well, paired with his seven digs. Both Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) and Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) had four blocks.
James Zeiger (Lancaster, NYLancaster) tied Stroh for the team lead in digs with seven, while Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego) was second on the team with seven kills. Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) added four kills, with Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) recording three digs.
In the second match of the day, SUNY Poly defeated the Spartans in three sets, 25-20, 25-17 and 25-14. The Wildcats took control of the match early. They worked to build a 12-3 lead in the first set, but the Spartans closed the gap to four at 19-15. However it was too late as SUNY Poly went on to win the first by the score of 25-20.
The second set of the match began with D'Youville leading at 8-5 before the Wildcats would applied some pressure. They tied the set at 12-12 and then went on to open up a seven-point lead at 21-14. SUNY Poly continued to push on through the end of the second and would win by the final score of 25-17.
D'Youville fell behind to the Wildcats 7-3 in the third set, looking to stay in the match. The Spartans stayed in the set before SUNY Poly blew the game open by scoring 9 of 10 points in the third to take a 23-12 lead. The Wildcats would close out the match with their final two points, going on to win the set 25-14 and the match 3-0.
Five Spartans recorded at least two kills in the match, led by Stroh with nine. Kilijanski added seven and a team high four service aces. He also tied Stroh and MacDowell for the team lead in digs with four. McMahon again led the team in assists with 20.
The men will conclude their season tomorrow, April 2 at 2pm as they play Keuka.
NO. 2 MEN’S VOLLEYBALL SPLITS FINAL UVC TRI-MATCH OF 2017
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director
Saturday, April 1, 2017
HOBOKEN, N.J. – Playing the final United Volleyball Conference (UVC) matches of the regular season, the No. 2 State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team split its two contests, sweeping Nazareth 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-22) before being swept by host No. 5 Stevens 3-0 (22-25, 18-25, 24-26) on Saturday.
New Paltz now is 22-6 overall with a 5-3 UVC mark to earn the No. 4 seed in the upcoming UVC Tournament. But before that begins, the Hawks must travel to No. 1 Springfield on Wednesday, April 5 at 6 p.m. to complete the regular season.
Vassar earned the overall No. 1 seed and will host the three-day tournament from April 13-15. New Paltz will battle No. 5 seed MIT in the quarterfinals on Thursday, April 13 at 5 p.m. and the winner will face No. 1 Vassar on Friday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m. The 2017 UVC title match is on Saturday, April 15 at 2 p.m.
New Paltz 3, Nazareth 0
In the opening match, junior Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) led the Hawks with nine kills while senior C.J. Borfitz (Inwood, N.Y./Lawrence) enjoyed six kills, six total blocks and a .545 hitting percentage en route to the sweep.
Sophomore Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) tallied seven kills and senior Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) chipped in six kills. Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) distributed 25 assists and freshman libero Robert Nolan (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) led the defense with nine digs.
Stevens 3, New Paltz 0
Against the Ducks, senior Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) – who had missed the last few games due to illness – responded nicely with a team-high 11 kills (.500). However, the Ducks proved to be too strong on their home court for the sweep of the Hawks.
Bonilla provided eight kills while Grace distributed 28 assists.
REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS: No. 9 Saints down Rutgers to take top seed in CVC Tournament
Friday, March 31, 2017
NEWARK, N.J.— With two matches left in Continental Volleyball Conference play, the No. 9 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team sealed up the title of Regular Season Champions and the top seed of the postseason tournament with a four-set victory over Rutgers University-Newark on Friday night, 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 19-25, 25-20).
In just the fourth year of the program, Head Coach Hudson Bates and the Saints have grabbed the team's first top seed in the CVC Tournament, earning the right to host the full tournament on Marymount's campus. The semifinals are set for Friday, April 14, with the champion being crowned on Saturday, April 15.
The Saints fell behind early in set one, when an error committed by Rutgers gave the Saints an opportunity to post a comeback. MU capitalized and registered a 6-1 run to tie the set at 10 all. Both squads remained neck-and-neck, with neither team garnering more than a two-point lead until the home stretch. In the final points, freshman Sam Safley notched five crucial kills, including one on set point, and junior Ben Steranka and sophomore Alex Treser added a block to push the Saints to victory, 25-23.
MU trailed 4-0 in set two, when Treser answered with a block for the Saints. Several small runs allowed the blue and white to get back within two, 17-15. A late push by the Saints tied the set at 20 apiece. MU added another four-straight points to take a commanding 23-20 lead before Steranka put down the final kill of the set to give Saints a two-set lead, 25-22.
Both squads traded points to start set three, before MU fell behind mid-set. The blue and white rallied back to cut the deficit to one, 18-17, but the comeback wasn't enough, and Marymount fell short, 25-19.
The momentum shifted in favor of the Saints and MU jumped ahead 2-0 in set four. The blue and white posted another five-straight points to pull ahead, 11-6. Marymount kept its lead through the remainder of the set, as Steranka notched another set-point kill to close out the match in favor of the Saints, 25-20.
Safley posted a team-high 12 kills to pace the Saints on the offensive end. Junior Jordan Pawlicki and freshman Joseph Zanelotti split time in the setter position, registering 24 and 14 assists, respectively. On the defensive end, junior Connor Choate notched a team-high 13 digs.
The men will round out CVC play on Saturday, April 1 at Cairn University for a league tri-match. The Saints take on host Highlanders at 11 a.m., followed by a matchup against Alvernia University at 1 p.m.
No. 9 Marymount Tops Men’s Volleyball 3-1 in CVC Match
Friday, March 31, 2017
Ricky Crumlish put down a career-high 18 kills Friday night.
NEWARK, N.J. (March 31, 2017) – The nationally-ranked No. 9 Marymount University men's volleyball team defeated Rutgers University-Newark, 3-1, Friday night in The Golden Dome in a Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) match.
The Scarlet Raiders battled the Saints all night, fighting to force a fourth set, but eventually suffered the loss. Rutgers-Newark drops to 11-15 overall and 5-6 in the CVC and will host 11th-ranked Eastern Mennonite University Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Marymount moves to 11-1 in the conference and 17-7 overall.
The set scores were 25-23, 25-22, 19-25 and 25-20.
Marymount 25, Rutgers-Newark 23
After splitting the first six points in the match, Rutgers-Newark surged in front with six of the next seven, getting kills from junior Justin Sandy, junior Ricky Crumlish and junior Jalen Sorrell.
Marymount battled back to tie the set at 10, and the two teams were neck-and-neck before an ace from Crumlish – one of four for Rutgers in the set – gave the Raiders a slim 17-15 margin. The Saints tied things at 17, but back back-to-back winners from Sandy helped Rutgers regain the lead at 22-20. Unfortunately, Marymount was able to overcome the deficit, closing the set with five of the final six tallies to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Marymount 25, Rutgers-Newark 22
The Scarlet Raiders ripped off four-straight points to begin the second set, getting an ace from freshman Malik Patel to cap the surge. Another Crumlish ace helped Newark to a five-point lead (9-4), and a denial from Sandy and junior Dom Gutowski allowed R-N to open a set-best six-point edge (14-8).
Marymount was able to come back, tying things at 20 behind freshman Sam Safley and eventually closing the set on a 9-2 run for a 2-0 lead in the match.
Rutgers-Newark 25, Marymount 19
The two teams split the first 10 points in the third, and the Saints held an 8-7 edge after 15 points. A combo-block from Sandy and Gutowski made it a 10-10 set, and a picture-perfect solo-block from Crumlish allowed Rutgers-Newark to open a 13-11 lead.
The hosts' advantage swelled to three (14-11, 15-12), and after the Saints trimmed the advantage to one, back-to-back errors allowed R-N to re-open the three-point working margin.
Sandy's fourth and fifth service aces of the match gave Rutgers-Newark set point at 24-19, and a Sandy kill locked up the 25-19 triumph in the third.
Marymount 25, Rutgers-Newark 20
The Saints took a 9-6 lead after 15 points in the fourth set of play, and after 25 tallies Marymount was up 15-10. An ace for junior Ben Steranka pushed the lead to six (17-11) moments later, but an ace and a kill from Crumlish quickly trimmed the Rutgers-Newark deficit to four.
Despite some momentum, four would be as close as the Scarlet Raiders would get, succumbing by a 25-20 final.
Crumlish tallied 18 kills and a .286 hitting percentage in the match, setting a new career-high and eclipsing 16 winners for the third time in four matches. He also had three aces, seven digs and five blocks. Sandy had 12 kills and 10 digs for a double-double, adding five aces and two blocks, while junior Corey Pieper had six kills and five digs. Freshman Jake Connors lifted 16 digs in a solid performance, with sophomore Brendon Frank tallying 41 assists and eight digs.
R-N held a 69-61 margin in points, totaling 47 kills, 12 blocks and 10 aces. Marymount had 48 kills, seven blocks and six aces, while the Raiders finished with 52 digs and 45 assists.
Statistically, it was a very even match, as the Scarlet Raiders hit .194 and the Saints converted at a .198 clip. Safley led Marymount with 12 kills and Jordan Pawlicki had 24 assists.
Mavericks Drop Spartans in Four Sets
Medaille Takes Care of Crosstown Rival to Improve to (8-5) in NEAC Play
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Calvin Crosby had (14) kills against the Spartans on Thursday
Buffalo, NY – The Medaille Men's Volleyball team took part in another crucial NEAC matchup up with crosstown rival D'Youville College. The Mavericks came into action siting in fifth place in the conference standings with a record of (12-13 overall; 7-5 NEAC). The Spartans looked to get on the right track as they entered play with a (3-15 overall; 2-10 NEAC) record.
Medaille started off set number one on fire getting the first four points to grab early momentum. The momentum remained with the Mavs throughout the first set and they got off to an easy (1-0) lead with a (25-15) win. The team was able to capitalize on (7) attack errors by the Spartans and hit at an incredible (60%). It was a total team effort with Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) leading the way with (3) kills, he had some help from Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista), Joe DiGesare (Lancaster, NY, St. Mary's of Lancaster), and Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches) who all contributed (2) kills each.
The second set got off to a little different start as the teams found themselves trading points early with neither team grabbing control of the set. The Mavericks hit their stride half through the set by getting out to their largest lead (13-7). D'Youville would not go away quietly as they crawled all the way back to within in (2) with a score of (16-14). Despite their efforts Medaille took (9) of the last (14) points to open a (2-0) set advantage in an all-important conference matchup. Crosby was the leader once again recording (5) more kills.
Down but not the Spartans continued their fight and looked take control of set three early as they jumped out to an (8-6) lead. The set was a continuous back and forth affair and each point was harder to get than the last. D'Youville carried their lead and it was the Mavericks who were playing from behind trialing (16-11). Medaille would get as close as (24-23) but the Spartans closed out the set (25-23) forcing a fourth set.
It was Medaille getting out to the early lead in set number four (8-4), leading to a D'Youville timeout. As they did in set number one, the Mavs, got the momentum early and didn't let it go. They took set by a score of (25-19) and the match (3-1).
Medaille was led all match by Calvin Crosby who recorded (14) total kills. Making a difference on the offensive and defensive side of the ball was Joe DiGesare who tallied (9) kills and (6) digs. As a team the Mavs played great volleyball hitting a great (36%) and only committing (14) total errors.
|DiGesare had a great all around game recording (9) kills and (6) digs.|
With the win the Mavericks reached the five hundred mark and improved their record to (13-13 overall; 8-5 NEAC). The loss dropped the Spartans to (3-16 overall; 2-11 NEAC). Medaille will return to action this Saturday, April 1st in an NEAC crossover match. They will face off with the Wildcats of SUNY Poly at 2:00 pm and the Wolves of Keuka College at 8:00 pm.
Mavericks Give Spartans Loss Heading into Final Weekend
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville men's volleyball team suffered a loss to the Medaille Mavericks on Thursday evening by the final score of 3-1.
Medaille took an early lead in the first set on the match at 11-6. They then grew their lead to eight as the Mavericks had an 18-9 advantage over the Spartans. That lead continued to grow until the first set ended as Medaille won by the score 25-15.
The second set was again led by Medaille 11-6 after a 4-0 scoring run from the Mavericks. D'Youville would battle back to trail by two at 17-15 and then three at 21-18, but Medaille would again pull away and go on to win the second set 25-19.
After the two teams were tied 8-8 in the third, D'Youville would score five straight points to take a 13-8 lead. The Mavericks would pull to within three of the Spartan's lead several times, then trail by two and eventually one at 24-23, but D'Youville would hold on to win the third set 25-23.
In the fourth set, the Mavericks jumped out to an eight-point lead over the Spartans. D'Youville would fight back to trail by four at 18-14, but Medaille would again create distance between the two teams and go on to win the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) led the team with 32 assists in the match, adding six digs and two blocks. As he has done throughout the season, Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) led the team with 22 kills. Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) recorded a team high 12 digs to go with four kills.
Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) led the team with three service aces, while Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego) added four kills. Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) had three kills in the match while James Zeiger (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) contributed four digs and Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) added an assist.
The men will finish their season this weekend as they host the NEAC Crossover. D'Youville will play at 10am against Wells and 6pm against SUNY Poly on Saturday, April 1. The Spartans will then face Keuka on Sunday, April 2 at 2pm to conclude their 2017 season.
No. 9 Saints complete season sweep of Mustangs to remain atop CVC
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The No. 9 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad defeated Stevenson University in a Continental Volleyball Conference matchup on Wednesday night. The Saints defeated the Mustangs for the second time this season in a four-set victory, 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-20).
The Saints trailed early in set one before mounting a 3-0 run mid-set to tie at 15 all. Another 3-0 run led by junior TJ Wiechecki, who notched a kill, and freshman Joseph Zanelotti, who added an ace, gave the Saints a 20-18 lead. MU continued to be a force on the offensive end, finishing the set with three-straight kills to win, 25-21.
The blue and white pieced together a 5-0 run behind three kills from Wiechecki and another from junior Ben Steranka to push ahead 11-10 in set two. Marymount maintained its lead through the rest of the set and sophomore Eric Wiles notched a kill to give Saints a 25-20 victory.
MU trailed early on in set three, using a timeout after falling behind 8-2. The Saints posted three-straight points following the timeout to cut the deficit to three. Marymount gained its first lead at 17-16 following a kill by sophomore Remington Shahan, but the late push wasn't enough to overcome the Mustangs, falling short, 25-23, to push it to extra sets.
In set four, the Saints took an early 4-2 lead following two-straight kills by freshman Sam Safley. Both squads battled back-and-forth through the rest of the set before Marymount prevailed on top, 25-20.
Wiechecki led the Saints on the offensive end with a game-high 21 kills. Zanelotti posted a game-high 45 assists to direct the offense, while Connor Choate scooped up 10 digs on the defensive end.
The men will head to Rutgers University-Newark for a CVC matchup on Friday, March 31. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
Mustangs Drop Second Straight Home Match, Fall to No. 9 Marymount (Va.)
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - The Stevenson men's volleyball team hit just .193 as the Mustangs could not overcome a hot hitting and ninth-ranked Marymount (Va.) Wednesday evening at Owings Mills Gymnasium.
The Mustangs (16-9, 7-3 CVC) fell 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 20-25 as the team dropped their second straight home match contest after a 19 home game winning streak dating back to the 2015 season.
The hosts recorded three of the first four points to give Stevenson a slight cushion in the opening set as the team would run its lead to six points. The Mustangs used a 6-2 run, capped by a service ace by senior Kyle Johnson, to extend their lead to 12-6 and force a timeout by Marymount.
A 4-0 run by the Saints (), the first string of back-to-back points by the visitors in the match, cut the deficit to 14-12, which forced the first timeout by the Mustangs. A kill by sophomore Jason Gardner out of the timeout halted the run.
But Marymount scored the next four points to tie the game at 15-15, just the second tie of the set since the opening two points. After two more ties, the Saints took their first lead of the set after a service ace by Joseph Zanelotti hit the tape and rolled over.
A kill by senior Michael Fehrs brought Stevenson's deficit to 22-21, but Marymount ended the set with three straight kills, including the seventh of the set by three-time and reigning CVC Player of the Week, TJ Wiechecki.
After errors on the opening four points of the second set, sophomore Landon Shorts put his third kill down before back-to-back block assists by Fehrs and senior Nate Ellis to start a 6-2 run for the Mustangs.
Trailing 10-6, the Saints scored five consecutive points, including three kills by Wiechecki as Marymount went on a 10-3 run to take a 16-13 lead and force a Stevenson timeout. The Saints continued the run out of the timeout and led by as many as six, including 22-16.
A solo block by freshman Nathan Bosse followed by a kill by Ellis got the hosts back within four at 22-18 but back-to-back attack errors gave Marymount six set points.
The Mustangs hit -.074 in the second set after committing eight errors compared to just six kills while the Saints put down 13 kills compared to just five errors.
For the third straight set, Stevenson opened with a lead as the hosts went up 8-2 on six errors by the Saints. Both Gardner and Short recorded solo blocks and a block assist by both Gardner and Ellis. Shorts also recorded his first service ace of the match.
Shorts finished with two service aces in the match and now has 56 service aces this season and is just two shy of tying the single season record of 58 he set a season ago.
Out of a Marymount timeout, the Saints scored four consecutive points and slowly cut away at Stevenson's lead, eventually taking a 17-16 lead and forcing a Mustang timeout after a 5-1 run by the visitors.
The Mustangs scored four of the next five points, getting two kills from junior Alex Klunk as well as two errors from Marymount to take a 20-18 lead. But the Saints answered with back-to-back points for the fourth tie of the set.
A kill by senior Nicholas Gross gave the hosts two set points and the Mustangs closed it out with a service error by the Saints to force a fourth set. Stevenson hit .310 in the set on 11 kills and just two errors while the visitors hit .176 after totaling seven errors.
After falling behind 6-4 early in the fourth set, the Mustangs took a 7-6 lead on back-to-back kills by Gross. The Saints however answered with an 8-3 run to build a 14-10 advantage. Stevenson would get as close as 23-20 late in the set but Marymount hit .476 in the set.
Ellis finished with a team-high 11 kills while Gardner added 10. Ellis also totaled six total blocks while Gardner had six digs and four total blocks. Senior Kyle Johnson recorded 37 assists and five digs.
Stevenson returns to action on Friday, March 30 when the Mustangs host a Continental Volleyball Conference contest versus Juniata beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Huge Rally Lifts No. 3 Vassar Past Second-Ranked New Paltz Wednesday
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
NEW PALTZ, NY (March 29, 2017) – The No. 3 ranked Vassar College men's volleyball team stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to shock the defending national champions in No. 2 New Paltz in five games 3-2, as the Brewers pretty much locked up hosting duties for the United Volleyball Conference (UVC) Tournament. Vassar knocked off the second-ranked Hawks 20-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-13 and 17-15.
The win was the Brewers (22-6, 6-0 UVC) 10th straight victory this season, while the 6-0 record and win Wednesday gave Vassar a tie-breaker over the top four teams in the conference. If Vassar picks up just one win on Saturday against either Bard College or Penn State-Behrend, the Brewers will host the UVC Tournament on April 13-15 for the first time in program history.
The match was a tale of dominating play from both teams, with a huge momentum swing during the middle part of the contest. In the opening game, Vassar and New Paltz (21-5, 4-2 UVC) went back and forth in the early going before the Hawks went on a 5-1 run to take 12-9 lead. Vassar would not get any closer in the set, as New Paltz hit .320 and forced VC into eight hitting errors.
In the second set, Vassar hit better with a percentage of .071, but the Hawks continued to finish balls, pounding down 16 terminations in the game to take a 2-0 lead. VC led 8-3 during the early going of the set, but New Paltz powered back and took a 13-11 lead. The Brewers regained the lead at 16-15 on a block by George Diehl and Christian Lizana, but the Hawks notched six of the next seven points to take a 21-17 advantage. The Brewers pulled to within two three times, but New Paltz posted a block to seal the game.
The third set is when things would change for the visiting Brewers, as the offense came to life with the defensive effort amping up. Vassar hit .526 for the set, pounding down 11 kills on 19 attacks, while forcing New Paltz into seven errors. The struggles for New Paltz continued in the fourth as Vassar saw the Hawks post 10 errors and a -.069 hitting percentage, as Vassar hit .333 with eight kills and just two errors to deadlock the match at two games apiece.
In the decisive fifth set, New Paltz took a 7-5 lead after a kill from Jake Roessler, but freshman Yoni Auerbach ended the 3-0 run by the hosts with a kill. Fellow freshman would finally pull VC even at 9-9 with an ace, but the Hawks posted two points at 10-10 to take a 12-10 edge. Lizana hammered down back-to-back kills to deadlock the game at 12-12, and VC had the game's first match point at 14-13 but was denied the win after a block by the Hawks.
Vassar had another chance at 15-14 but New Paltz once again fended off the Brewers once again. In the end though, VC took advantage of a service error followed by an attack error to clinch the win. The victory over New Paltz was Vassar's first over its Hudson River rival since 2012, moving the very competitive series record to 26-24 in favor of the Brewers.
The Brewers were paced offensively by junior Matthew Knigge, who posted 14 terminations on 23 attacks, hitting .478 for the match. The All-American junior also finished with four assisted blocks and four digs. Lizana posted 12 winners for Vassar with four digs as well, and Auerbach contributed eight kills as well for the Brewers.
Senior libero Trey Cimorelli tallied a team-best 12 digs, while fellow senior Quinn Rutledge continued his strong play with an all-around game of four kills, two blocks and eight digs. Junior Zechariah Lee dished out 39 assists, but added four assisted rejections and four digs. Sophomore George Diehl added six terminations as well for VC, contributing the Brewer's lone solo block as well. Vassar hit .265 (46-19-102) for the match.
New Paltz was led by the match-high 16 kills from Anthony Bonilla, as Roessler and CJ Borfitz added 11 finishes as well. Matthew Grace was strong for New Paltz with 41 assists, four blocks and two aces, and Robert Nolan led the hosts with nine digs. The Hawks attacked at a .200 rate on the match, posting more total points scored (68.0-59.0) than VC.
"What a great atmosphere tonight, with four great seniors being celebrated by New Paltz," said Vassar head coach Richard Gary. "We had a great group of fans coming over to help push us to the finish. It's always great to compete hard against a very strong New Paltz team, and Radu has those guys playing a very physical game, which took some time to adjust to."
"There's also the emotional side of these guys having lost a tough one last year, and we were pretty tight as the game started. Luckily these guys have been working on their focus and staying present all year, and by set three we started playing quality points. Now we're going to recover, get some studying done, and prepare for Saturday where we're playing for a chance to host. Exciting stuff."
The Brewers will now look to the final two conference matches of the season, heading to Annandale-on-Hudson, NY to take on Penn State-Behrend (10-12, 1-5 UVC) and Bard (5-18, 0-5 UVC) for a UVC tri-match starting at 11 a.m. in the Stevenson Athletic Center.
NO. 2 MEN’S NEW PALTZ SUFFERS SENIOR NIGHT SETBACK TO NO. 3 VASSAR
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – Despite holding a 2-0 lead on Senior Night, the No. 2 State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team fell to visiting No. 3 Vassar 3-2 (25-20, 25-22, 16-25, 13-25, 15-17) in a United Volleyball Conference (UVC) showdown on Wednesday night in the Hawk Center.
With the defeat, the Hawks fall to 21-5, 4-2 UVC and will prepare to travel to No. 5 Stevens with Nazareth in a UVC tri-match on Saturday, April 1 in Hoboken, N.J. The Brewers improve to 22-6, 6-0 UVC and hold the No. 1 seed in the upcoming UVC playoffs entering the weekend.
Offensively, junior Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) led the Hawks with a match-high16 kills while senior teammates Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) and C.J. Borfitz (Inwood, N.Y./Lawrence) both tallied 11 kills apiece.
Sophomore Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) floored nine kills (.615) while freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) filled the stat sheet with a match-best 41 assists, six digs, two kills, two aces and four total blocks.
Prior to the contest, the four seniors on the Hawks – Roessler, Borfitz, Steve Gassert and Steven Woessner – were honored in a pre-game ceremony for their four years of service to the program.
In their four seasons, these four seniors helped lead the Hawks to 109 victories, two UVC titles (2014, 2016) and one NCAA Division III National Championship (2016).
After winning the first two sets, 25-20 and 25-22, the Brewers seemed to figure out the New Paltz defense and claimed the next two sets in convincing fashion, 25-16 and 25-13 to force the final fifth set in the Hudson River rivalry.
Men's Volleyball Falls to Nazareth
Golden Flyers sweep Mavericks (3-0)
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Freshman Shawn Barbalato Had (4) kills and a team high (3) total blocks on Tuesday.
BUFFALO, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team made their return to the Sullivan Center on Tuesday night, hosting the Golden Flyers of Nazareth College in a non-conference showdown. The Golden Flyers combined a potent offense with a very strong defensive outing, sweeping the Mavs (3-0; 25-20, 25-13, 25-15).
Nazareth stifled the Medaille attack all night, blocking a total of (15.5) shots compared to the Mavericks (5). The Golden Flyers also hit extremely well, especially in the third and final set when they combined as a team to hit for a (.545) attacking percentage.
On the other side the Mavs struggled, committing (24) attack errors and only ending the night with (17) kills.
Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) (4), Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) (4), Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) (3), Brazil Thompson (Buffalo, NY, Cheektowaga) (3), and Matt Buss (Hamburg, NY, Frontier) (2) all ended the night with multiple kills for Medaille. Sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence), who earlier in the day was named the NEAC Defensive Player of the Week, dished out (16) assists and also led the team with (8) digs.
The loss drops Medaille to (12-13) overall as they will be back in action on Thursday, when they host the Spartans of D'Youville College in an NEAC and Buffalo Cup showdown. The match is scheduled for a 7:00 pm start.
Dempsey Earns NEAC Weekly Defensive Honor
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
|It is his second NEAC Player of the Week award this season|
GANSEVOORT, NY – The North Eastern Athletic Conference announced their weekly awards for Men's Volleyball on Tuesday afternoon, and Medaille's own Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) was named the NEAC Defensive Player of the Week. This is the second time Dempsey has been named an NEAC Athlete of the Week, as he was named NEAC Men's Volleyball Player of the Week in January as well.
Dempsey was the floor general for Medaille last week helping Medaille go (2-2). Dempsey dished out (130) assists, good for (10) assists per set while adding one service ace as well. Defensively Dempsey was just as good, leading the team with (27) total digs and earning (4) total blocks including (2) solo blocks.
Heftka Moves To #1 in Hawks Loss at Behrend
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
ERIE, Pa. – Hilbert College traveled to Penn State Behrend this evening and suffered a straight-set Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference loss. The Lions improved to 10-12 and 4-3 in the AMCC league standings.
With his one Block Assist, Adam Hekftka moved to 104 in his four-year career. He currently shares the All Time Leader title with Adam Duncan but will move into sole possession with his next block assist. He is four service aces away from claiming the #1 spot and nine blocks away from holding that recognition as well.
Michael Podgorny posted nine kills, eight digs and two block assists while Heftka quarterbacked the net with 16 assists.
The Lions started out with a 7-2 lead that gradually grew into double digits at 22-12. Kurtis Maloney earned consecutive points for the Hawks with a kill and then followed with a service ace, but Behrend closed the 1st set with a kill, taking a 25-15 win.
Michael Podgorny helped Hilbert put the pressure on in the second set. He collected five kills while Kurtis Maloney and Tanner Makowski earned back-to-back kills that brought Hilbert within one point down the stretch and forced a Behrend timeout. After the break, the Hawks had three straight errors to give the Lions a 25-21 victory.
Hilbert earned four points in the final set behind one David Arlaud kill, two Podgorny kills and a solo block by Maloney. The Lions closed on an 11-0 run that included five service aces for a 25-8 decision and the match.
The Hawks (0-19) head to their final NEAC crossover weekend to close out their 2017 league schedule. Hilbert will battle Keuka (12pm) and Wells (4pm) April 1 and complete the weekend against SUNY Poly April 2 at 10am.
Win Streak Moves To Nine As Men’s Volleyball Sweeps No. 15 Juniata, Arcadia
Saturday, March 25, 2017
HUNTINGDON, PA (March 25, 2017) – The Vassar College men's volleyball team, ranked No. 4 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 15, continued to roll Saturday, upping its win streak to nine games with 3-0 wins over No. 15 Juniata College and Arcadia University in non-conference action from Memorial Gym on the campus of Juniata.
The nine-game win streak for the Brewers is the second-longest in program history, eclipsed only by the 13-game stretch for VC back in 2008. VC picked up straight set wins with scores of 29-27, 25-22 and 25-16 over Juniata, followed by a 25-14, 25-19 and 25-18 win over Arcadia.
Vassar 3, Juniata 0
The Brewers were on-fire offensively in the opening match of the day, hitting .407, led by 15 kills and a .750 hitting clip from freshman Yoni Auerbach to roll to the win. Vassar posted 17 kills in each of the first two sets, and held the Eagles to .143 hitting in the third to earn the straight set victory.
The 15 kills for Auerbach were a career high, as he posted no errors on 20 attempts. The newcomer added three blocks as well for VC. Christian Lizana finished with 10 kills and four digs, and junior Matthew Knigge hammered down eight winners, while blocking five total attempts. Fellow junior Zechariah Lee also handed out 37 assists, finishing with three kills on his five attacks. Senior Quinn Rutledge also posted six kills and six digs, while fellow senior Trey Cimorelli had six defensive saves.
The first set was close throughout, needing extra points after Juniata fended off a pair of set points for Vassar. The Eagles had a set point at 25-24, but Lizana put down an attack to tie the game at 25. Lizana two points later once again saved VC to tie the set at 27, and a block by Auerbach and Knigge clinched the game for VC.
In the second set, Vassar and Juniata (13-10) were tied at 17 but the Brewers scored five of the next six points to pull away, as Lizana finished the set and put Vassar up 2-0 with another kill. The third game was all Vassar, as the Brewers scored eight of the first nine points, cruising to the three-set victory. Quinn Peterson finished with 12 kills for JC, while Matt Vasinko added 10 as well for the Eagles.
Vassar 3, Arcadia 0
The Brewers continued to be effective offensively at the net, while Vassar's defense improved in the second match as well. VC hit .344 (31-10-61) for the match, while holding the Knights (11-15) to just 23 kills and a hitting clip of .074. Knigge was VC's top offensive threat in the nightcap, posting 11 kills on 17 attempts, hitting .529.
Junior Brian Manley got the better of his little brother Jason Manley of Arcadia on Saturday, as Manley chalked up seven kills. Lee added four kills, 22 helpers, two aces, three digs and four assisted blocks, and freshman Zach Bygall posted three kills on four attacks. Fellow newcomer Kevin Ros also had three assists, a service ace and five digs. Cimorelli led all players with six digs.
"It was a great trip to shake off the rust from spring break," said head coach Richard Gary, as Vassar also knocked off Marymount University Friday evening in five games. "The guys played better every set and showed great focus as we faced a fun opposed crowd. It was nice to see different guys carry the offensive load."
"It's necessary for our development that we diversify the offense. Matt was obviously great against Marymount, while Yoni had a fantastic match with Juniata, and Brian played lights out against Arcadia, which was nice to see since he was playing his little brother." The younger Manley led Arcadia with eight kills and four digs, while Bryce Galloway also added eight kills.
Vassar (21-6) has now won every match since the start of February against teams not named Springfield College, winning 16 of its last 18 overall. The Brewers will now travel to United Volleyball Conference arch rival New Paltz Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. to put a stranglehold on the top spot in the conference standings with a win.
No. 11 Saints take No. 4 Vassar to five sets again, fall short on Senior Night
Friday, March 24, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va.— The No. 11 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad stumbled against No. 4 Vassar College on Friday night, dropping an exciting five-set decision on Senior Night, 3-2 (24-26, 22-25, 26-24, 25-22, 9-15).
The score remained tight early on until the Saints pieced together a 3-0 run to take a 12-8 lead and force a timeout by Vassar. The Brewers rallied back to tie the set at 13 all, but Marymount pushed ahead once again following a 5-0 stretch, 19-14. VC later answered with three-straight kills from Matthew Knigge, pulling ahead 23-22, and eventually taking set one in extra points, 26-24.
The Saints jumped ahead 4-0 to open the second game, including a service ace by junior Erich Bratke. MU maintained control of the tempo for much of the set, which forced VC to burn a timeout after trailing, 12-7. The Saints used a timeout of their own after the Brewers mounted a comeback and cut the deficit to three, 18-15. The Saints fell short after an impressive offensive performance by the Brewers, 25-22.
The momentum shifted in favor of the Saints mid-set of game three after MU scored five-straight points to tie it up at 14-14. Sophomore Remington Shahan led the run with two kills, while junior TJ Wiechecki added a kill and sophomore Eric Wiles notched a service ace. Both squads traded points through the rest of the set before Marymount closed it out on top, 26-24.
In a tight fourth-set matchup, the squads stayed neck-and-neck early on. A kill by Wiechecki gave the Saints some breathing room, 22-18, while junior Graham Clark finished the set in favor of the Saints, after connecting with freshman setter Joseph Zanelotti, 25-22, to once again send the match to a deciding set.
Shahan put the ball down with force to open set five, but the Brewers quickly gained momentum after moving ahead 9-6, forcing the Saints to use a timeout. Clark interrupted the run with kill of his own to cut the deficit to three, 10-7. MU used another timeout after falling behind, 13-8, it wasn't enough to overcome the difference, falling 15-9.
Wiechecki paced the Saints on the offensive end, tying for a game-high 20 kills. Shahan tied his career-high in kills, adding 11 and hitting .450. Zanelotti and Bratke split time in the setter position and posted 33 and 17 assists, respectively. On the defensive end, Wiechecki and junior Connor Choate tied for a game-high 11 digs.
Prior to the match, the Saints recognized the program's first Senior Class, honoring Chris Lionette and Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz on their careers donning the blue and white.
The men's squad will travel to Continental Volleyball Conference foe, Stevenson University on Wednesday, March 29. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
Knigge Hammers Down 20 Kills In 3-2 Win Over No. 11 Marymount
Friday, March 24, 2017
ARLINGTON, VA (March 24, 2017) – Junior middle hitter Matthew Knigge pounded down a career-high 20 kills Friday night, as the No. 4 Vassar College men's volleyball team fended off a rally from hosts Marymount University to earn a 3-2 win in non-conference action from the Verizon Sports Arena. VC won with scores of 26-24, 25-22, 24-26, 22-25 and 15-9.
The 20 terminations from Knigge were four more than his previous career high of 16, set on a pair of occasions as a sophomore in 2016. This season, his former high was 15 against Juniata College March 4 and New York University March 10.
The difference for the Brewers Friday evening was their blocking prowess, as Vassar posted 18 total blocks led by the nine from Knigge. The 18.0-6.0 block spread was the difference in the match, as Marymount (16-6) posted more kills (56-48) on the night.
Vassar (19-6) posted the opening set win, hitting .212, but trailed for much of the first set before posting four straight points to tie the set at 13. Marymount responded at 14-14 with five straight points to make the score 19-14, and led 22-17 before VC chalked up six consecutive points to take the lead on a Knigge kill. The Brewers would earn the opening set though, causing two hitting errors at 24-all to earn the early edge.
The second set saw the Saints take a 7-2 lead and led by as many as seven at 16-9 after an ace by Remington Shahan. VC would start to creep back into the set, eventually taking a 22-21 lead on a triple block by Zechariah Lee, Knigge and Quinn Rutledge. Vassar ended the set by scoring the last three points, all on errors by Marymount.
The Saints would respond in the third and fourth set to tie the match, hitting .321 and .345 in each of the games to pull even. In the fifth set, Vassar scored four straight at 6-all to take the advantage for good, fittingly clinching the match on a finish by Knigge.
Knigge posted his 20 kills on 29 attempts, hitting an astounding .586 while chalking up nine total rejections, eight of the assisted variety. Senior Christian Lizana posted seven kills and four digs, and freshman Yoni Auerbach added seven kills and four assisted blocks.
Lee posted five kills on his 10 attacks, adding 41 assists, five service aces, seven assisted blocks and six digs. Lee became the first player for the Brewers to chalk up a 5x5 line (five categories with five or more) since at least before 2000. Freshman Kevin Ros finished with nine digs for the Brewers, while senior Trey Cimorelli also added nine digs to lead the Brewers. VC hit .230 on the day, posting 48 total team kills.
TJ Wiechecki finished with 20 kills for the Saints, and Shahan posted 11 finishes as well for the Saints. Marymount hit .179 for the match, with Sam Safley posting nine kills and Graham Clark adding eight as well.
Vassar will be right back in action Saturday, heading north to Huntingdon, PA to take on Arcadia University and Juniata College at Juniata at 1 and 3 p.m. in more non-conference play.
Mavericks Earn Fourth Straight Victory
Men's Volleyball sweeps Wilson (3-0)
Friday, March 24, 2017
Freshman Brazil Thompson had (7) kills against Wilson on Friday
HAMBURG, NY – For the second time in five days the Medaille College Men's Volleyball team found themselves on the campus of Hilbert College, this time to start the third NEAC Crossover Weekend. Their first of three matches found them take on the Phoenix of Wilson College, and the Mavericks took care of business in straight sets winning (3-0; 28-26, 25-20, 26-24).
It was close throughout, just as the first matchup of the season was when Medaille came away with a (3-2) win in Lancaster. Medaille finished with a slight edge in total kills (36-32), service aces (9-5), and total blocks (8-5); while Wilson earned more digs than the Mavs (52-46).
The deciding factor may have been attacking errors; while Medaille earned more kills they also had five less attack errors than the Phoenix, holding Wilson to an attacking percentage of just (.060).
Eight different Mavericks earned at least one kill, as Medaille earned their fourth straight win and fifth in their last six matches.
Sophomore Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches) paced the Mavs with (8) kills, while freshman Brazil Thompson (Buffalo, NY, Cheektowaga) wasn't far behind with (7). Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) (6), Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) (4), Matt Buss (Hamburg, NY, Frontier) (4), Matt Dickerson (Lockport, NY, Starpoint) (3), and Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) (3) all finished with multiple kills as well as Medaille finished with a team hitting percentage of (.137).
Sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) earned yet another double-double dishing out (29) assists and scooping up (13) digs. Freshman Joe DiGesare (Lancaster, NY, St. Mary's of Lancaster) also reached double-digit digs (11) as Medaille improved to (12-10) overall and (7-3) in NEAC play.
The Mavs will wrap up the NEAC weekend with a pair of matches on Saturday, first going up against Penn State-Altoona at 11:00am and finishing with a date against Lancaster Bible at 3:00pm.
Hilbert Falls in First Set of Weekend
Friday, March 24, 2017
HAMBURG, N.Y. – Penn State Altoona earned their 11th straight NEAC win this afternoon after they claimed a 3-0 match victory over Hilbert College (0-16). The Hawks struggled from the service line giving the visitors an easy advantage as they improved to 17-4 overall.
For the match, Hilbert committed 15 service errors which allowed Altoona to inch away late in all three sets.
The Lions won the first set thanks to a pair of their own services aces and a Hilbert serve error for the 25-17 win.
Altoona took set two in much the same fashion, 25-18 and then the third 25-13 for the victory.
Michael Podgorny was very reliable at the net. The outside hitter finished with nine kills (.231) and he shared team-high dig honors (3) with Tanner Makowski.
Adam Heftka assisted 16 times and Caleb Nellis earned a pair of block assists. Makowski earned Hilbert's solo block.
The Hawks return to action tomorrow morning at 9 am when they host Wilson College and close Saturday's six-game stretch with a 7pm game against Lancaster Bible College.
Arcadia Takes Down Wilkes 3-0
Thursday, March 23, 2017
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Arcadia University men's volleyball team returned to action following a two-week layoff and recorded a 3-0 victory at Wilkes University by game scores of 25-20, 25-20 and 25-17. The Knights last competed at Wilson back on March 7.
FOR THE RECORD: Arcadia improved to 11-14 with the victory, its first since recording a 3-1 win at Cairn March 4. The Colonels fell to 5-11 with their seventh consecutive loss.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Arcadia and Wilkes traded small runs throughout the opening game, which saw the Knights close it out with a 3-0 run for the 25-20 final, winning on a service ace from freshman Robie Moctezuma. The second game played out in similar fashion, with Arcadia scoring three straight points to go up 21-16 before trading points with the Colonels for another 25-20 win. Arcadia led the third game 18-14 before going on a 4-0 run to pull away on its way to a 25-17 win in the third and final game., ending on a kill for freshman Bryce Galloway.
ARCADIA LEADERS: Freshman Jason Manley had a match-high 12 kills with 11 digs and two aces, while Galloway was close behind with 11 kills and nine digs. Classmate Austin Braas had eight kills and five blocks, while Moctezuma hit .455 with five kills on 11 swings to go with five blocks. Senior Sean Cohen handed out 35 assists with nine digs.
WILKES LEADERS: John Pietrzyk and Daniel Sales had six kills and five sigs each for the Colonels. Sales also led the team with 12 assists.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Arcadia outscored Wilkes 57-27 while hitting .269 as a team. The Knights held a 41-20 advantage in kills, a 12-4 advantage in blocks and a 4-3 edge in aces.
Nazereth Downs Penn State Behrend in Three Sets
Thursday, March 23, 2017
ERIE, PA - Nazareth picked up a three-set road victory (25-22, 25-22, 25-23) over Penn State Behrend Thursday night, securing a spot in the UVC Tournament April 14-16. Nazareth (17-10 overall, 3-3 UVC) is currently in the sixth and final position with two more conference games left to play. The Golden Flyers will close out conference play in Hoboken, NJ on April 1st with matches against Stevens and New Paltz.
After taking the opening set, Nazareth jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the second to seize control. Zachary Gillard closed out the set with one of his game-high 11 kills.
The third set was a test throughout, however, Nazareth tallied three straight points and got to match point at 24-21. Kane Wittorff, who got the Golden Flyers to match point with a kill, won it with another at 25-23. He also had 11 kills on a .421 attack percentage, committing just two errors.
Ethan Ross hit .455 with six kills and totaled four blocks in the match.
Tom Keisling paced the defense with 12 digs, while Jake Kemp put down 33 assists.
Nazareth travels to Medaille next Tuesday for a 7 p.m. non-conference matchup.
Nazareth Edges Penn State Behrend
Thursday, March 23, 2017
ERIE, Pa. – The Nazareth men's volleyball team posted a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23) win over Penn State Behrend in United Volleyball Conference (UVC) action on Thursday night in the Junker Center.
The Golden Flyers (16-11, 3-3 UVC) narrowly won each set to remain undefeated against the Lions (9-12, 1-5 UVC) and snap a two-match losing streak.
Tyler Herrmann (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) and Dillon Hildebrand (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) each recorded eight kills for Behrend, while Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY/Eden) had a stat line of 15 assists, eight digs, five kills and three blocks.
After being down by five points at 8-3 in the first set, the Lions pulled within two points on six occasions including 24-22 before falling on a service error. Kane Wittorff tallied five of Nazareth's 15 kills for the set.
The Lions took a bit to warm up in the second set just like the first. The Golden Flyers went up 7-3 to start, forcing a Behrend timeout. Down the stretch, the Lions went on a 4-1 run to make it 24-22 once again. Nazareth took a breather on a timeout and came back with a kill from Zachary Gillard, his fifth of the set for an identical score of 25-22.
The Golden Flyers did not have a chance to pull away in the third. The Lions battled until the end to keep the match alive, knotting the game at 18-all with the serves from Herrmann and a kill from Hildebrand. Nazareth tallied three straight points and got to match point at 24-21. A service error combined with a Herrmann kill made it 24-23. Wittorff, who got the Golden Flyers to match point with a kill, won it with another at 25-23.
Herrmann added eight digs to his eight kills and Anthony Sprentz (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) handed out 10 assists.
Behrend returns to action on Tuesday against Hilbert. Match is at 7 p.m.
Mavs Sweep Season Series with Hilbert
Medaille takes down Hawks (3-0)
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
HAMBURG, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team traveled to take on NEAC and AMCC foe Hilbert College on Tuesday night, looking to complete the season sweep of the Hawks in the process. The Mavericks did just that in Hamburg, taking down the Hawks in straight sets (3-0; 25-18, 25-20, 25-22).
The Mavericks received a balanced attack on the offensive side of the nest, with (10) different players earning at least one kill.
Leading the way was freshman Brazil Thompson (Buffalo, NY, Cheektowaga) who had (8) kills, while fellow freshman Matt Buss (Hamburg, NY, Frontier) wasn't far behind with (7). Sophomore Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches) had (6) kills and sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) dished out (37) assists as Medaille improved to (11-10) on the season.
Nine Mavs also earned at least one dig with sophomore Daniel Joseph (El Dorado, CA, Union Mine) leading the way with (7). Junior Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) paced Medaille with (4) blocks and senior Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) blocked one attempt and had one kill returning to action after a knee injury kept him out for the better part of a month.
The win improves Medaille to (6-3) in NEAC play as they get ready for the third NEAC Crossover weekend in Hamburg starting on Friday, March 24 with a match against Wilson College. First serve is scheduled for 6:00 pm.
Makowski and Podgorny Reach Double Dig Kills in Loss
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
HAMBURG, N.Y. – Tanner Makowski and Michael Podgorny shared game-high kill honors tonight, but the Medaille College men's volleyball team captured a 3-0 NEAC and Buffalo Cup victory against Hilbert in the Hafner Recreation Center.
Makowski finished with a .350 attack percentage resulting in 10 kills, his strongest game at the net since returning to action a few weeks ago.
Podgorny added 10 kills and two service aces while Adam Heftka assisted on 27 kills for the Hawks.
Hilbert found themselves in a 7-0 hole to start the match, but they responded and closed the gap to two points (7-5) before the Mavericks extended their lead again. Medaille took the opening set 25-18, the exact spread at the start of the set.
Hilbert closed the second set with a .269 attack percentage, but suffered a 25-20 defeat.
The Hawks built a 16-11 lead midway through the third set. Hilbert earned three points in that stretch with Yannic Sandy at the service line. Medaille crept back and force a 20-20 tie before Hilbert matched the score again at 22-22. The visitors corralled three straight points for the 25-22 victory.
The men's volleyball program has a busy weekend hosting five other NEAC teams. Play begins on Friday and continues through to Saturday night with nine total matches. Joining the Hawks on March 24 will be Penn State Altoona (4pm), Medaille will battle Wilson College at 6pm and then D'Youville will challenge Lancaster Bible at 8pm. Play resumes March 25 at 9 am.
Kawecki and Nowicki Crowned UVC Athletes of the Week
Monday, March 20, 2017
Player of the Week – Elmira College
Mark Kawecki, Senior, Outside Hitter – Bangor, Pa. / Bethlehem Catholic
Mark Kawecki had a standout week for Elmira, guiding the Soaring Eagles to a pair of non-conference victories to extend the team’s win streak to three matches. The senior finished the week with 26 kills (3.25 per set) on a .408 attack percentage. He was also the team's leader in aces (5), digs (12), and was second in blocks (5). Kawecki hit a blistering .733-percent in EC's 3-0 win over D'Youville, a match that Elmira logged a record-setting .564 team attack percentage. He produced 11 kills against the Spartans and served up all five of his week's aces. Kawecki wrapped up the week with a season-high-tying 15 kills and seven digs in Elmira’s five-set win against Baruch; four of his 15 kills were floored during the fifth set. Additionally, Kawecki became the fourth player in program history to eclipse 600 career kills.
Rookie of the Week – Penn State Behrend
Calvin Nowicki, Freshman, Setter – Eden, N.Y. / Eden
Calvin Nowicki enjoyed one of his finest outings last week, as Penn State Behrend went 2-1 with wins over Thiel and Sage. The freshman setter dished out 63 assists in a week that the Lions hit no worse than .217. He also racked up 24 digs, four blocks, and a trio of service aces. He best match of the week came in a four-set loss to 10th-ranked Hunter, a match that saw the Eden, New York, native produce his first-ever triple-double with 10 kills, 11 digs, and 24 assists.
No. 11 Saints seal up second-straight sweep with powerful showing against Thiel
Saturday, March 18, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va.—The No. 11 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad continued its impressive 2017 campaign in Continental Volleyball Conference play on Saturday night, improving to 8-1. The Saints dominated Thiel College in a three-set sweep, 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-17).
The Saints wasted no time taking a 4-2 lead to open set one. Moments later, senior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz and junior TJ Wiechecki teamed up to notch two kills, coupled with a Tomcat error, giving MU a 15-9 advantage. The blue and white garnered a 7-0 run late in the set, led by two service aces from Ksiazkiewicz and a kill from Wiechecki to give the Saints a commanding 22-11 lead eventually closing out the set ahead, 25-14.
Both squads battled in set two, as Marymount fell behind, 12-11, but didn't stay down long. The Saints rallied back on a 6-0 run, sparked by Ksiazkiewicz bolstering another kill. The run forced Thiel to burn a timeout, but it didn't slow down the Saints' momentum. The blue and white pushed ahead by seven, 21-14, forcing another Tomcat timeout. Sophomore Eric Wiles connected with freshman Joseph Zanelotti for the final point of the set, 25-17.
The momentum carried over into set three as Marymount took a commanding 7-0 lead to open the set. Wiles led the 7-0 run with three kills, followed by Ksiazkiewicz who notched one. Down the stretch, freshman Sam Safley and sophomore Alex Treser bolstered two kills apiece. Treser found a hole in the middle of the floor to notch the final kill with the Saints prevailing on top, 25-17, to seal up another victory.
Ksiazkiewicz pieced together an impressive performance, tying for a game-high eight kills, and posting a career-high seven service aces. Wiechecki also posted eight kills on the offensive end. Zanelotti and junior Erich Bratke split time in the setter position, garnering 18 and nine assists, respectively. On the defensive end, sophomore Carson Caudell scooped up a game-high four digs, and junior Graham Clark registered five total blocks.
The men's squad will travel to No. 9 Eastern Mennonite University for a CVC matchup on Wednesday, March 22. First serve is set for 6 p.m.
Penn State Behrend Defeats Sage; Falls to No. 10 Hunter
Saturday, March 18, 2017
ALBANY, NY – Trenton Munk (Baden, PA/Ambridge) tallied a combined 26 kills and Tyler Herrmann (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) recorded 25 kills and 14 digs to help the Penn State Behrend men's volleyball team split a pair of non-conference matches on Saturday.
The Lions (8-11) opened up the day against No. 10 Hunter. Behrend won the first set 27-25 and then fell 25-22, 25-15 and 25-19 in the next three sets for a 3-1 final. Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY/Eden) registered a triple-double in the match with 24 assists, 11 digs and 10 kills.
The Lions won the nightcap 3-0 over Sage (25-19, 28-26 and 26-24).
Munk posted a stat line of 14-1-19 in the second match along with five blocks. Dillon Hildebrand (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) tallied 10 kills and Anthony Sprentz (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) added 24 assists.
In the first set against Sage, Behrend used an 8-3 run late in the set to take its largest lead at 24-17 and then win on a kill from Nowicki.
The final two sets were decided with extra points in the Lions favor. Down by two points at 21-19, Behrend had set point on four occasions thanks to kills from Hildebrand, Munk and Herrmann. The Lions won the second set on an attack error at 28-26.
Behrend had the lead in the third set except at one point early on and then fended off Sage down the stretch. An attack error put the Lions at 24-23 and Sage got the next point to even it at 24-all. Munk got his 14th kill to make it 25-24 and Behrend won with another error from Sage for the sweep.
Behrend took a 1-0 lead against nationally-ranked Hunter. In a set where neither team had a lead more than two points, the Lions had four kills for their final four points including two by Herrmann for a 27-25 decision. Behrend tallied a season-best 20 kills in the set and hit .447.
The second set was as close as the first until the end. This time Hunter came out victorious by three points at 25-22. Hunter never trailed in the third set for a 25-15 win and then went on an 8-0 run to start the fourth en route to a 25-19 victory.
In addition to Nowicki's triple-double, Herrmann finished with 17 kills and 10 digs. Hildebrand hit .346 with 14 kills and Sprentz dished out 27 assists.
The Lions return to action on Tuesday at Elmira. Match begins at 7 p.m.
Mavericks Rock Sully in First Home Matchup
Medaille Takes (3) Straight Sets From Hilbert
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Barbalato carried Medaille with (7) kills.
BUFFALO, NY – The snow storm in Buffalo could not stop the Mavericks from facing off against crosstown rival, Hilbert, in their first matchup at home all season. Medaille entered today's contest with a (9-10 overall; 4-3 NEAC) record and have won three of their last four matchups, most recently taking three straight sets from John Jay College. Hilbert came to the Sullivan Center in hopes of earning their first win on the season as they sport a record of (0-13 overall; 0-8 NEAC).
After getting off to a slow start in set number one the Mavericks took control and grabbed a (1-0) lead in the match with a (25-19) set win. Hilbert came out with some fire and jumped out to an early (7-2) lead. Medaille chipped away and knotted the score up at eight. From that point on the Mav's outscored the Hawks (17-11) and quickly erased the deficit to cruise to the set victory. The Mavericks were on the attack all game tallying (14) kills compared to just (6) for Hilbert. Leading the way was Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) and Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) with (4) kills each. The defense was on point for Medaille in set one as they recorded (4) total team blocks.
Set number two was a tight affair that saw both teams fighting hard to take control and ended up with another Maverick win, this time by a score of (25-22). The set was even throughout and saw the teams tied up (11) different times. The largest lead was just four, on two separate occasions, by Medaille. The Mavericks had an incredibly even attack with no player more than (2) kills and (6) different players recording at least one. Hilbert out-killed Medaille (10-7) but (9) errors doomed the Hawks in set number two.
The third set was the opposite form the first two and saw Medaille take hold early and never let go. The Mavs took set three and the match with a (25-15) victory. Dominating in every aspect, Medaille out-killed the Hawks (16-6) while only committing (3) errors. Brazil Thompson (Buffalo, NY, Cheektowaga) and Connor Freeman (Webster, NY, Webster Thomas) were instrumental in the set win each recording at least one kill.
The Mavericks pleased the home crowd and took care of the Hawks in (3) straight sets. Medaille played exceptional team volleyball and saw contributions across the board. Leading the attack was Shawn Barbalato with (7) total kills. Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) played his role as the facilitator with (27) assists and got involved in the scoring with (4) kills.
The win improved Medaille's record to (10-10 overall; 5-3 NEAC) and gives them a solid place in the AMCC playoff race. Hilbert could not come up with the upset and remained winless at (0-14 overall; 0-9 NEAC). Medaille and Hilbert get their season series over quickly as the teams will face off once again on March 21st, this time in Hamburg, NY at the home of the Hawks. The match is set to begin at 7:00pm.
Hawks Volleyball Drops Buffalo Cup Match to Medaille
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
BUFFALO, N.Y. – After a ten day lay-off, the Hilbert College men's volleyball team appeared ready to pull an upset today at Medaille College. The hosts held on for a 3-0 Buffalo Cup and North Eastern Athletic Conference win.
Hilbert (0-14, 0-9 NEAC) stayed close in the first two sets before they slipped fast in the third set as Medaille improved to 5-3 in NEAC action and evened their overall record at 10-10.
The Hawks jumped out to an 8-5 lead in the opening set. Medaille matched the score and twice stretched their lead by a few points before Hilbert rallied back tying the set each time. Trailing 14-13, Hilbert gave Medaille three points helping them to a 19-13 lead. The Hawks earned only two more points the rest of the set and fell 25-19.
Hilbert and Medaille played to eight knotted scores, the last even tally at 21-21. The Mavs benefited from three consecutive Hilbert errors and held on for the 25-22 second set win.
The Hawks earned six kills, one service ace and one block assist to collectively score eight of their 15 3rd-set points. Medaille, though they struggled with five service errors and gave the Hawks a trio of points off hitting errors, dominated the final set. The Mavs went from a one point deficit (6-5) to a 19-9 score quickly and won the match 25-15.
Adam Heftka was credited with 17 of the Hawks' 20 assists. Michael Podgorny led Hilbert with 10 of their 22 kills. Tanner Makowski added six kills and five digs.
Brandon Henry and Garrett Rehner added five and four digs, respectively. David Arlaud earned two service aces.
The Hawks finished the match with 22 kills and 22 hitting errors. They earned five service aces but committed 13 service errors, almost all of the errors occurring in the first two sets.
Both teams return to the court next Tuesday in Hamburg when Medaille travels to Hilbert for their second match of the season March 21.
Penn State Behrend Outlasts Thiel
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
ERIE, Pa. – Dillon Hildebrand (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) and Tyler Herrmann (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) each recorded 15 kill to lead Penn State Behrend past Thiel 3-2 in non-conference men's volleyball action on Tuesday night.
The Lions (7-10) handed the Tomcats (5-11) their fifth five-set loss of the season with a 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 14-25, 15-13 victory. Trenton Munk (Baden, PA/Ambridge) was also in double-digit kills with 10 and added five blocks along with Cody Geis (Mechanicsburg, PA/Cumberland Valley).
Jacob DeRue registered a game-high 17 kills for Thiel and Zach Romback had 49 assists.
There were two close sets in the five set match, the second and the fifth. Behrend hit a match-best .476 in the first set and got six kills from Munk for the early lead. The Lions went on a 12-5 run to go ahead 19-10 and stay out front for a 25-17 decision, ending on a Munk kill.
In the second, Behrend erased a five-point deficit at 20-15 to knot the game at 23-all after a kill from Herrmann. The Tomcats used a kill from Regan Hess to get set point and then he made a block to even the match at 1-all with a narrow 25-23 win.
A quick 9-2 start forced the early Thiel timeout, but the Lions remained in control for the third set. Behrend took a double-digit lead at 20-10 on a kill from Munk and kept it that way until the end for an easy 25-15 victory.
The Tomcats did not let the Lions get comfortable and returned the favor in the fourth set, knocking in a match-best 13 kills and hitting .345. Thiel held Behrend to just six kills and forced nine errors, including two in the final three points and then sending the match into a fifth set with a service ace to end 25-14.
After the Tomcats took a 2-1 lead, Herrmann put the Lions ahead for good with back-to-back kills at 3-2. Thiel used a 5-2 spurt to make it 9-8, however Behrend got to match point on three occasions and finished with a Munk kill for the win.
Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY/Eden) posted 25 assists and Anthony Sprentz (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) recorded 23 assists.
The Lions return to action on Saturday at Sage for a tri-match with Hunter, beginning at 2 p.m.
Medaille Takes Down John Jay
Men's Volleyball sweeps Bloodhounds (3-0)
Sunday, March 12, 2017
NEW YORK, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team wrapped up their three day voyage through the New York City area on Sunday morning, taking on the Bloodhounds of John Jay College. The Mavericks wrapped up the three match road trip in style, sweeping the Bloodhounds (3-0; 25-23, 26-24, 25-17).
Medaille benefited from a well-balanced attack on Sunday, with nine different Mavericks earning multiple kills on the offensive side of the net.
Junior Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) and freshman Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) led the way with (5) kills each while sophomore Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches), freshman Joe DiGesare (Lancaster, NY, St. Mary's of Lancaster) and fellow freshman Connor Freeman (Webster, NY, Webster Thomas) chipped in with (4) kills each.
Sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) dished out (21) assists as well as the Mavericks ended the morning with a (.155) hitting percentage as a team.
Defensively sophomore Daniel Joseph (El Dorado, CA, Union Mine) once again led the way with (12) digs, while Bloomberg had an impressive showing with (6) total blocks. Freshman Matt Buss (Hamburg, NY, Frontier) chipped in with (5) total blocks and Barbalato had (3) as well, as Medaille improved their record to (9-10) overall on the season.
Medaille will be back in action on Tuesday, March 14 when they finally host their home opener in the Sullivan Center against cross-town rival D'Youville College at 7:00pm.
No. 3 SUNY New Paltz Picks Up Pair of UVC Victories
Mike Rosen, Athletic Communications Intern
Saturday, March 11, 2017
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The No. 3 State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team earned two wins against a pair of United Volleyball Conference (UVC) opponents on Saturday afternoon in the Hawk Center, defeating both Elmira and Bard in straight sets.
The Hawks (19-4, 3-1 UVC) next host No. 11 Hunter College on Wednesday, March 15 at 7 p.m.
The Raptors (4-16, 0-5 UVC) will play a non-conference tilt on the road against Brooklyn College on Tuesday, March 14, while the Soaring Eagles (8-17, 1-4 UVC) next face D'Youville College on Thursday, March 16.
New Paltz 3, Elmira 0 (25-10, 25-22, 25-16)
Senior middle blocker Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) led the attack with nine kills while recording three blocks and two digs. Senior middle blocker Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) also had a strong performance, registering eight kills, six service aces and three blocks.
Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) dished out a match-high 24 assists and tallied five digs. Freshman libero Robert Nolan (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) defended a team-high six digs. Sophomore outside hitter Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) chipped in with six kills, two service aces, two blocks and four digs.
An early 6-0 run by New Paltz gave them a 10-3 advantage in the first set. Elmira fought back to make it 12-7, but the Hawks would finish on a 13-3 run to claim the first set.
Elmira held an early 9-6 advantage in the second set and the Soaring Eagles would extend their lead to 16-9. The Hawks would then go a 9-2 run to tie the set at 18-all. New Paltz finished the set on a 7-4 run to go up 2-0 in the match.
The third set remained close early on as the score stood at 13-all. But kills by sophomore opposite Nick Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) and junior outside hitters Ryan Cole (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East) and Ben Cohen (Wellesley, MA/Wellesley) along with service aces from Grace, Schneider, Smith and freshman middle blocker Nick O'Malley (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) capped off a 12-3 run for the Hawks to complete the sweep.
New Paltz 3, Bard 0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-22)
Against the Raptors, 17 players had at least one kill lead by Smith who finished with a match-high eight kills (.438). The sophomore also tallied 10 assists, two aces and two digs.
Junior Yorman Escobar (Sunnyside, N.Y./Aviation) enjoyed five kills on five swings while junior Nick Denoncourt (Rochester, N.Y./Penfield) provided four kills. Grace distributed a match-high 20 assists and nine digs.
The Hawks jumped out to an 18-8 lead en route to a 25-11 victory in set one. In the second stanza, New Paltz claimed a commanding 20-13 lead and held off the Raptors 25-16. New Paltz closed out the match with a 25-22 lead in the third set.
Mavericks Fall In Five Set Thriller
Mount Saint Vincent gets the best of Men's Volleyball
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Sophomore Daniel Joseph had a career high (29) digs against Mount Saint Vincent
RIVERDALE, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team continued their three day trek through the New York City area on Saturday afternoon, heading to Riverdale to take on the Dolphins of Mount Saint Vincent.
Set one saw the Dolphins shoot out to a quick lead early on. A pair of kills from Joe DiGesare (Lancaster, NY, St. Mary's of Lancaster) kept the Mavericks in the first set but the attack for Mount Saint Vincent was strong in the early going.
The Dolphin lead grew to as many as (7); however, that's when Medaille started chipping away and climbing back in it. It was sparked by a kill from Matt Dickerson (Lockport, NY, Starpoint), and was capped by a pair of kills from Matt Buss (Hamburg, NY, Frontier) to cut the deficit to just (14-12).
The first set comeback was complete when after knotting things at (23), DiGesare and Daniel Joseph (El Dorado, CA, Union Mine) earned back-to-back kills to earn the (25-23) win for the Mavericks.
The second set started eerily similar to the first, as Mount Saint Vincent sprinted out to a quick (10-2) lead early. The Dolphins kept their comfortable cushion until a (4-1) Mavericks run forced them to call a timeout with Medaille getting within four at (16-12).
Unfortunately, that was as close as the second set comeback went for the Mavs, as Mount Saint Vincent tied things up by taking set two (25-18).
The third set finally saw Medaille get out to the hot start, getting up by a score of (9-3) behind kills from DiGesare and Brazil Thompson (Buffalo, NY, Cheektowaga). The Mavericks rode the momentum of that early lead all the way to a (25-22) win in set number three, needing just one more victory in the final two sets to improve their record back to (.500).
Freshman Brazil Thompson had a career high (10) kills on Saturday.
Medaille's momentum was halted in the fourth set as Mount Saint Vincent tied things up at two with a (25-20) victory, forcing a winner take all fifth set.
The final set started as a back-and-fourth affair. Medaille started off strong with a (3-0) run, but the Dolphins answered right back with a (6-0) run of their own. Another (3-1) run by the Mavericks cut the deficit to just one; however, Mount Saint Vincent answered with four straight points of their own trying to complete their own comeback.
The Mavs cut it to four late but it wasn't enough and the Dolphins took set five and the match with a (15-8) victory.
Thompson led all Mavericks with (10) kills, while DiGesare and Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) weren't far behind with (8) kills each. (10) different Mavericks earned at least one kill on the afternoon, while Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) dished out a team best (44) assists.
Joseph had one of the best matches of his career defensively, scooping up a career high (29) digs. Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches) chipped in with (14) digs of his own, while also earning (7) kills.
The loss drops Medaille to (8-10) overall on the season as they wrap up their spring trip through New York with a Sunday morning match against John Jay College at 11:00 am.
Spring Exhibition Schedule Set For Women's Volleyball
Friday, March 10, 2017
AMHERST, N.Y. - The Daemen College women's volleyball program will play a series of exhibition matches this spring, beginning Sunday, March 19 and running through Saturday, April 22, giving the team an opportunity to build off their most successful season as an NCAA Division II member to date, which included a 25-8 overall record, the East Coast Conference regular-season championship, and the program's first NCAA Tournament berth where they advanced to the finals of the East Regional Championship.
The Wildcats begin their spring exhibition season at home on March 19 with Division I Niagara University visiting Lumsden Gymnasium. Daemen went 11-6 at home last fall, and Lumsden Gymnasium served as the site for the East Coast Conference Tournament and the East Regional portion of the NCAA Tournament. Niagara, a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, went 12-19 overall and 10-8 in league matches last fall. The Wildcats and Purple Eagles met in exhibition play last spring up on Monteagle Ridge at NU's Gallagher Center.
The spring exhibition slate continues on Saturday, April 1 when Daemen plays four matches at the Buffalo Niagara Court Center (BNCC) Collegiate Invitational. The event has become a staple at the West Seneca, N.Y. venue each spring. In addition to Daemen, participating teams include Division I foes Canisius College and Colgate University, fellow Division II affiliate Le Moyne College and Division III member The College at Brockport.
Albano's team concludes its spring season on Saturday, April 22 when it partakes in another multi-team event, this one hosted by the University of Rochester, a Division III affiliate and member of the Liberty League. Definitive opponents and match times have yet to be announced.
2017 Spring Schedule
Single Match - Lumsden Gymnasium - March 19 - 4:00 p.m.
Daemen vs. Niagara
BNCC Collegiate Invitational - Buffalo Niagara Court Center - April 1
10 a.m. - Daemen vs. Canisius
11 a.m. - Daemen vs. Brockport
1:30 p.m. - Daemen vs. Le Moyne
2:30 p.m. - Daemen vs. Colgate
Univ. of Rochester Spring Tournament - Louis Alexander Palestra - April 22
Opponents, Times TBA - Participating Teams: TBA
No. 9 Saints go to extra points in set five, come up short to No. 12 Lasers
Friday, March 10, 2017
NEWTON, Mass.— The No. 9 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad squared off against No. 12 Lasell College on Friday night. The Saints pushed the Lasers to the brink in set five before falling short, 3-2 (17-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-20, 24-26).
The Saints battled point-for-point with the Lasers early on, before falling behind 12-6. MU posted a 3-0 run to get back within one of LC at 16-15. The blue and white were unable to overcome the deficit and dropped set one, 25-17.
Marymount fell behind early on, but five different Saints connected at the net to notch a kill for the blue and white. The well-spread offense wasn't enough to outlast the Lasers, and the Saints fell short in set two, 25-19.
The momentum shifted in favor of the Saints to kick off set three. Back-to-back kills from sophomore Eric Wiles and senior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz pushed the Saints lead to two, 7-5. Moments later, junior TJ Wiechecki bolstered two-straight kills to maintain the two-point advantage, 9-7. Wiechecki connected with freshman Joseph Zanelotti for the final point of the set, as the Saints won 25-23.
The blue and white continued to swing on the offensive end, registering a 7-0 run to garner an 11-6 lead, forcing the Lasers to burn a timeout. Wiechecki led the run with two kills and juniors Graham Clark and Carson Caudell also notched a kill throughout the run. The Saints continued to dominate and Ksiazkiewicz pounded the ball on the final point of the set to put the Saints on top, 25-20.
In set five, the Saints maintained control on the offensive end, registering an 11-7 lead to force a Laser timeout. Lasell rallied back into the set and tied the set at 15 all, forcing extra points. The momentum shifted back-and-forth between the squads, producing six lead changes in the final 12 points. Clark and Zanelotti put up a wall at the net to give the blue and white a 24-23 advantage. The Lasers scored two-straight points and returned the favor at the net for the final point of the match, as the Saints fell short 26-24.
On the offensive end, Wiechecki bolstered a career- and game-high 30 kills, while maintaining an impressive .523 hitting percentage. Ksiazkiewicz and Clark posted 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Zanelotti stepped up in the setter position, garnering a career-high 58 assists. On the defensive end, junior Connor Choate registered a game-high 13 digs.
The men will host Juniata College in a Continental Volleyball Conference match-up at home on Friday, March 17. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
Medaille Volleyball Downs Bearcats
Mavericks win five set thriller against Baruch
Friday, March 10, 2017
Joe DiGesare led the Mavericks with (19) kills, while adding a service ace on offense
NEW YORK, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team embarked on a three day tour of the greater New York Metropolitan area on Friday night, starting with a match against the Bearcats of Baruch College. The teams were evenly matched throughout and in the end the Mavericks came out on top (3-2; 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 16-25, 15-12).
After dropping the first set the Mavericks offense shined in sets two and three. Medaille earned (12) kills in set number two, and followed that up with (17) kills in set three averaging over a (.330) hitting percentage in both sets.
The defense really took over in the later sets, allowing the Bearcats to hit just (.000) in sets four and five respectively.
Freshman Joe DiGesare (Lancaster, NY, St. Mary's of Lancaster) had the best match of his career on Friday evening, dominating both offensively and defensively. DiGesare led the Mavericks with (19) kills, while adding a service ace on offense. Defensively DiGesare had a team best (16) digs and (3) blocks.
Fellow freshman Nick Patterson (Amherst, NY, Amherst) chipped in with (9) kills and the other Medaille service ace, while sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) dished out (47) assists and collected (13) digs as Medaille improved to (8-9) overall.
The Mavs will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Riverdale, New York to take on the College of Mount Saint Vincent at 1:00pm.
Lions Drop Five Setter to Mt. St. Vincent
Friday, March 10, 2017
RIVERDALE, NY – The Mount St. Vincent men's volleyball team came back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Penn State Behrend 3-2 in non-conference action on Friday afternoon at the Peter Jay Sharp Center.
The Lions (6-8) won the first set 25-19 and then dropped a close 25-23 second set. Behrend took the lead once again in the third set with a 25-18 decision, but the Dolphins (9-9) rallied to win the fourth 25-14 and the fifth 18-16.
Tyler Cucullu led Mt. St. Vincent with 32 kills and Logan Dickover dished out 57 assists.
For the Lions, Trenton Munk (Baden, PA/Ambridge) tallied 20 kills and five blocks. Anthony Sprentz (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) dished out 26 assists and Robert McMaster (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) made a career-high 20 digs.
Behrend managed an eight-point lead in the first set at 21-13 and used three kills to close out the set ahead 1-0 at 25-19. The lead in the second was smaller, taking a two-point advantage midway through the set. The Dolphins went on a 7-2 run to even the match at 1-all with a 25-23 win.
The Lions had a nine-point lead for most of the third set and finished with a seven-point win at 25-18. The match became tied at 2-all after the fourth. Mt. St. Vincent started with an 8-0 run and Behrend could not recover, forcing a decisive fifth set.
In a set that was tied seven times, it came down to the wire with Behrend having match point at 15-14. Cucullu tallied a kill to make it 15-all and then an error gave the Dolphins match point. Tyler Fiely (Cambridge Springs, PA/Cambridge Springs) kept Behrend alive with a kill. Cucullu got the next point with his 32 kill and then Mt. St. Vincent won on a setting error by the Lions.
Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY/Eden) added 25 assists and Dillon Hildebrand (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) registered 16 kills.
Behrend returns to action tomorrow against MIT and Stevens in United Volleyball Conference (UVC) action. Matches begin at 11 a.m.
Vassar Holds On Against No. 9 Marymount, 3-2
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (March 8, 2017) – The No. 5 Brewers of Vassar College won the first two sets Wednesday evening in non-conference men's volleyball match, and survived to take the match in five grueling games as Vassar knocked off No. 9 Marymount University (VA) in non-conference play from Kenyon Hall. VC took the first two sets 25-16, 25-22, 23-25, 33-35 and 15-12.
In the opening set, Vassar was great defensively while the Saints (12-4) had their struggles, hitting -.038 for the game. The Brewers connected on just eight kills, but the hitting efficiency and strong serving proved to be too much as VC took the early match lead. In the first set, Vassar posted six service aces.
The second game was much closer, as the visitors scored the first four points of the game, capping the early run on a kill from middle Graham Clark. Vassar slowly pulled back into the set, going on a 6-2 spurt midway through the stanza to deadlock the set at 17 following an ace by sophomore George Diehl.
After the teams alternated the next 10 points to make the score 22-22, Vassar would pull clear with the final three points of the set, taking the game on a block by Diehl and freshman Yoni Auerbach. The third set was a shootout, as both teams hit over .400, combining for 36 kills in the period. In fact, VC connected on a higher hitting rate than Marymount (.486-.441), but the 19 kills from the Saints including nine from TJ Wiechecki was the difference.
The fourth game was a marathon, a heart-pounding, non-stop stanza full of pressure-packed points. In fact, the winning score of 35 was the highest in a set featuring Vassar since VC fell to Lasell in a set 36-34 back on March 14, 2015, nearly two years ago. The Saints led for much of the game, taking their biggest edge of four at 9-5 after a kill by Shane Limbaugh.
The Brewers would rally, going on a 9-2 run from that point to take a 14-11 edge, again capped by an ace by Diehl. After a timeout, Marymount put a run of its own together, stringing together an 8-1 stretch to regain its four-point advantage. Not to be outdone, Vassar scored five of the next six points, tying the match at 20 on a block by junior Zechariah Lee, senior Christian Lizana and Diehl.
Vassar would earn its first of three match points at 26-25, but the Saints held on and away the two teams went for 17 more points. The Brewers looked like they had won the match at that point, but an attack over the net by Vassar was called to force extra time. In the end though, MU would even the match at two sets apiece after getting a finish by Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz and a solo block from Clark.
In the fifth set, Vassar would regain the momentum, and clinched the match at 14-12 as junior Matthew Knigge hammered down a kill to earn VC's sixth win this season over a ranked opponent, the third consecutive win in that category.
"Really pleased with the work our guys put in tonight," said head coach Richard Gary. "Playing during midterms can be a really scary time, but the guys managed to find their composure, work together for every point, and really earned a great victory tonight."
Knigge was strong for Vassar, posting a team-best 14 kills while adding five aces, three blocks while hitting .393. Lizana finished with 12 kills and no errors, hitting .571 while posting a double-double with 10 digs as well.
Senior libero Trey Cimorelli also had 10 digs for the Brewers, and Lee posted a season-high 50 assists to go with three aces, four assisted blocks and eight digs. Lee is now just one service ace shy of tying the school record in the category. Fellow senior Quinn Rutledge also had a good game, pounding down nine winners while adding three total rejections (one solo).
Diehl also finished with nine terminations, assisting on four blocks, and Auerbach completed the trio of players with nine kills, hitting .304 for the match while adding six digs. Vassar hit .301 (58-15-143) for the match, tying for a season-high in kills with 58. The hitting percentage was a season-best for a match played over five sets.
Wiechecki paced all hitters Wednesday with 29 kills, adding 11 digs, while libero Connor Choate finished with 23 digs in the back for the Saints. Marymount hit .235 for the evening, getting 10 kills as well from Clark and another double-double of 54 assists and 12 digs from Erich Bratke.
"Those third set numbers say it all - both teams hit over .400, sided out at 79% and 83%, and it was a really fun shootout from there up through the fantastic fourth set," said Gary. "My heart's still pounding from a few of those points, and at least once we thought we'd won the match, so for the guys to regain composure and continue the fight it was really special."
Vassar will get a few days off before returning to Kenyon Hall at 11 a.m. Saturday for a United Volleyball Conference (UVC) tri-match, hosting Nazareth College and No. 8 NYU in conference action.
Stroh Named NEAC Player of the Week
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Buffalo, NY - Junior Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) of the D'Youville men's volleyball was named North Eastern Athletics Conference Player of the Week, announced the NEAC on Tuesday.
Over five matches last week, Stroh accumulated 63 kills, 31 digs, eight blocks and six service aces. In four of five matches, Pat recorded at least 12 kills. In two of those matches, the junior had dig totals of 10 and 13. Over the last four matches of the week he averaged 14.25 matches/game.
Against Keuka on Saturday, Pat recorded his second double-double of the season. He had 17 kills, 13 digs, three assists, two service aces and two blocks. Stroh recorded 14 kills and seven digs against Penn State-Behrend with three blocks.
Currently, the Hamburg native is second in the NEAC in kills/set (3.76), sixth in service aces/set (0.38) and eighth in kills (188). On the Spartans, he is first in kills/set and kills while being second in digs (84), digs/set (1.68), service aces and service aces/set.
Arcadia Men’s Volleyball Falls in Five Games at Wilson
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – The Arcadia University men's volleyball team and host Wilson College traded game wins all match long as the host Phoenix won in five games by scores of 20-25, 25-22, 25-22, 22-25 and 15-12.
FOR THE RECORD: Wilson improved to 5-15 for the season with the win, and snapped a six-match losing streak with the victory. The Knights fell to 10-14 with their fourth loss in five matches.
ARCADIA LEADERS: Freshman Jason Manley hit .281 with 13 kills and five blocks, while classmates Austin Braas and Bryce Galloway added 11 kills each. Braas hit .318, while Galloway hit .207. Fellow freshman Edwin Waters Jr. had nine kills, while senior Sean Cohen handed out 39 assists with seven total blocks and three digs.
WILSON LEADERS: Nick Baxter had a match-high 14 kills with four aces and four digs to lead the Phoenix, while Aaron Hoke posted a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs. Zachery Zerr hit .353 with eight kills and two errors on 17 attempts to go with four blocks and seven digs, while Ian Firestone had 35 assists with nine digs.
CATCHING A BREAK: The Knights won't have another match for two weeks, with their next action being at Wilkes University March 23.
AVCA DIVISION III MEN'S COACHES TOP 15 WEEK #7 POLL: MARCH 7, 2017
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
|Rank||School (First-Place Votes)||Total Points Adjusted||2017 Record||Previous Week|
|2||UC Santa Cruz (1)||232||10-3||2|
|3||SUNY New Paltz||218||17-4||3|
Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Kean 25; Rivier 19; Dominican 13
Dropped Out: Kean 10; Rivier 12
Next Poll: March 14
Mavericks Finish Weekend with Sweep of Wildcats
Medaille takes down SUNY Poly (3-0)
Sunday, March 5, 2017
KEUKA PARK, NY – The Medaille Mavericks wrapped up their weekend at the NEAC crossover in Keuka on Sunday taking on the Wildcats of SUNY Polytechnic. After splitting the first two matches on Saturday, the Mavericks headed home with a (2-1) record after taking down the Wildcats (3-0; 25-23, 25-18, 25-18).
The Mavericks got a well balanced attack on offense, with five different players earning at least four kills each. Joe DiGesare (Lancaster, NY, St. Mary's of Lancaster) led the way with (9), while Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) and Nick Patterson (Amherst, NY, Amherst) weren't close behind with (7) each.
Matt Buss (Hamburg, NY, Frontier) chipped in with (6) kills and Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) earned (4). Matt Dempsey lead the way with a match high (25) assists.
Defensively six different Mavs had digs including (7) by Dempsey, who had just as many digs himself as SUNY Polytechnic had as a team. Buss, Barbalato, and Bloomberg all had three blocks to help the Mavericks defeat SUNY Poly and improve to (7-9) overall and (4-3) in NEAC play.
Medaille will be back in action next weekend when they travel to New York City for a three match road swing. It starts on Friday, March 10 when they travel to Baruch College. Match time starts at 6:00pm.
Spartans Defeated by Wells Sunday Afternoon
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Keuka Park, NY – The D'Youville men's volleyball team suffered a 3-1 loss to the Wells Express on Sunday afternoon to close out their weekend at Keuka.
Wells took an 8-4 lead over the Spartans to begin the match, increasing their lead to 15-9. Trailing 18-13, D'Youville scored seven consecutive points to take over the lead at 20-18. The Express tied the set at 21-21 before the Spartans would take four of the next five points and win the first set 25-22.
The second set began with Wells jumping out to an early lead at 8-4. That four-point deficit was the smallest that the Spartans would face for the remainder of the set as the Express went up 20-8 and went on to win the set 25-14.
The Express were strong again to begin the third set with a 6-0 lead. D'Youville battled back to trail by three before Wells extended their lead to eight at 13-5. As the set went on, the Express grew their lead as they went on to win the set 25-14.
D'Youville fell behind Wells 11-2 to open the fourth set. The Express continued to build on their lead, increasing it to 11 and they would win by the same margin, defeating the Spartans 25-16 in the fourth set and winning the match 3-1.
All nine players on the Spartans roster recorded at least a dig in the match. Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) led the team with nine, adding a team high 32 assists. Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) led the team with 14 kills, with Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) adding nine.
Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) and Ed Kerber (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale) each had two digs, with James Zeiger (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) chipping in with six. Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) and Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego) each had five kills as well. Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) had six kills, tied with Krass.
The next match for the men comes on Tuesday, March 14 as the men play at Medaille at 7pm.
Podgorny Plasters 23 Kills in Hawks 5-set Loss
Sunday, March 5, 2017
KEUKA PARK, N.Y. – The Hilbert College men's volleyball team took Keuka College to five sets this afternoon and were close to winning their first match of the season. But the Wolves claimed the 5th set (15-12) as they rallied to beat the Hawks 3-2 in NEAC action.
Michael Podgorny and David Arlaud set a new career-highs in kills and with their second 5-set match, Adam Heftka earned his season-high assist mark.
Podgorny finished with an impressive 23 kills (.345), 15 digs, a pair of solo blocks and one service ace (26 of the team's 59 points earned today). Arlaud collected his first double-digit kill match, 12 kills with only five hitting errors.
Tanner Makowski returning to full strength pairing eight digs with his six kills and Brandon Henry posted his first double-digit dig match with 11. Caleb Nellis added a pair of service aces.
Hilbert collected 47 kills with their best hitting percentage of the season (.124).
The Hawks jumped ahead 8-3 in the first set before Keuka took the lead 10-9 and extended it to 14-12. The Hawks regained control at 15-14 and built a 4-point lead (22-18) before they claimed the 25-23 win. David Arlaud's kills pushed the 24th and 25th point on the board.
Early in the second and third sets, Hilbert gained the upper hand. But the Wolves connected with strong passing and hitting to take the middle two 25-18 and 25-17.
Hilbert trailed early in the 4th set but after they knotted the score at 4-4, they sprinted to a 25-19 victory. Podgorny, Arlaud, and Makowski each won points for Hilbert down the stretch at the net.
With Anthony Pellicano behind the service line, Hilbert took a 2-0 lead. Kurtis Maloney picked the Hawks up with a service ace and helped them to a 5-2 lead. Makowski's kill forced an 8-8 score before the Wolves stretched their lead to 11-8. Podgorny took two Heftka passes to the floor, but Hilbert was still in the chase mode, trailing 12-10. Podgorny padded one more kill before the hosts earned their victory all on offense with three kills for a 15-12 match victory.
Hilbert has ten days to prepare for their next opponent. The Hawks will travel to North Buffalo for their league and Buffalo Cup match at Medaille College March 15 (7pm).
Arcadia Falls to No. 5 NYU on Senior Day
Sunday, March 5, 2017
GLENSIDE, Pa. – The Arcadia University men's volleyball team closed out the home portion of its inaugural season with a 3-0 setback to fifth-ranked New York University by game scores of 26-24, 25-17 and 25-17. Setter Sean Cohen and team manager Ashley Mendez were honored in a Senior Day ceremony prior to the match.
FOR THE RECORD: The Violets improved to 10-6 with the win while snapping a three-match losing streak. They are the third team ranked in the top-10 of this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaches' Poll that Arcadia has faced in as many days. The Knights fell to 10-13 with the loss, finishing their first-ever season with a 5-5 home record.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The two teams traded points throughout the opener, which was tied at 25 after a kill from freshman Jason Manley, but the game ended with a pair of Arcadia errors to give NYU the 27-25 win and a 1-0 lead in the match. The second game was playing out in similar fashion until the Violets scored four in a row to go up 20-14 on their way to a 25-17 win, while an early seven-point run put NYU up 10-3 that the Knights were unable to match later on before again falling by a score of 25-17.
ARCADIA LEADERS: Manley led the Knights with six kills, six digs, four blocks and four aces, while fellow freshmen Austin Braas, Bryce Galloway and Edwin Waters Jr. had four kills each. Cohen finished the match with 17 assists, three kills, three digs and two blocks.
NYU LEADERS: Andrew Zhu hit .500 with a match-high nine kills and just one error on 16 attempts while recording three aces. Alex Li hit .556 with seven kills and two errors on nine swings while adding four digs, three blocks and two aces, while Evan Lindley hit .417 with seven kills and two errors on his 12 attempts to go with four blocks. Derrick Chiu handed out 27 assists.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The Violets outscored the Knights 55-37 in the match while hitting .358 as a team and holding a 10-5 edge in service aces. Arcadia matched NYU by hitting .231 in the first game, but totaled as many errors as kills in the two that followed to finish at .097 for the match.
Arcadia Defeats Cairn, Falls to No. 4 Stevens Tech at Tri-Match
Saturday, March 4, 2017
LANGHORNE, Pa. – The Arcadia University men's volleyball team rebounded to record a 3-1 win at host Cairn University after dropping a 3-0 decision to Stevens Institute of Technology Saturday. Stevens is ranked fourth in this week's American Volleyball Coaches' Association (AVCA) Coaches' Poll.
FOR THE RECORD: The Knights' record now stands at 10-12 in its rookie campaign. Stevens improved to 17-2 with its two wins; the Ducks swept the Highlanders to open the day's action. Cairn's record fell to 3-19 with the two losses.
ARCADIA 3, CAIRN 0 (25-18, 25-20, 16-25, 25-22)
HOW IT HAPPENED: The first game with tied at 15 before freshman Edwin Waters Jr. sparked a run of six straight points as part of a 10-3 surge to close the game out 25-18, ending on back-to-back kills for classmate Jason Manley. Arcadia trailed 17-15 in the second before scoring five points in a row to go up 20-17 and scored each of the last three points to close the game with a 25-20 win that put them up 2-0 in the match.
Cairn led 15-14 midway through the third game before Juston Wolgemuth's kill started a 10-2 Highlander run to close the set with a 25-16 win, cutting their deficit in the match to 2-1. The fourth game was separated by no more than two points most of the way, with Cairn briefly holding a 10-6 lead to go up by a set-high four points. A four-point run for Arcadia that featured two kills from freshman Austin Braas put the Knights up 21-18 on their way to a 25-22 final to close the match.
ARCADIA LEADERS: Braas and Manley finished with 14 kills each to lead the Knights. Braas added a match-high eight blocks with three digs, while Manley tallied nine digs and two blocks. Waters Jr. registered eight kills with two aces and three blocks, while fellow freshman Zayne George led the Scarlet and Grey with 17 digs. Senior Sean Cohen notched 39 assists with seven blocks and five digs.
CAIRN LEADERS: Andy Willits posted a double-double with 10 digs and a match-high 19 kills, while Wolgemuth added nine kills with five digs. Matt Gump had 20 assists with six blocks, while Ryan Ludvik had a match-high 19 digs.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Arcadia outscored Cairn 55-46, totaling 42 kills while hitting .110 for the match. The Highlanders totaled 33 kills while hitting .056. Both teams recorded 10 blocks and three aces.
No. 4 STEVENS 3, ARCADIA 0 (25-13, 25-17, 26-24)
HOW IT HAPPENED: Stevens scored each of the first eight points of the match on its way to building a 16-3 lead in the first game, which the Ducks went on to win 25-13. Arcadia got out in front 4-1 to open the second game before Stevens scored four straight to go up 8-6 and later used a 5-1 run to build a 15-10 lead. A Manley kill brought Arcadia within four at 19-15 before Alexander Carpenter started a 6-2 run for the Ducks to close the game.
Neither team led by more than three in the third and final game. Stevens used a 7-1 run to go up 22-18, and the Knights answered with a 5-0 surge to regain the lead at 23-22. Joshua Hinton's kill that followed triggered a 4-1 Stevens run to take the decision 26-24.
ARCADIA LEADERS: Manley registered a double-double with team-best totals of 10 kills and a match-high 11 digs, while Waters Jr. finished with eight kills and five digs. Braas contributed seven kills, while Cohen had 22 assists and three digs.
STEVENS LEADERS: Gabe Shankweiler hit .500 with a match-high 12 kills on 22 attempts to go with three aces and six digs, while Dylan DeBoer notched a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs while hitting .400 in the match. David Lehman hit .455 with seven kills on 11 swings, while Jacob Patterson handed out a match-high 32 assists.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Stevens outscored Arcadia 52-38, totaling 41 kills while hitting .368 as a team. The Knights had just 29 kills while hitting .103. The Ducks held a one-point margin in aces (5-4) and blocks (6-5).
Men's Volleyball Split on Day One of NEAC Weekend
Mavericks take down Keuka, fall to Wells
Saturday, March 4, 2017
KEUKA PARK, NY – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team traveled to Keuka College on Saturday for a double header on day one of the NEAC Crossover weekend. The afternoon started with a thrilling five-set victory over the host Wolves, coming back from a (2-1) deficit to defeat Keuka (3-2; 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-12). The Mavericks second match of the afternoon unfortunately brought with it a different result, as Medaille fell to Wells College (3-1; 25-18, 25-13, 28-30, 25-23).
The Mavericks played extraordinarily well in the opening set against the Wolves offensively, finishing with a (.321) hitting percentage and (14) total kills.
The host team came back strong in sets two and three, taking a (2-1) lead heading into the fourth set. Set number four was a back-and-forth affair throughout, but a (7-3) run late for Medaille gave the Mavericks just the edge they needed to tie things up at two.
The fifth and deciding set was almost a carbon copy of the set prior, with neither team letting the other take a substantial lead. Keuka was able to take a (12-11) lead late; however, a Matt Dickerson (Lockport, NY, Starpoint) service ace and Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South), Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) block sparked a (4-0) run to close things out for a Maverick victory.
Nick Patterson led the way offensively for Medaille with (13) kills, with Bloomberg chipping in with (9) and Brazil Thompson (Buffalo, NY, Cheektowaga) earning (8) of his own. The Mavericks had (7) service aces in match one, with Dickerson and Barbalato both getting (2) each.
Defensively Bloomberg and Barbalato had (6) blocks each, while Joe DiGesare (Lancaster, NY, St. Mary's of Lancaster) had a tem high (19) digs with Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) earning (12) of his own.
After the exciting win the Mavs were right back at it, taking on the Express for the first time this season. Following such an emotional comeback the Mavericks came out a little flat in match number two. While Medaille was able to take set number three (30-28) that was all the Mavs could muster, falling to Wells (3-1).
Bloomberg once again finished with (9) kills, leading the team while Barbalato wasn't far behind with (8) kills of his own.
Dempsey dished out (30) assists and led the team with (8) digs as Medaille now sits at (6-9) overall and (3-3) in NEAC play. They will wrap up their weekend tomorrow afternoon when they take on the Wildcats of SUNY Poly at 12:00pm.
Men Drop Two On Saturday at Keuka
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Keuka Park, NY – The D'Youville men's volleyball team suffered back-to-back losses Saturday afternoon, being defeated by the SUNY Poly Wildcats 3-1 and the host Keuka Wolfpack by the score of 3-1.
The first set of the day was close between the Spartans and the Wildcats. Down 23-22, D'Youville lost the next two points as SUNY Poly took the first 25-22. Half way through the second set it was tied at 13-13 before the Wildcats took a 22-18 lead. They would then go on to score three of the next four points, winning the second set 25-19.
D'Youville was able to take an early lead over SUNY Poly in the third set at 10-7 before the Wildcats came back to tie it at 10-10. The set was tied again at 17-17 and then again at 21-21 before the Spartans would go back up 24-21 and win the set 25-23. The Spartans again had a 10-7 lead in the fourth set but SUNY Poly tied the game at 10-10 once again. The Wildcats went on a 6-0 scoring run to build a big lead that D'Youville couldn't recover from as SUNY Poly won the set 25-18 and the match 3-1.
Senior Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) led the team with 27 assists with three total blocks. Junior Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) had a team high 12 kills and three service aces with an added six digs. Freshman Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) had a team high eight digs while sophomore Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) added seven kills.
The first set between Keuka and D'Youville was very closely contested to begin the match. Tied at 8-8, the Wolfpack took a 16-15 lead before the Spartans came back to tie it at 20-20. Keuka tied the set at 22-22 and then went on to win 25-23. The Spartans recovered in the second set after trailing 6-5. D'Youville scored 10 of the next 11 points to take a 15-7 that the Wolfpack was unable to bounce back from as the Spartans took the second set 25-19.
Keuka was up on the Spartans 7-4 in the third set before D'Youville tied it at 12-12. The Wolfpack then went on to take a 23-20 advantage before the Spartans pulled to within one at 24-23. However Keuka would score the final point and win the third set 25-23. After the Wolfpack tied the set at 7-7 in the fourth set, the Spartans went on an 11-4 scoring run and led 18-1. However from that point Keuka went on a 9-0 scoring run to take a 20-18 lead. With Keuka leading 24-22, the Spartans came back and tied it up at 24-24 and the two teams tied it at 27-27. The Wolfpack would then go on to win the set 29-27 and the match 3-1.
Stroh recorded his second double-digit kill match of the day with a team high 17, adding 13 digs for a double-double. MacDowell tied Stroh for the team lead in digs with 13. McMahon had a team high 45 assists with 11 digs for his own double-double, also adding a team high four service aces.
Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) had 11 kills with eight digs and two service aces. Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego) also had nine kills while Bochacki had a team high five blocks. Ed Kerber (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) chipped in with four kills while James Zeiger (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) had a strong game defensively with nine digs.
The next match for the men is on Sunday, March 5 as they play Wells at 12pm.
No. 14 Saints notch two top-10 victories in home trimatch
Saturday, March 4, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va.— The No. 14 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad notched two upsets against ranked opponents in a tri-match Saturday afternoon against No. 9 Eastern Mennonite University and No. 5 New York University. The Saints battled past the Royals in a Continental Volleyball Conference clash, 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-13), before toppling the Violets in a five-set thriller later in the day, 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18,16-14).
Marymount vs. Eastern Mennonite
The Saints dropped set one, 25-20, but rallied the next three-straight sets to overcome the Royals.
In set two, both teams battled it out, trading points throughout much of the set. Mid-way through the set, MU came alive and pieced together a 4-0 run to take a commanding 17-14 lead. Senior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz ignited the run after connecting with junior Erich Bratke to notch a kill. The Saints ended the set on a 4-0 run led by junior TJ Wiechecki who posted three-straight kills, prevailing on top, 25-18.
Marymount garnered a 14-9 advantage, before Eastern Mennonite battled its way back into the third set, forcing MU to use a timeout. The Saints managed to maintain a lead through the remainder of the set before finishing on top, 25-23.
The momentum stayed in favor of the Saints, as they mounted an early 7-2 lead in the fourth game, forcing the Royals to burn a timeout. MU continued to push ahead later in the set before sophomore Eric Wiles notched a kill to give the Saints a dominating 25-13 victory.
Wiechecki pieced together a well-rounded match, bolstering a game-high 19 kills, 11 digs, and five blocks. Bratke commanded the offense, notching a game-high 49 assists. On the defensive end, junior Connor Choate scooped up nine digs.
Marymount vs. New York
The Saints trailed through much of set one, forcing several ties throughout the set. Both teams traded points until the Violets outlasted the Saints, 25-21.
MU quickly turned things around in set two, piecing together a 4-0 run, led by a kill from Bratke and an ace by freshman Sam Safley. The Saints forced a Violet timeout after pushing ahead, 12-8, and continued to remain on top, until finishing the set ahead, 25-22, following a kill by Wiechecki.
Marymount mounted a comeback mid-set after trailing, 15-12, piecing together a 4-0 run to take a 16-15 advantage. The effort fell short in the end, and the Violets took set three, 25-23.
In set four, the Saints maintained a small lead down the stretch before pulling ahead following a 5-0 run, 23-17. Wiechecki once again connected with junior Graham Clark to finish set four on top, 25-18.
The final set proved to be a battle between the contenders. MU posted an early 8-4 lead before allowing NYU to rally back and tie the game at 11 all. The Saints held onto the set and won in extra points, 16-14.
Wiechecki pieced together a second impressive performance, bolstering 17 kills, and six digs. Clark also added 12 kills while hitting .500 for the Saint offense. Bratke chipped in 45 assists and 10 digs, and Choate added 12 digs on the defensive end.
The men will now travel to Boston for several matches next week, starting with Vassar College on Wednesday, March 8. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
No. 3 Men's Volleyball Downs No. 15 Juniata, 3-0
Michael Rosen. Athletic Communications Intern
Friday, March 3, 2017
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team defeated No. 15 Juniata College 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-17) on Friday night in the Hawk Center.
The Hawks improve their record to 17-4 and will next host a UVC Crossover on Saturday, March 11 when they take on Elmira College and Bard College. The Eagles drop to 10-6 and will play a tri-match at Vassar College tomorrow.
Senior middle blocker Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) led the way with 13 kills and two blocks, while junior outside hitter Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) recorded 10 kills, two service aces and four digs.
Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) dished out a match-high 31 assists and freshman libero Robert Nolan (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) registered a team-high eight digs.
Senior middle blocker Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) tallied a season-high five service aces with three kills and four blocks, while freshman middle blocker Nick O'Malley (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) chipped in with six kills and two blocks.
The first set remained close throughout as the score stood at 21-all. Kills by Roessler and Bonilla led the Hawks on a 4-2 run to win the set and go up 1-0.
Similar to the first set, the second set remained close as well as the score stood at 15-all. A 6-1 run by Juniata put them ahead 21-16, but New Paltz would come back to make it 22-21 in favor of the Eagles. Juniata looked poised to take the set after two kills by junior middle blocker Mahlon Bender, but the Hawks finished the set on a 4-0 run to win 26-24 and go up 2-0.
New Paltz never trailed in the third set, jumping out to a 12-7 lead that would eventually become 16-10. The Eagles battled but the Hawks finished on a 9-7 run to win the set and the match.
Lions Defeat Spartans for Second Time This Season
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Erie, PA – The D'Youville men's volleyball team was defeated by the host Penn State-Behrend Lions on Thursday evening by the final score of 3-0.
Behrend had a five-point lead over the Spartans in the first set at 8-3. Over the next several serves, the Spartans would get back in the match and trail by one at 11-10. The Lions would then go on a run of their own, taking a 19-12 lead and they would go on to win the first set 25-19.
D'Youville took the early advantage in the second set with a 4-2 lead. However, the Lions would then go on an 11-0 run to take a 13-4 lead over the Spartans. Scoring five consecutive points of their own, the Spartans came back to trail by four and then trimmed their deficit to three as they were down 18-15 to the Lions. Behrend would hold onto their lead over D'Youville and win the second set 25-17.
The Spartans began the third set in similar fashion as the second with another 4-2 lead. They maintained their two point lead at 9-7 until the Lions overtook D'Youville for an 11-9 lead. Pulling back to within one at 20-19, the Spartans were close to taking their first set of the match, but Behrend went on a 5-0 scoring run to complete the third set, winning 25-19 and winning the match 3-0.
Freshman Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) recorded a team high 11 digs in the match, with Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) adding six and a team high 27 assists and three service aces. Junior Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) led the team with 14 kills to go with seven digs and three blocks.
Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) tied for the team high in blocks with three. Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) had seven kills with Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego) adding four. James Zeiger (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) played a strong defensive game while Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) had a kill and two digs.
The next match for the men comes tomorrow, Friday March 3 as the team travels to Keuka to play SUNY Poly at 2pm and Keuka at 4pm.
No. 3 New Paltz Men’s Volleyball Falls to No. 1 Springfield 3-1
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – In a rematch of last year's national championship contest, the No. 3 State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team fell to visiting No. 1 Springfield 3-1 (17-25, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25) on Wednesday night in the Hawk Center.
With the defeat, the Hawks move to 16-4 and will prepare to host No. 15 Juniata on Friday, March 3 at 7 p.m., which marks the program's Alumni Night. The Pride improve to 17-1 on the season and are now riding a 17-match winning streak.
Despite the loss, the Hawks did manage to snap the Pride's 34-set winning streak with the second-set victory. This was Springfield's first set loss since Jan. 28 at NYU.
Seven players recorded at least three kills for the New Paltz attack, led by seven kills apiece from senior co-captains Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) and Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa).
Junior Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) finished with six kills, five digs and two aces while freshman Aaron Carrk (Delmar, N.Y./Bethlehem) chipped in five kills. Nick O'Malley tallied four kills and sophomore Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) and junior Ryan Cole (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East) both contributed three kills each.
Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) and sophomore setter Nick Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) distributed 18 and 11 assists, respectively.
For Springfield, Luis Vega – the reigning AVCA National Player of the Week – tallied a match-high 13 kills. Trevor Mattson contributed 10 kills for the Pride.
The first set was back-and-forth as New Paltz trailed by just one (13-12) following an ace by Bonilla. However, Springfield went on an 8-0 run to claim a commanding 21-12 lead and despite a little rally from the Hawks, New Paltz fell 25-17 in the opener.
Trailing 17-12 in set number two, New Paltz remained poised and battled back from the deficit, tying the set at 18-all. The Pride responded and took a 23-19 lead but the Hawks closed out the period on a 6-0 run; scoring points on five straight Woessner serves, to take the second set, 25-23.
Springfield jumped out to a 16-9 advantage in the third set and cruised to a 25-16 victory to take a 2-1 match lead. In the last set, the Hawks trailed by as many as five points but managed to knot the contest at 17-all. Unfortunately, the Pride closed out the match on an 8-3 run to take the set, 25-20.
Mavericks Take Down Cross Town Rivals
Medaille earns (3-0; 25-23, 25-20, 25-22) win over D'Youville
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
BUFFALO, NY – The Medaille Mavericks Men's Volleyball team was back in action on Tuesday evening after a (10) day layoff, traveling across town to take on the Spartans of D'Youville College. The Mavericks looked to snap a two-match skid in NEAC play and did just that, sweeping the Spartans on their home court (3-0; 25-23, 25-20, 25-22).
The Mavericks hit well overall on the evening, finishing the first set with a (.250) hitting percentage and ending the night with an overall hitting percentage of (.163); however it was the defense that stepped up big.
Medaille had eight total blocks on the evening, and held D'Youville to just a (.014) hitting percentage. In fact it took until set number three for the Spartans to finish with a hitting percentage over (.000).
It was a complete group effort on the offensive side of the net, as eight different Mavericks finished with multiple kills. Freshman Matt Dickerson (Lockport, NY, Starpoint) led the way with (7) kills, while junior Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) wasn't far behind with (5). Junior Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches), as well as freshmen Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) and Nick Patterson (Amherst, NY, Amherst) each chipped in with (4) kills apiece as Medaille earned (11) more kills than the Spartans on the night.
Sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) dished out (27) assists and tied fellow freshman Daniel Joseph (El Dorado, CA, Union Mine) with a team high (6) digs.
The win improves the Mavericks record to (5-8) overall and (2-2) in conference play as they now look towards this weekend's NEAC crossover hosted by Keuka College. The Mavs will take on the Wolves and Wells College on Saturday, March 4 and end the weekend against SUNY Polytechnic on Sunday, March 5.
D'Youville Loses in Three Sets to Medaille
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's volleyball team suffered a loss to the Medaille Mavericks on Tuesday evening by the final score of 3-0.
The first set of the evening was an even battle throughout. Medaille led by three at 7-4, but D'Youville would come back to tie it at 8-8. The Mavericks would then regain their lead by going up 15-12, but the Spartans would again come back and tie it at 17-17. Going back and forth, the two teams would go point-for-point until Medaille jumped out to a 24-20 lead and they would go on to win the first set 25-23.
Medaille took the momentum of a first set win into the second as they led 8-4 early. The Spartans would trail by three before the Mavericks took a six-point advantage at 16-10. D'Youville was never able to close the gap enough as Medaille would take the second set 25-20.
Set number three was led by the Spartans early as they went up 8-6. However Medaille stormed back to take a 16-12 lead over D'Youville. With the Mavericks leading 22-16, the Spartans went on a 6-1 run to trail 23-22. Despite their late rally, D'Youville was unable to win the set as Medaille scored the final two points, winning the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
Leading the team in kills with eight was Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West). Following him was the team's overall leading in Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) with six. Stroh was second on the team in digs as well with 10; one behind Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) who recorded 11.
Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) had a team high three service aces and 17 assists. Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego) added four kills.
The next match for the men comes this Thursday, March 2 at Penn State-Behrend. Match time is scheduled for 7pm.
MVB: No. 15 Saints complete perfect week in CVC play with win over Highlanders
Saturday, February 25, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va.— The No. 15 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad notched another Continental Volleyball Conference victory over Cairn University on Saturday afternoon, trumping the Highlanders in four sets, 3-1 (25-15, 25-19, 21-25, 25-20).
The Saints built a large lead early in set one, using a 4-0 run to take an 11-6 advantage. MU continued to piece together small runs, forcing Cairn to use a timeout after falling behind, 19-12. The blue and white continued to dominate the rest of the set before prevailing on top, 25-15.
Junior TJ Wiechecki posted two kills at the start of set two, boosting Marymount to a 4-0 lead. Wiechecki notched back-to-back kills moments later, and a Highlander error pushed the Saints ahead, 7-1. A timeout by Cairn late in the set didn't slow the Saints down, and a block by juniors Graham Clark and Erich Bratke ended the set in favor of MU, 25-19.
In the third set, the Saints struggled to find their rhythm. After falling behind 11-5, the blue and white used a timeout and made some adjustments. In a last-ditch effort, Clark bolstered a kill and the Highlanders committed an error to bring the Saints within three, 24-21. MU's effort wasn't enough to overcome the difference, falling 25-21.
Marymount didn't waste any time in set four, notching an early 7-2 lead after piecing together three small runs. The Saints maintained a lead through the rest of the set before bolstering a 4-1 run towards the end to win set four, 25-20. The late run was led by Wiechecki who added two kills, and junior Ben Steranka and Wiechecki put a wall up at the net to notch a block.
Wiechecki pieced together an impressive performance, putting down 13 kills, while hitting .417 and notching five blocks. Clark also added 11 kills while hitting .667 for the Saint offense. Bratke and freshman Joseph Zanelotti split time in the setter position, garnering 32 and 17 assists, respectively. On the defensive end, Bratke and junior Connor Choate notched 11 digs a piece.
The Saints will be hosting an AVCA top-15 tri-match against No. 9 Eastern Mennonite University and No. 5 New York University on Saturday, March 4. First match against EMU is set for 12 p.m., followed by a match up against NYU at approximately 4 p.m., in the Verizon Sports Arena.
No. 15 Men's volleyball registers straight-set victory over Scarlet Raiders
Friday, February 24, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va.— The No. 15 Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball squad cruised past the Scarlet Raiders of Rutgers University-Newark in a Continental Volleyball Conference matchup on Friday night. The Saints downed the Raiders in a three-set sweep, 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-22).
In set one, it was a close tilt from the start. The Saints built a five-point lead mid-way though the set following a 5-0 run led by freshman Sam Safley and juniors TJ Wiechecki and Erich Bratke who each added a kill. The Raiders rallied back to get within three, 19-16, forcing the Saints to use a timeout. MU fell behind late in the set, but battled its way back in and pieced together a 4-0 run to end the set on top, 25-23.
The momentum carried over into set two, as the Saints mounted an impressive 10-5 lead early on. The Saints continued to swing on the offensive end, seeing their biggest lead at 22-10, following back-to-back kills by sophomore Eric Wiles and a kill from Safley. Marymount went on to secure a victory in set two, 25-13.
Back-to-back kills from junior Graham Clark kicked things off in set three to give the Saints a 2-0 advantage. The momentum shifted back-and-forth as the teams traded points through much of the set. Safley sparked a 3-0 run mid-set to give Marymount a slight lead over Rutgers, 17-16. MU was able to outlast the Raiders, 25-22, following a kill by sophomore Alex Treser and a Raider error.
Safley paced the Saints on the offensive end, registering a game-high 10 kills while hitting .444. Bratke and freshman Joseph Zanelotti split time in the setter position, posting 21 and 13 assists, respectively. Junior Connor Choate notched a game-high 13 digs on the defensive end.
The Saints will host another CVC opponent, Cairn University, on Saturday, February 25. First serve is set for 1 p.m.
No. 3 Men’s Volleyball Enjoys 3-0 Victory at No. 11 Kean
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director
Thursday, February 23, 2017
UNION, N.J. – Four student athletes enjoyed five or more kills to lead the No. 4 State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team past host No. 11 Kean 3-0 (26-24, 29-27, 25-11) on Thursday evening in non-conference action.
New Paltz improves to 16-3 overall and will now prepare to host No. 1 Springfield in a rematch of the 2016 Division III National Championship bout on Wednesday, March 1 at 6 p.m. in the Hawk Center.
Junior outside hitter Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) floored a match-high 10 kills, hitting .467, while providing four digs and three block assists. Senior middle blocker Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) floored eight kills (.417) while providing the defense with five total blocks.
Sophomore Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) chipped in eight kills and four digs while senior middle blocker Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) tallied five kills for the Hawks.
Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) and sophomore setter Nick Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) orchestrated the offense with 23 and 11 assists, respectively.
For the Cougars (11-6), Jacob Kauffman recorded seven kills while Kevin Barrow distributed 18 assists and chipped in five digs.
On the night, the Hawks hit .324 (40-16-74) while limiting the No. 11 Cougars to just a .043 attack percentage.
The first set started out back-and-forth until the Cougars claimed a 16-13 lead, which forced New Paltz to take a timeout. Following the break, the Hawks were able to knot the contest at 17-all. Leading 22-21, New Paltz allowed Kean back into the set as the Cougars took a slim 23-22 lead. However, the Hawks outscored Kean 4-1 down the stretch, with a pair of kills from Roessler, to close out the opening stanza 26-24.
Unfortunately, the second set did not start as planned for New Paltz as Kean jumped out to a 10-6 advantage. But the Hawks remained resilient and battled back, to get within one, 11-10. Kean rattled off a 5-1 spurt to claim a 16-11 edge and went ahead 19-15 following a service error by New Paltz.
But the Hawks stayed focused and used kills by Bonilla and Woessner and an ace by junior middle blocker Nick Denoncourt (Rochester, N.Y./Penfield) to knot the set at 19-all. Kean answered with a 3-0 run to take a 22-19 lead, which forced New Paltz to take a timeout. Out of the break, the Hawks tied the set at 22-22.
Headed to extra points, both teams had chances at set point, but it was New Paltz enjoying the final two on consecutive attacking errors by the Cougars, winning 29-27.
The third set was all New Paltz as the air seemed to be taken out of the Cougars. The Hawks cruised to a 14-5 lead and increased that to 18-8. Two kills by Schneider and one by Smith handed the Hawks the 3-0 sweep.
Mavericks Fall To Chargers in Five Sets
Medaille Drops Three Straight Sets in NEAC Showdown
Saturday, February 18, 2017
LANCASTER, PA – The Medaille Men's Volleyball team traveled to Lancaster, PA to take on Lancaster Bible School in a NEAC matchup. The Mavericks entered play (4-7 overall; 1-1 NEAC) and looked to get over the five hundred mark in conference play. The Chargers sit tied atop the NEAC standings with a record of (10-5 overall; 4-1 NEAC).
The Mavericks let an opportunity slip through their fingertips as they dropped the match in five sets, despite winning the first two. They dropped to (4-8 overall; 1-2 NEAC) while the Chargers improved to (11-5 overall; 5-1 NEAC).
The first set was a tight matchup that saw the Mavs earning the victory (25-23). Matt Dickerson (Lockport, NY, Starpoint) led the attack with (4) kills on (4) total attacks giving him a hit percentage of (100%). Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) was main facilitator for Medaille with (10) assists.
The second set was a mirror image of set number one as another close affair saw the Mavericks come out on top (25-23). It was Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) turn to take the reins of the offense as he tallied a set high (5) kills. Dempsey duplicated his set one performance with (10) more assists.
Leading (2) sets to (0) the Mavericks seemed to be in a position to earn their second conference victory, the Chargers had other ideas. Lancaster Bible came out with something to prove and took set three (25-18). Set number three was a story of Medaille beating themselves. They out-killed the Chargers (9-8) but had an uncharacteristic amount of errors committing (13) compared to just (1) by Lancaster Bible.
The Mavericks still with a (2-1) lead had another opportunity to close out the Chargers but were unable to and they dropped the fourth set (25-13). This set saw some common themes from set three as Medaille had (8) errors compared to (3) from Lancaster. The Chargers had (13) kills, the most they had in any set, in route to forcing a match deciding fifth set.
Medaille was never able to rekindle the magic they had going in the first two sets and dropped set five (15-10) and the match (3-2). The same reason the Mavs were downed in sets three and four doomed them in the final set. Medaille had (9) errors with only (4) kills in the final set, with the last set only up to (15) the (9) errors were tough to overcome.
Calvin Crosby led all players with (14) kills, Matt Buss (Hamburg, NY, Frontier) and Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) were the supporting cast with (9) and (7) kills respectively. Matt Dempsey had a great day with (39) assists to lead all players.
Medaille get a nice ten-day rest before they take on another NEAC opponent, the Spartans of D'Youville College. The game will be held on the campus of D'Youville and is set to begin at 7:00 pm.
Hilbert Volleyball Closes NEAC Action Against Wilson
Saturday, February 18, 2017
LANCASTER, Pa. – After falling behind in the first two sets against Wilson College, the Hilbert men's volleyball team rallied in the third and held a 26-25 lead.
The Hawks committed a pair of hitting errors which gave the Phoenix the set, 28-26, and match win.
Hilbert scored 16 and 15 points in the first two sets while Wilson posted 25 first.
The Hawks jumped out to an early lead and held that advantage for most of the third set. Kurtis Maloney, David Arlaud and three Adam Heftka kills helped Hilbert build a 9-8 lead. The set progressed with five changes of possession until Hilbert stretched their lead to four points (16-12) thanks to a five-point run.
Wilson forced another knotted score 16-16 which was broken by Tanner Makowski's kill.
Both teams gave points to their opponent until Wilson was credited with a service ace 21-20.
The Hawks strung together three more points for a 23-21 lead. Hefkta's kill made it 24-22, but it wasn't over yet. The Phoenix tied the game 24-24 then gave Hilbert a 25-24 lead via a service error. The Hawks returned the favor on their next serve and Heftka lifted Hilbert at the net again for a 26-25 score.
Wilson forced the set's 13th tie and won the match off a pair of Hilbert attack errors.
Michael Podgorny led the Hawks with 10 kills and added seven digs and a pair of service aces. Adam Heftka added nine kills, nine assists, six digs and one service ace.
Nicholas Rice led the defense with eight digs and chipped in 12 assists while Garrett Rehner posted six digs.
Hilbert (0-9) returns to action February 28 when they travel to Thiel College for a 7pm non-conference match.
Spartans Suffer Loss to Lions to Close out Weekend
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Lancaster, PA – The D'Youville men's volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss to the Penn State-Altoona Lions on Saturday afternoon to end their weekend crossover at Lancaster Bible.
Altoona took the first set of the match 25-21 over D'Youville. They then defeated the Spartans 25-14 and 25-22 in the second and third sets to win the match in a 3-0 sweep.
Each of the seven Spartans that played on Saturday afternoon recorded at least one dig. Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) led the team with five, while Ed Kerber (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) and Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) each had three. Stroh led the team with 13 kills, followed by Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) with 12.
Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) added three kills, with Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) added five. Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) had a service ace.
The next match for the Spartans comes at home on Tuesday, February 28 at 7pm against Medaille.
Lions Fall to No. 10 Eastern Mennonite
Friday, February 17, 2017
ERIE, Pa. – The 10th-ranked Eastern Mennonite men's volleyball team earned 3-0 (25-14, 25-19 and 25-20) win over Penn State Behrend in non-conference action in the Junker Center on Friday night.
Christian Taylor dished out 34 assists and Tim Callahan knocked down a game-high 10 kills to go with seven digs to help the Royals (8-4) remain undefeated against the Lions (2-5) with their fourth straight victory.
Anthony Sprentz (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) tallied 14 assists and seven digs, while Trenton Munk (Baden, PA/Ambridge) led with eight kills and four blocks.
The Royals hit a game-best .312 in the first set behind 13 kills on 32 attempts with just three errors. EMU took a 10-5 lead and Behrend took its first timeout to try and slow down the Royals. EMU remained out in front and a small 6-2 run gave the Royals a double-digit lead at 22-12. Two kills from Scott Brigham and an ace by William Ragland put EMU at set point. Dan Lutz got the final kill to make it 25-14.
In the second set, the Royals turned a two-point deficit in the beginning to a five-point lead at 12-7 after a block error and kill by Callahan. Tyler Fiely (Cambridge Springs, PA/Cambridge Springs) tallied two kills to try and help the Lions come back, but Brigham and RJ Ocampo responded with kills for a 25-19 set-two win for a 2-0 lead in the match.
Callahan recorded five kills in the third set and Brigham managed seven digs to keep EMU in the third set. Behrend went up 10-7 on a pair of errors, but a kill by Ocampo and two aces from Ragland tied the game at 10-all and the next point by Callahan gave the Royals the lead for good. The teams went point-for-point down the stretch until Christian Taylor served the final four points to break open a 25-20 decision.
Tyler Herrmann (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) finished with seven kills and six digs. Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY/Eden) tallied 10 assists, six digs, five kills and four blocks.
The Lions return to action on Wednesday at Thiel. Match begins at 7 p.m.
Mavericks Split Day One of NEAC Weekend
Men's Volleyball defeats Wilson, fall to Penn State Altoona
Friday, February 17, 2017
Senior Calvin Crosby had (20)+ kills in both matches on Friday.
LANCASTEER, PA – The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team opened their NEAC part of the 2017 schedule on Saturday with matches against Wilson College and Penn State-Altoona. It was a hard fought day for the Mavericks, as they defeated Wilson (3-2; 25-27, 25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 15-10) but fell to the Lions (3-0; 25-23, 28-26, 26-24).
The first match of the evening was a battle for the Mavericks, as they opened with a (25) point game one but fell after the Phoenix were able to outlast the Mavs. Medaille responded by taking the next two sets, but another hard fought game four forced a fifth and decisive game.
The Mavericks only had one five set match all of last season in conference play, and just like in 2016 they came away victorious this time by the score of (15-10).
Senior Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) led the way with a team high (24) kills, while freshman Shawn Barbalato (Williamsville, NY, Williamsville South) also had himself a game with (11) kills. Sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) continued his strong play with (41) assists, while freshman Joe DiGesare (Lancaster, NY, St. Mary's of Lancaster) paced the Mavs with (12) digs.
The second match of the evening saw the Maverick take on Penn State Altoona. The match was about as close as a three setter can be, with each set being decided by just two points. In the final two sets of the match it took more than (25) points to claim victory, unfortunately for Medaille it as Altoona that ended the night on the right side.
The Lions defeated Medaille (3-0; 25-23, 28-26, 26-24) handing the Mavericks just their second ever NEAC loss, and their first conference loss since February 22, 2015 against D'Youville College. Since that defeat in 2015 Medaille had rattled off (31) straight victories against NEAC foes.
Crosby led the way offensively for Medaille, racking up (21) kills and adding a team high six service aces. Dempsey chipped in with (28) assists and six digs as the loss dropped Medaille to (4-7) overall and (1-1) in conference play.
The Mavs will finish up their NEAC weekend tomorrow afternoon, taking on the host Lancaster Bible Chargers at 1:00pm.
Podgorny Had a Killer Night, Hawks Suffer A Pair of Losses
Friday, February 17, 2017
LANCASTER, Pa. – Michael Podgorny had a career day on the court, but the Hilbert College men's volleyball team dropped their first two matches in the North Eastern Athletic Conference crossover weekend hosted by Lancaster Bible College.
Hilbert suffered a pair of 3-set losses and fall to 0-8 on the season. The Hawks slipped in the opening match to Penn State Altoona and closed the evening with a straight-set loss to the hosts, Lancaster Bible.
Podgorny finished with 5.33 kills and 3.0 digs per set. Adam Heftka earned 7.17 assists per set as his primary hitter converted at a .122 clip.
In Hilbert's 25-13, 25-21, 25-10 early match against Altoona, Podgorny collected 15 kills and nine digs. Nathaniel Hyman was credited with a service ace and Caleb Nellis with a pair of block assists. Heftka earned 21 of his assists in the opening match.
Hilbert notched 23 kills, but were tagged with 30 hitting errors.
After falling behind in the final match of the night (25-12, 25-13) Hilbert stormed back and made a run at Lancaster Bible. The Chargers outlasted the Hawks, 26-24, for the win.
Heftka earned 22 assists while Hyman picked up a solo block at the net along with four kills. Podgorny posted 17 kills and delivered nine more digs along with a solo block. Nellis scored two points off service aces and David Arlaud added four kills.
Hilbert returns to Lancaster Bible tomorrow for an 11 am match against Wilson before they return to Western New York.
Behrend Gives D'Youville First Home Loss
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's volleyball team suffered their first home loss of the season on Tuesday evening, falling to the visiting Penn State-Behrend Lions by the final of 3-0.
Behrend began the match in dominating fashion. They took an 11-0 lead in the first set before the Spartans would rally back to trail 15-8. However the Lions separated themselves from D'Youville and were able to close out the first set on a 10-3 scoring run and win 25-11.
The second set was much more contested between the two sides. Behrend led by one at 10-9 before they extended their lead to 14-10. The Spartans would then answer with a rally and tie the set at 18-18. Several minutes later the Lions went up 23-20 before D'Youville tied the set again, this time at 24-24. Within a point of victory at 25-24, D'Youville pushed back and the two teams were tied at 26-26. However Behrend would win the next two points to win the set 28-26.
D'Youville got behind early in the third set of play, trailing Behrend 10-2. The Spartans fought back to trail by six at 16-10, but the Lion's large lead was too much to overcome. Behrend would go on to win the set 25-13 and the match 3-0.
Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) led the team with seven kills, adding nine digs. Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) had a team high 10 digs while Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) added five kills and two blocks. Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) recorded a team leading 17 assists in the match.
The next match for the men come this Friday, February 17 as they travel to Lancaster Bible. D'Youville will play Lancaster Bible at 4pm, followed by Wilson at 6pm. Their weekend will conclude as they play Penn State-Altoona at 11am on Saturday.
Hawks Volleyball Prepares for 1st NEAC Weekend
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
HAMBURG, N.Y. – The Hilbert College men's volleyball team will head to their first North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) crossover competition this weekend.
Lancaster Bible College will host Hilbert, D'Youville, Medaille, Penn State Altoona and Wilson. The Chargers will facilitate nine matches as all six teams will participate in three matches each this Friday and Saturday.
Hilbert opens the night against Penn State Altoona (6pm) and will battle the hosts in the night cap at 8pm. Fans can view the live stream video of the Lancaster Bible / Hilbert match (click here).
Hilbert will square off against Wilson College at 11 am the following morning before heading back north to Hamburg.
Hilbert (0-6) checked D'Youville off their NEAC schedule having faced them twice already in the early part of their season. Most recently, the Hawks earned their first two set-victories (of the season) against the Spartans before they dropped the match February 1st (25-11, 23-25, 17-25, 25-15, 15-8).
Fans can stay connected to the crossover weekend results by following Lancaster Bible's twitter page (@LBCathletics) where scores will be posted in live-time.
Spartans Split Saturday Matches vs. Southern Vermont, Sage at Elmira
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Elmira, NY – The D'Youville men's volleyball team split their second day at Elmira by defeating the Southern Vermont Mountaineers 3-0 and falling to the Sage Gators 3-2.
The first match of the day went the way of the Spartans, defeating Southern Vermont 25-18, 25-11, 25-18. With the first set tied at 4-4 early, D'Youville ran away with the score to win the first set. The second set was dominance from the Spartans from the beginning as they jumped out to a 10-3 lead and won their second straight set. After leading by a wide margin in the third set, Southern Vermont pulled to within one at 19-18, but D'Youville wouldn't allow another point in the match as they would go on to win and take the match 3-0.
Recording his first double-double of the season was Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) with 12 kills and 11 digs, both team highs. Middle blockers Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) and Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego) each had eight kills, while Stroh, Krass and Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) each had three service aces. McMahon had a team high 38 assists.
In their second match of the day, the Spartans had a tough battle against Sage. They fell 3-2, with the set scores being 25-16, 25-27, 16-25, 25-18, 15-12. Sage was in control of the first set and was able to lead throughout. D'Youville led the second set 10-7 before Sage would come back to take the lead at 19-17. With a 25-24 lead, Sage was within a point of winning their second straight set but D'Youville scored the next three points and won the set.
The Spartans dominated from the opening serve in the third set. They built a 10-2 lead and then increased their lead to 14 on their way to victory. Sage came back in the fourth to an early 9-3 lead before D'Youville would battle back to trail 14-12. The Gators then pulled away by scoring eight of the next nine points before tying the match at 2-2. In the fifth and final set, the Spartans would trail 8-7. They would then trail 14-10 before scoring two unanswered points. Despite the late rally, Sage would close out the match and win 3-2.
Stroh played an outstanding match with a team leading 24 kills and he tied the team lead with seven digs. McMahon recorded 45 assists along with four service aces, both tops on the team. Krass add 11 kills while Bochacki had a team high four blocks. Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) chipped in seven kills.
The next match for the men comes this Tuesday, February 14 as the Spartans host Penn State-Behrend at 7pm.
Arcadia Men’s volleyball beats SUNY Poly in four sets, falls to top-ranked Springfield
Saturday, February 11, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Arcadia University went 1-1 in a tri-match at Springfield College Saturday, defeating SUNY Poly 3-1 before falling to the host Pride 3-0. Springfield is ranked No. 1 in this week's AVCA Coaches' Poll, receiving 16 of 17 first-place votes.
FOR THE RECORD: The Knights record moved to 5-5 after splitting today's action. Springfield improved to 10-1 with their win over Arcadia, while SUNY Poly dropped to 7-5 following its loss to Arcadia.
ARCADIA 3, SUNY POLY 1 (19-25, 25-23, 25-23, 28-26)
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Wildcats were victorious in the opening game 25-19 after starting it off with a 5-1 run before another 5-1 surge put them up 22-13. The Knights trailed in the second game 23-20 before scoring five unanswered points to secure a 25-23 win to tie the match at 1-1, and replicated that feat in the third as they scored four unanswered to close that game with another 25-23 win.
A late four-point run in the fourth game put Arcadia up 24-22, but SUNY Poly answered with three in a row to go up 25-24. The Knights were down 26-25 before freshman Jason Manley started a 3-0 run with a kill to close out a 28-26 win for Arcadia that gave it a 3-1 victory in the match.
ARCADIA LEADERS: Manley totaled 12 kills, seven blocks and eight digs to lead the Knights, while fellow freshman Bryce Galloway added six kills, five blocks and eight digs. Freshman Robie Moctezuma hit .455 with five kills on 11 swings while totaling six blocks. Senior Sean Cohen handed out 28 assists with five blocks and three digs.
SUNY POLY LEADERS: Max Szuba led the Wildcats with a match-high 17 kills and eight digs, while Ryan Gloff hit .300 with 15 kills and six errors on 30 attempts. Nick Hagen hit .533 with eight kills on 15 swings, while Zach Goggin dished out a match-high 51 assists with three kills and six digs.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: In a reversal from last night's 3-2 loss at St. Joseph's (L.I.), the Knights recorded a win despite being outscored 72-57 and hitting just .088 for the match. The Wildcats had a 61-30 advantage in kills, while Arcadia held a 20-5 advantage in blocks.
No. 1 SPRINGFIELD 3, ARCADIA 0 (12-25, 19-25, 16-25)
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Pride hit .474 in the match with 33 kills and just six attack errors on their 57 total attempts on their way to their 10th consecutive win. Springfield's only loss was a 3-2 decision at Hope International to open the season January 13. The Knights hit 0.38 for the match, totaling 19 kills with 17 attack errors on 53 attempts.
ARCADIA LEADERS: Manley led the Knights with eight kills, two service aces and four digs, while freshman Austin Braas hit .400 with five kills and one error on 10 attempts. Cohen had 17 assists with two digs.
SPRINGFIELD LEADERS: Sergio Figueroa Velez hit .625 with 10 kills on 16 attempts while totaling four aces and four blocks to lead the Pride. Jason Weedon hit .353 with eight kills and two errors on 17 attempts, while Mike Neary handed out 28 assists with four blocks.
Medaille Defeats Men's Volleyball in Four
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
ERIE, Pa. – Calvin Crosby knocked down a game-high 25 kills for a .488 hitting percentage to lead Medaille past Penn State Behrend 3-1 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action on Wednesday night.
The Mavericks (3-7, 1-0 AMCC) snapped a six-match losing streak and picked up their first AMCC win with a 12-25, 25-19, 25-19 and 25-22 victory. Matt Dempsey added 53 assists and nine digs.
Dillon Hildebrand (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) led the Lions (1-2, 1-2 AMCC) with 12 kills, while Derek Kuhn (Baden, PA/Ambridge) recorded nine kills on 12 attempts with one error for a game-best .667 hitting percentage.
Behrend took care of business in the first set, forcing 12 errors and making four blocks to go with Tyler Fiely's (Cambridge Springs, PA/Cambridge Springs) two services aces for a 13-point win at 25-12. After Kuhn's kill to start, Hildebrand served the next five points and got three blocks from Munk and help from Kuhn and Tyler Herrmann (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley).
Fiely's serving gave the Lions a double-digit lead that would not relinquish and Hildebrand finished the set with a kill on a set from Anthony Sprentz (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley).
Crosby came to life in the second set for Medaille, posting six kills including two in the first seven points to give the Mavericks a 6-1 lead. Medaille never trailed and used two kills from Shawn Barbalato and one from Matt Buss down the stretch to even the match at 1-all.
Crosby continued to lead the Mavericks with the help from Barbalato and Sam Bloomberg on the attack to go ahead 2-1 with a 25-19 set-three win. Crosby tallied seven kills this time and Medaille made a game-high 16 digs in the set.
In the final set, Crosby was flawless with nine kills on 11 attempts to hold off Behrend. No more than there points separated the teams early in the fourth and toward the end it was point for point. At 20-19, each team exchanged kills until Crosby put the Mavericks to match point with his 25th kill and Bloomberg secured the win with his only kill of the set at 25-22.
Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY/Eden) registered 18 assists and Sprentz added 16 to go with five digs.
The Lions return to action on Saturday against NYU and New Paltz St. The tri-match begins at 10 a.m.
AVCA DIVISION III MEN'S COACHES TOP 15 WEEK #3 POLL: FEBRUARY 7, 2017
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
|Rank||School (First-Place Votes)||Total Points Adjusted||2017 Record||Previous Week|
|2||SUNY New Paltz (1)||232||11-2||2|
|4||UC Santa Cruz||203||7-3||4|
Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Hunter 21; Ramapo 16; MSOE 14; Dominican 11; MIT 11; Mount St. Joseph 10
Dropped Out: Stevenson 10
Next Poll: February 14
Mavs Struggles Continue at Golden Flyer Invitational
Medaille falls in straight sets to #15 Juniata College & #2 New Paltz
Saturday, February 4, 2017
ROCHESTER, NY - The Medaille College Men's Volleyball team returned to the court this afternoon on day two of the Golden Flyer Invitational hosted by Nazareth College. After dropping two games yesterday to two nationally ranked opponents, the Mavericks faced two more difficult tasks matching up with #15 Juniata College and the defending National Champions #2 New Paltz.
The Mavericks opened up Juniata College and fell in straight sets (3-0; 25-16, 25-22, 25-21). After a tough first set that they dropped (16-25), the Mavericks regrouped and in the second set held a three-point lead half way through the set (14-11). The Eagles answered though and closed out the set (25-22). They then won a tightly contested third set (25-21) to send them Mavs to their fifth straight loss, four of which were against ranked opponents.
In the match, the Eagles (.357) outhit Medaille (.120) and had significant advantage in errors (9) to Medaille's (25). Quinn Peterson led all players with (13) kills and had a (.417) hitting percentage.
Medaille was led offensively by Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) who had a team high (10) kills on (21) swings.
In the second match of the day, Medaille faced off with #2 New Paltz. The Hawks beat Medaille in straight sets (3-0; 25-17, 25-19, 25-23).
New Paltz took the first (25-17), finishing the set out on a (5-0) run. Then won the second set (25-19) closing out the set on a (6-1) run. Medaille led late in the third set but ultimately dropped the set by two points (25-23).
New Paltz (.345) outhit the Mavs (.263) and held a large advantage in digs (15-6). The teams combined for (36) service errors over the course of the three sets, with New Paltz holding the slight edge with (17) to Medaille's (19).
Calvin Crosby led all players with (10) kills and Medaille's Matt Buss (Hamburg, NY, Frontier) chipped in with (6) kills.
S Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) finished the day with (48) assists on the day.
Crosby was named to the All-Tournament team for the Mavs.
The Mavericks are now (2-6) overall after starting the season (2-0). Five of those six losses were against nationally ranked opponents.
The Mavs return to action on Wednesday when they travel down the I-90W to Erie, PA to take on Penn St.-Behrend. The game is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm.
Naz Splits at Golden Flyer Invitational
Saturday, February 4, 2017
ROCHESTER, NY – No. 10 Nazareth opened Saturday with a four set win over Johnson and Wales, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15 in the Golden Flyer Invitational before falling on the losing end in four against No. 4 UC Santa Cruz, 25-19, 15-25, 23-25, 21-25.
Nazareth moves to 7-4 on the season with the split.
In the opening match Zachary Gillard and Sam Bittker combined for 30 kills to propel the offense.
Leading 22-21 in the first set, Nazareth got a big kill from Bittker. He had a team-high seven kills on 15 attempts in the set.
Nazareth doomed itself in the second set with nine hitting errors, allowing the Wildcats to earn the win. Trevor Gooch provided a spark with six kills on a .500 hitting percentage.
With the score at 9-9 in the third set, Gillard notched two straight kills to gain momentum. The Wildcats evened the score at 18 before Gillard came up with another timely kill. He eventually had the game-winning kill to take the set. The junior finished with a .294 attack percentage in the match.
In the fourth and final set Nazareth won four straight points to break a 7-7 tie to seize control. Robert Sarneckis and Ethan Ross combined or a block to make it 20-12.
Bittker hit .346 in the win.
Luis Vazquez led the way with 12 digs and Tyler Farnung contributed four service aces.
Jake Kemp had 48 assists.
Nazareth trailed 17-14 in the opening set against Santa Cruz but rattled off 11 of the last 13 points to earn the win. Senior Tom Keisling put the pressure on the Banana Slugs with five straight serves that resulted in Nazareth points. Kane Wittorff ended the set with a service ace.
Set two belonged the visitors as they jumped out to a 14-9 advantage and never looked back.
In the third set, Nazareth clawed back from a 14-10 to make it 15-14 following a Farnung ace. Santa Cruz regained some distance and a service error from the Golden Flyers halted lengthening the set at the end.
The Banana Slugs built another early lead 9-5 in the fourth, only to have Nazareth string together seven of eight points for a 12-10 advantage. Santa Cruz returned the favor with a similar run down the stretch to cap off the victory.
Gillard put down eight kills (.086), followed by seven apiece from Bittker (.000) and Keisling (.176).
Kemp dished out 32 assists, while Vazquez added 10 digs.
Nazareth returns to action on Friday at Elmira when it will play Lasell and Southern Vermont.
No. 2 Men’s Volleyball Opens Up Weekend With Pair of Wins
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director, nphawks.com
Friday, February 3, 2017
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The No. 2 State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team began the weekend with a pair of wins in the Nazareth Golden Flyer Invitational on Friday night.
The Hawks (7-2 overall) enjoyed a 3-1 win (23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-16) over Elmira before taking care of Johnson & Wales 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 26-24) to cap off the evening. New Paltz wraps up the tournament tomorrow with matches against No. 14 Rivier at 1 p.m. and Medialle at 5 p.m.
New Paltz 3, Elmira 1
Versus the Soaring Eagles, New Paltz dropped the opener but then responded with three-straight set wins to claim the match. Four players enjoyed double-digit kills as junior outside hitter Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) floored a match-high 14, hitting .600, followed by senior middle blocker Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) who finished with 12, hitting .588.
Both sophomore outside hitter Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) and senior middle blocker Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) paced the offense with 11 kills apiece while freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) dished out 46 assists.
As previously mentioned, New Paltz fell 25-23 in set number one but recovered nicely with three-consecutive convincing wins to begin the day.
New Paltz 3, Johnson & Wales 0
Against Johnson & Wales, Roessler enjoyed an 11-kill performance while Bonilla provided six kills, three digs and two assists. Grace distributed 39 assists and enjoyed six digs and four aces and freshman libero Robert Nolan (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) paced the defense with 13 digs.
In the first set against the Wildcats, the Hawks jumped out to an 11-8 edge and would extend that advantage to 17-12. Johnson & Wales trimmed that lead down to one (20-19) before three kills from Roessler down the stretch closed out the opener.
In the second stanza, New Paltz enjoyed a 10-5 start and stretched the lead to 20-13. Two errors by the Wildcats and a kill by junior middle blocker Ryan Cole (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East) gave the Hawks a comfortable 2-0 cushion.
The last set of the night was a battle and mid-way through was tied at 13-all. New Paltz went ahead by three on two separate occasions (21-18, 23-20) but the Wildcats battled back to force extra points. Tied at 24, kills by senior middle blocker C.J. Borftiz (Inwood, N.Y./Lawrence) and sophomore opposite Nick Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) gave the Hawks the 26-24 victory.
Penn State-Behrend Sweeps Hilbert
Thursday, February 2, 2017
HAMBURG, NY – The Penn State Behrend men's volleyball team registered their first win of the season with a 3-0 victory over Hilbert on Wednesday night.
The Lions (1-1) handled the Hawks (0-5) in three sets, winning 25-15, 25-17 and 25-20. Behrend only used seven kills in the first set for a 10-point win, before hitting .476 in the second set with 11 kills on 21 attempts with one error.
Tyler Herrmann (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) led with seven kills and five digs.
Jake Albert (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) and Derek Kuhn (Baden, PA/Ambridge) all got their first collegiate kills, recording three and five, respectively. Kuhn tallied five kills on eight attempts (.625).
Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY) and Dillon Hildebrand (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) paced Behrend with four aces apiece. Nowicki also added 14 assists.
The Lions return to action on Wednesday against Medaille. Match begins at 7 p.m.
Hilbert Volleyball Takes Behrend to Task In AMCC Action
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
HAMBURG, N.Y. – With the excitement of hosting their home opener, the Hilbert College men's volleyball team came ready to play.
The Hawks slipped in three sets to Penn State Behrend tonight, but for the first time this season, Hilbert closed the game with a positive hitting percentage.
The Lions earned 40 points off 27 kills, 10 service aces and three blocks while Hilbert trailed with 32.5 behind 28 kills, three aces and one block.
For the first time this season, the Hawks earned more kills than their opponents and finished with a .125 attack percentage.
Michael Podgorny led all players with 12 kills and added four digs and a pair of blocks.
Behrend opened the match with a 25-15 victory which was a close game until the Lions stretched their lead from 12-8 up to 18-11 off back to back service aces and a kill. The Hawks challenged again in the second set before Behrend pushed through to a 25-17 win.
Hilbert had the visitors on the ropes the entire third set, staying within three points until the final series of rallies. Behrend claimed the victory off a kill to the middle of Hilbert's defense for the match, 25-20.
Adam Heftka moved between an attack player and a setter. He earned five kills and led with 13 assists (two service aces) which Nicholas Rice added 12 assists.
Penn State Behrend courted 15 players and distributed the ball equally which kept the Hawks on their toes at the net defensively.
Hilbert (0-5) returns to the Hafner Center next week for their rematch Buffalo Cup game against D'Youville College. The NEAC league game begins at 7pm February 8.
Crosby Named AMCC Men's Volleyball Player of the Week
Monday, January 30, 2017
Crosby had (21) kills in two matches last weekend
BUFFALO, NY – The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference announced their weekly award winners on Monday afternoon, and Medaille Senior Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) was named the AMCC Men's Volleyball Player of the Week.
Crosby led Medaille with (21) kills last week, reaching double digits in both matches. Crosby had (10) kills against Stevens, who is currently ranked number three in the nation. He followed that up with (11) against another tough opponent in Ramapo.
No. 2 New Paltz Men’s Volleyball Wins Pair to Conclude Juniata Invite
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director
Saturday, January 28, 2017
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The No. 2 State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team won both of its matches on Saturday afternoon, a 3-0 sweep of Wittenberg followed by a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over host No. 15 Juniata, to wrap up the Juniata Invitational.
The Hawks improve to 5-2 overall and will prepare for the Nazareth Golden Flyer Invitational from Feb. 3-4 before hosting Alderson Broaddus and St. Joseph's of Long Island on Feb. 5.
In total on Saturday, junior outside hitter Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) tallied 28 kills, including 16 in the five-set marathon against Juniata. Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) provided 86 assists, with a career-best 52 occurring against the host Eagles.
Following the completion of the tournament, Bonilla was named the Tournament MVP and senior middle blocker Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) earned All-Tournament Team accolades for their strong performances over the weekend.
New Paltz 3, Wittenberg 0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-16)
In the first contest of the day, the Hawks had no trouble dispersing of the Tigers in straight sets. Bonilla and senior middle blocker Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) both enjoyed 12-kill performances with Roessler hitting .688 and Bonilla following with a .400 showing.
Woessner floored seven service aces and now has 149 career aces, passing Jake Moore who held the program record with 142 career service aces. The senior also provided three block assists and two digs.
Grace distributed 34 assists and provided four digs and three block assists on the defensive end. For Wittenberg (3-3), both Joel Sotos and Dylan Kolovitz recorded six kills while Ross Russell provided 18 assists for the Tigers.
Tied at 15-all in the first set, the Hawks rattled off a 9-2 run to get within set point, 24-17. The Tigers would not go away quietly, however, and went on a late 4-0 spurt before New Paltz closed it out, 25-21.
In set number two, New Paltz held a slim 10-9 advantage before going on a 5-2 run to take a 15-11 edge. Wittenberg closed the lead to two (20-18) before the Hawks enjoyed a 5-0 run, as sophomore opposite Nick Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) floored two kills and Woessner recorded three straight aces to end the set, 25-18.
New Paltz jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the last set and would increase that cushion to 11-6. The Hawks cruised to a 21-13 margin and used kills by junior middle blocker Ryan Cole (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East) and freshman outside hitter Aaron Carrk (Delmar, N.Y./Bethlehem) and an ace by Grace to end the first match of the day, 25-16.
New Paltz 3, No. 15 Juniata 2 (20-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-20, 15-13)
Trailing 2-0, the Hawks managed the impressive comeback against the No. 15 team in the nation on their home court and squeaked out the 3-2 victory.
Bonilla led all players with 16 kills (.400) and Woessner followed with 10 kills (.444). Both Cole and sophomore outside hitter Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) ended with eight kills each. Grace distributed a match-best 52 assists.
For the Eagles (2-3), Quinn Paterson tallied 15 kills while Michael Young dished out 37 assists.
After dropping the first two sets (20-25, 18-25, respectively), the Hawks played with their backs against the wall in set three. Tied at 7-all, New Paltz jumped out to a 15-8 lead thanks to several kills from Bonilla and Woessner. Kills by Cole, Bonilla and senior middle blocker C.J. Borfitz (Inwood, N.Y./Lawrence) extended the match to a fourth set.
A Borfitz kill in the fourth set gave the Hawks a 10-5 lead, however Juniata battled back and got to within one (13-12). Kills by Schneider and Borfitz extended the New Paltz cushion to 21-16 and Bonilla followed suit with an ace and kill of his own to make the contest 24-18. Woessner forced the fifth and final set with a kill, closing out the set 25-20.
In the fifth and deciding set, New Paltz jumped out to a 6-3 edge after another kill from Borfitz. The Eagles countered and tied the set at 10-all and again at 12-all. A kill by Schneider handed a slim 13-12 lead back to the Hawks and the sophomore enjoyed back-to-back executions to close out the match and complete the impressive comeback by New Paltz.
2017 Juniata Invitational All-Tournament Team
Wittenberg: #21 Dylan Kolovitz
Thiel: #14 Regan Hess
Wells: #17 Brandon Perdicho
New Paltz: #10 Steven Woessner
MVP: #2 Anthony Bonilla – New Paltz
Juniata: #7 Mahlon Bender and #9 Michael Young
Dempsey Selected as NEAC Player of the Week
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Medaille sophomore had career-high (65) assists against Fontbonne
GANSEVOORT, NY – The North Eastern Athletic Conference has selected its Student-Athletes of the Week, and Medaille sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) was selected as the NEAC's Men's Volleyball Player of the Week.
Dempsey had an incredible opening weekend, helping the Mavericks go 2-0 in a pair of five set thrillers. Against Fontbonne Dempsey dished out a career-high 65 assists, and was one dig away from a double-double as Medaille came back from a 2-1 hole to win 3-2. He was just as good in the second match on Sunday, dishing out another 38 assists and adding 14 digs defensively.
AVCA DIVISION III MEN'S COACHES TOP 15 WEEK #1 POLL: JANUARY 24, 2017
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
|Rank||School (First-Place Votes)||Total Points Adjusted||2017 Record||Previous Week|
|2||SUNY New Paltz (4)||234||2-2||2|
|4||UC Santa Cruz||190||3-3||6|
Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Dominican 25; MIT 18; Lasell 15; Lakeland 7; Mount St. Joseph 6; Hunter 4
One team mentioned on only one ballot for a total of four combined points.
Dropped Out: Dominican 13; Rutgers-Newark 11
Next Poll: January 31
Men's Volleyball Wins Season Opener Against Hilbert
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville men's volleyball team started off their 2017 season with a win on Tuesday evening, defeating the Hilbert Hawks 3-0 in a Buffalo Cup match.
The first set was controlled D'Youville early on. They held a 4-0 lead over Hilbert before the Hawks would come back to tie the set at 6-6. From that point on, the Spartans began to pull away. D'Youville would go on a 12-3 scoring run to take an 18-9 lead and eventually go on to win the first set 25-17.
D'Youville was dominant in the second set. They jumped out to a 6-1 lead and then went up 10-4 before going on an even bigger scoring run. They outscored Hilbert 15-5 throughout the rest of the set to win the second set 25-8.
Hilbert began the third set by jumping out to a 5-2 lead. A few points later, the Spartans tied it at 8-8 and took the lead at 12-11 before the Hawks regained the lead at 16-13. D'Youville would then rally to take overtake Hilbert to lead 20-16. The two teams would play a close third as the Hawks pulled to within one of the Spartans at 24-23, but D'Youville would finish the set and the match with the next point, winning the third 25-23 and the match 3-0.
Junior Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) led the team with eight kills and six digs in his first appearance as a Spartan. Senior Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) led the team with 20 assists, adding three kills and three digs. Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) had four assists in the match to go with his five digs.
Also adding four kills was Ed Kerber (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga), while Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca) was second on the team with five kills. Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego), Stroh, Bochacki and McMahon each recorded two total blocks. Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) had five digs with James Zeiger (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) adding three kills and Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) adding one.
The next match for the men comes on Wednesday, February 8 at 7pm as they travel to Hilbert.
Season Preview: D'Youville Men's Volleyball
Monday, January 23, 2017
Buffalo, NY – A different looking D'Youville men's volleyball team will take the court in 2017, losing several veteran players but adding new faces to compete for playing time.
The team lost six players from last year's team due to graduation and transfers. This season, they welcome in two freshmen, a transfer and a returner from the 2014 season to bolster the roster. Of the five returners, there is an even mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen as the team has one senior, two juniors and two sophomores.
Lone senior Collin McMahon (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) will lead the team in his final year as a Spartan. Collin led the team in service aces in 2016 with 44 and was second on the team with 216 assists. His previous three seasons of playing experience will help with an influx of new players and returners work together towards success.
Juniors Logan Krass (Oswego, NY/Oswego) and James Zeiger (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) will look for increased rolls on this year's team. Krass played in 12 matches last season, recording 16 kills and 10 total blocks while Zeiger has been a consistent team player over his career and will be relied upon for his leadership.
As a freshman, Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) led the team with 196 digs and 1.87 digs/set while playing all 105 sets. As a sophomore this season, Kilijanski returns as the team's Libero and at the heart of the team's defense. Fellow sophomore Zach Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) is a middle blocker that will also hope to add to the team's defense in the middle.
The team has two new outside hitters this season as they lost three via graduation or transfer. Freshman Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) and junior transfer Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) are new additions to this year's team and outside hitters. Both will be given chances to play on the outside this year to fill the void of lost production.
Rounding out the roster are freshman Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) and junior Ed Kerber (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga). MacDowell adds depth to the Libero position while Kerber returns to the team after his freshman season in 2014 that saw him play 18 matches, tallying 54 kills and 30 digs. His experience and previous collegiate production are welcomed additions to the team.
D'Youville will once again compete in the NEAC and AMCC conferences this season. In the preseason NEAC polls, D'Youville was voted on to finish in sixth place by the opposing eight coaches in the conference. In 2016, the team also finished sixth in the NEAC.
On April 1 and April 2, D'Youville will host their first NEAC crossover. Six teams, including D'Youville, will be playing a total of nine games in two days to complete their conference schedule before playoffs begin. The top four teams in the conference make playoffs.
The Spartan's first opponent of the season will be a familiar one as they host the Hilbert Hawks on Tuesday, January 24. Match time is set for 7pm.
Medaille Opens Up 2017 with Two Five-Set Victories
Mavs hand Fontbonne their first loss of the season and then rally to beat Thiel on their home court in five
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Calvin Crosby and Sam Bloomberg
GREENVILLE, PA - The Medaille Men's Volleyball team opened up their 2017 campaign with a pair of matches today. They traveled to Thiel College and opened up with Fontbonne University (3-0) and then matched up with the host school Thiel.
Medaille handed Fontbonne their first loss of the season in five sets (3-2; 26-25, 20-25, 25-27, 25-15l, 15-13).
In a match that saw the teams exchange the first four sets, it all came down to second half of the fifth and final set, where the Mavs won four of the last six points to clinch the victory.
Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) led the attack with (31) kills and a (.453) attack percentage. Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) was also very involved with (19) kills and a staggering (.615) mark.
Medaille outhit Fontbonne (.373) to (.182), but had (25) service errors over the course of the match.
S Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) had a team high (65) assists and the Mavs back line saw four players wit (8+) digs, with Daniel Joseph (El Dorado, CA, Union Mine) leading the way with (15). Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches) chipped in with (10).
In the second match against Thiel, the Mavs rallied from a (2-1) deficit to win the final two sets and win in five (3-2; 17-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-17, 15-10).
Crosby and Bloomberg led the way again with (11) kills apiece, with Ebert notching (10).
Dempsey had (38) assists in the win and a team high (14) digs.
Crosby and Matt Dickerson (Lockport, NY, Starpoint) both had a team high (6) blocks.
The Mavs are now (2-0) on the young season and return to action next weekend when they travel to New Jersey for matchups with #3 Steven Institute of Technology and Ramapo College.
Volleyball Opens the Season At Jim Coleman Invitational
Friday, January 20, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, OH – The Hilbert College men's volleyball team suffered a set of opening day defeats in the first day of the Jim Coleman annual volleyball tournament hosted by Wittenberg University today.
The Hawks fell to the hosts (25-8, 25-9, 25-15) in the 6pm game and then slipped in three sets against Cincinnati Christian University (25-11, 25-12, 25-15).
Michael Podgorny collected 12 kills in a set of matches while Nicholas Rice assisted on 16 of Hilbert's 25 kills on the day.
Wittenberg pushed to two quick wins before the Hawks put up a better fight in the third set.
Michael Podgorny posted six kills, one service ace, a pair of blocks and led with six digs. Nicholas Rice (three digs) dished a team-high five assists and Brandon Henry chipped in four digs. Caleb Nellis added two blocks at the net.
The Hawks challenged Cincinnati Christian in the second match earning 11, 12 and 15 points but the Eagles finished with 40 kills while holding the Hawks to 18.
Rice dished for 11 assists shared between Podgorny (six kills), Adam Heftka (four) and Garrett Rehner (four). Brandon Henry earned his first collegiate service ace in the evening match.
Hilbert (0-2) returns to Wittenberg tomorrow for a 3:30 pm contest against Southern Virginia University before they return to WNY for their first Buffalo Cup game at D'Youville College January 24.
Men's Volleyball Starts Quest for Third Straight Title
Medaille seeks three-peat and NCAA Tournament birth
Thursday, January 19, 2017
BUFFALO, NY – Becoming a champion takes hard work, long hours, dedication, talent and so much more. Repeating as champions is even harder. The 2017 Medaille College Men's Volleyball team has already achieved the difficult; now their looking to up the ante.
Since joining the North Eastern Athletic Conference in 2015, the Medaille Mavericks have gone 33-1 against their conference foes. They have won 31 straight matches, including postseason play; and in the 106 sets since losing their last match the Mavs have dropped just 13 of those sets.
That type of dominance screams three-peat. However with the loss of key contributors from a season ago, the coaches of the NEAC have tabbed Medaille to finish third in the conference pre-season poll. Head Coach Keith Koch knows that winning a championship is difficult, and this year's squad can't rest on its past successes in order to capture title number three.
"The key to a third consecutive NEAC title will be developing team chemistry," explained Coach Koch. "There is a completely new look to this year's team so we need to develop an identity and create the cohesion that a team needs in order to be a champion. We only have a total of five players returning from last year's team which includes three starters. There are twelve new faces on the roster including ten freshmen so we are focusing on getting to know and trust one another at this point."
2016 continued the great tradition of men's volleyball at Medaille College. The Mavs won 25 games last season, went undefeated in conference play and defeated Elmira College who was ranked ninth in the country at the time. While the winning was plentiful, the lack of an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament for the NEAC champs left 2016 lacking a little something.
"Last season was a successful year because we won a conference championship but everyone on the team knows that we didn't reach our ultimate goal of playing in the NCAA tournament," said Coach Koch as he summed up the 2016 campaign. "The five returners have come into this year extremely focused and have provided a great deal of leadership for all the newcomers on the team."
With each new season comes a new challenge. This season the biggest challenge may be the turnover in the roster. A number of student-athletes graduated in 2016, meaning it's on the returners in 2017 to show the newcomers what it means to be a Medaille Maverick.
Senior Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, NY, Starpoint) is one of the unquestioned leaders coming into the spring and for good reason. As a junior Calvin appeared in 118 sets and 33 matches for Medaille. On offense he earned 218 kills and 1.85 kills per set, finishing the season with a hitting percentage of .214. In addition, he finished second on the team and second in the NEAC in total service aces 54 and aces per set 0.46. Crosby's 0.46 service aces per set ranked 27th in the entire country. Defensively he set a new career high with (61) total blocks, 19 of which came from the solo variety. For his efforts he was named to the AMCC All-Conference Second Team for the first time in his career.
"Calvin Crosby is an excellent leader who has the offensive talent to be one of the top players in the country," said Coach Koch about his senior. ". He has worked extremely hard to improve his passing and defense which we will need to win another conference title.
Junior Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, FL, Park Vista) took a big step forward during his sophomore season. Sam appeared in 120 sets and all 34 matches, finishing the year with new career highs in kills 147, kills per set 1.23, hitting percentage .299, service aces 16, digs 40, and total blocks 94. His 94 total blocks ranked third in the NEAC, and his 0.78 blocks per set ranked 52nd in the nation. Bloomberg was a star during the NEAC Tournament, totaling 17 kills, 6 digs, and 8 blocks to earn the NEAC Tournament Most Valuable Player award.
"Sam Bloomberg has made significant strides as a player over the past two years," explained Coach Koch. "Now he needs to take the next step and become a dominant force as a hitter and blocker."
Sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, NY, Clarence) will take over the reigns as the primary setter for the Mavericks, after proving last season he was up for the task. As a freshman, Dempsey appeared in 123 sets and all 34 matches. He ranked first on the team and fourth in the conference with 683 assists, all while sharing the setting duties. His 5.55 assists per set ranked him seventh in the conference and 59th in the nation, and in just one season Dempsey rose to ninth on the all-time career assists list in program history. Defensively he earned 128 digs, good for 1.04 digs per set.
"Matt Dempsey will be our six rotation setter this year after sharing the setting duties last year as a freshman," said Coach Koch. "His intelligence and maturity make him a natural leader who will run our potent offense."
Junior Steven Ebert (Center Moriches, NY, Center Moriches) and sophomore Daniel Joseph (El Dorado, CA, Union Mine) complete the fab five returners from a season ago. Both appeared in over 15 matches for the Mavs last season and will likely see their roles increased as Medaille looks for a three-peat.
"Steve Ebert has developed into a tremendous leader. After battling several nagging injuries last year, Steve has shown great improvement in his offensive game to compliment his solid defensive play," explained Coach Koch. "Dan Joseph looks to build on a solid freshman season. His quickness and competitive nature are his strongest attributes which will serve him well as the anchor of our defense."
The 2017 schedule does the Mavericks no favors, as Medaille once again has one of the toughest paths to the NCAA Tournament. The lineup that the Mavs will face is filled with six pre-season top 15 teams, including an eight day stretch where Medaille will take on five top-15 teams.
The eight day gauntlet starts on Saturday, January 28 when the Mavericks compete in a tri-match at Ramapo College. Their first match of the day in New Jersey pits Medaille against (3) Stevens Institute of Technology, who made it to the final four a year ago after capturing the National Title in 2015.
Medaille's run against nationally ranked teams continues on Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4 when the Mavs participate in the Golden Flyer Invitational at Nazareth. The two-day trip starts with a double-header against (6) UC-Santa Cruz and (15) Rivier College on Friday, and ends with a double-header against (15) Juniata and (2) SUNY New Paltz on Saturday. The Hawks of New Paltz earned five first place votes in the AVCA Preseason Poll after claiming their first volleyball National Championship in 2016.
The will host preseason (7) Nazareth College in the Sullivan Center on March 28, wrapping up their non-conference schedule against their I-90 rivals.
"Our schedule includes matches against six teams ranked in the AVCA Preseason Top 15 Poll including the defending national champions," said Coach Koch when speaking of the team's non-conference schedule. "We are certainly looking forward to the challenges that these teams will present and these matches will physically and mentally prepare us for a tough NEAC season."
The Mavericks will have a giant target on them as NEAC play starts, as this is the first year the conference winner will get an automatic birth to the NCAA Tournament. 2016 NEAC runner up SUNY IT, along with 2016 NEAC Tournament participant Penn State-Altoona were voted first and second in the Preseason NEAC Poll and thought to give the Mavs the biggest threat to their three-peat dreams.
Most of Medaille's title hopes will be played out on the road in 2017, as for the first time in three seasons the Mavericks will not be hosting an NEAC Crossover event. The Mavs instead will travel to Lancaster Bible, Keuka, and Hilbert College for three separate two-day conference events.
In fact, the Mavericks have only four home games scheduled for the entirety of the 2017 season; March 14 against D'Youville College; March 15 against Hilbert College; March 28 against (7) Nazareth; and April 5 against the Lions of Penn State-Behrend. It will be the least amount of home matches for the Men's Volleyball team since they had just four during the 2014 season.
The road will be long for the 2017 Medaille Men's Volleyball team as they look for their third straight title, but the payoff would be grand as the Mavericks set their sights on returning to the NCAA Tournament.
The season starts Sunday, January 22 when Medaille travels to Greenville, Pennsylvania to take on Fontbonne University and Thiel College.
New Paltz Sneaks by Banana Slugs, 3-2
Monday, January 16, 2017
Santa Cruz, CA - The New Paltz Men's Volleyball Team (1-0) held off UC-Santa Cruz (1-1) on Monday night to earn their first win of the season. Set scores were 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 14-25, 15-9.
The match featured two of the best teams in the country as New Paltz came into the match ranked second in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll while UC-Santa Cruz was sixth.
Leading New Paltz was Anthony Bonilla with 18 kills and 8 digs on the night. Steven Woessner had 8 kills with a .533 attack percentage, and Mitchell Kennedy led the Hawks with 28 assists. As a team, New Paltz hit .368 for the match.
For the Banana Slugs, Jake Howard had 20 kills and Lake Merchen chipped in with 15.
New Paltz gets a day off before taking on Hope International on January 18th at 7pm (PST). UC-Santa Cruz will head east to Rutgers-Newark to play the Scarlet Knights on January 20th at 4pm.
Saints open 2017 campaign with road victory over Elmira
Friday, January 13, 2017
ELMIRA, N.Y. – The 2017 season is underway for the Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team, and it started out in impressive fashion with a 3-1 (27-29, 25-20, 25-19, 25-18) victory on the road Friday night over Elmira College.
Elmira, who sat just outside of the AVCA Top 15 Preseason poll with 12 votes, put up a good fight against the Saints, taking the first set in extra points. But that's as far as it would go for the Soaring Eagles, as Marymount put the match away with the next three sets to earn the season-opening win.
Missing the first set by one point in regulation due to a block assist on set point by the Eagles, the game would eventually slip away in extra points, 29-27. The Saints, however, wouldn't hang on the close defeat, firing back in the second set.
The game remained close, but after a 3-0 run early to take a 5-2 advantage, the Saints wouldn't trail for the rest of the set. Later in the game, a five-point stretch for MU solidified the momentum for the Saints that continued for the rest of the match. In the run, sophomore James Knight laid down a kill, sophomore Eric Wiles landed a service ace and Knight and junior Graham Clark set up a wall for a block assist.
Taking set two, 25-20, the fire was lit for the Saints; not trailing in set three throughout. Small runs at different points in the set slowly spread the lead to as much as six. Closing out the set, three-straight points off a Wiles' kill and a service ace by junior Erich Bratke was capped off by a hard kill by junior TJ Wiechecki to seal up the 25-19 win.
A slow start to the fourth set had the Saints trailing 5-0 before a kill by Wiechecki finally put them on the board. Marymount remained composed in the deficit, chipping away at the Elmira lead until a five-point run capped off by a Wiles' kill would give the Saints their first advantage of the game. Wiles had two kills in the stretch while senior Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz landed two service aces.
The Saints were able to keep the momentum through the rest of the set, eventually taking the final two points off kills by Wiechecki and Wiles to seal up the 25-18 decision, and take the match 3-1.
Wiechecki started up his junior season with a game-high 18 kills off a .400 hitting percentage, while adding three aces, eight digs and two block assists. Ksiaskiewicz and Wiles added eight kills apiece for the night, as Ksiaskiewicz bolstered a .700 hitting percentage off his 10 total attempts. Junior Jordan Pawlicki guided the offense for the night with 20 assists, and Bratke wasn't too far behind with 17. On the defensive end, junior Connor Choate dove out for 10 digs in his first match as a libero.
The men will continue their trip in New York tomorrow night, as they head North to Rochester for a matchup against No. 7 Nazareth College. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
MVB Season Preview: Bates, Saints ready for toughest schedule yet in blossoming program
Friday, January 13, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marymount (Va.) University men's volleyball team is just a few hours away from its first serve of the program's fourth season, a program that has quickly blossomed into a strong competitor in what could be seen as an immensely difficult 2017 schedule.
Head Coach Hudson Bates, entering his fourth season as well with the Saints, has pieced together a 28-match slate that is loaded up with 12 ranked contests, 15 if you count teams that are receiving votes in the AVCA Preseason Poll.
Marymount shouldn't be looked at as an underdog by any means, considering it also is one of the five teams receiving votes in the poll, coming in with three votes. And to solidify it more, the Continental Volleyball Conference also announced its Preseason Coaches' Poll earlier this week, placing the Saints at No. 2 and receiving one first-place vote. That ranking puts them just behind the 2016 Conference Champion, Stevenson University, and ahead of two top-15 squads in Juniata College (No. 15) and Rutgers University-Newark (No. 11).
"The guys are optimistic as they should be because I think we have a lot of good players in the gym" Bates said about his players and where they're heads are at coming into the season. "We're going to get some good wins, I'm sure we might have some tough losses, but the margins are going to be closer than they have ever been."
Their strength of schedule boasts several top-five matchups including No. 5 Stevenson twice, No. 3 Stevens Tech, and a battle against last year's National Champion runner-up and No. 1 in the country this season Springfield College.
A rigorous season ahead needs an experienced squad to go along with it, and that's exactly what the Saints have, returning everyone but one contributor from 2016. Heading the team is the Saints' first senior class in program history, Chris Lionette and Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz. Both have been with the team since its inaugural season and have contributed in different ways.
Lionette, who the past several years has shined behind the scenes with his work ethic and doing everything the team needs to become successful, is what Bates like to call the 'glue' of the team.
"Chris has been the 'glue' guy, when we're on road trips, he's always picking everybody up, being a goof ball on the bus, he's just awesome," Bates said. "He's a hard worker, and will come into the gym every single day and knows he probably won't earn a position that day but he's going to help make everyone better in the gym."
Ksiazkiewicz returns as the program's first AVCA All-American in 2016, while also being named All-CVC and CVC All-Tournament. With a very decorated career stat line, the Poland native led the CVC last season in solo blocks with 24. Additionally, his power on the offensive end placed him third in hitting percentage (.407) and ninth in kills (214).
"(Tom) has always been physically the best player on the team," Bates said. "He's becoming more of that clutch guy. If he's back in the service line and the game is close, we can tell him to go back there and rip a couple serves. He's learned that risk-reward is good as long as you know what the smart risk is. Tom has really done a great job of studying the game and becoming a smart volleyball player in his four years."
There is plenty of experience beyond that including the return of juniors TJ Wiechecki and Graham Clark. Wiechecki, a 6-4 opposite, was a force on the offensive end with a CVC-leading 3.69 kills per set for 332 kills on the season. Clark, a 6-7 middle blocker, ranked atop the CVC much of the season last year in hitting percentage before dropping to No. 2 by the end of the year with an impressive .419.
With the middle loaded up with Clark and Ksiazkiewicz, the depth is added with junior Ben Steranka and sophomore Remington Shahan.
"It's great to have options in the middle position," Bates said about having Steranka and Shahan rotating in when needed. "Remington is a middle attacker that can come in if Tom or Graham are struggling and we throw him in and he's hitting at just as high of a clip. And Ben is the type of middle blocker that can go in if Tom or Graham are struggling on the defensive side of the ball and gets the same amount, if not more blocks per set."
Coming across from the left side is sophomore Eric Wiles, a 6-1 outside hitter from Virginia Beach. He is backed by depth as well with several returners in junior Carson Caudell and sophomore James Knight and a pair of freshmen in Shane Limbaugh and James Safley.
In terms of the setting position, no true starter has been labeled as all three in that spot have their talents and work best with certain rotations. The three battling for playing time at setter are juniors Jordan Pawlicki and Erich Bratke and freshman Joseph Zanelotti.
"It just comes down to who wins more in practice," Bates said about the starting role of setter. "It changes every single week, it almost changes every single day. It makes my job really tough right now, but it's great to have options."
On the defensive end, the libero position looks to Connor Choate to start the season, a junior who moved from a hitting position into the vacant role. There is depth, however, with Lionette and freshman Matthew Hull backing up Choate.
"Connor is doing a great job of taking the serve-receive defensive side of the game and not having to stress about the offensive side anymore," Bates said of Choate's new role. "I think it's opening up his ability to be a mainstay at that position."
The Saints open up their season with a four-game road stand, taking on Elmira College at 5 p.m., today and following it with No. 7 Nazareth College on tomorrow, January 14.
"This year the guys have set their own goal of being at that national championship game," Bates said. "If that's the goal, they're ready to put the work in."
Mavericks Chosen Third in NEAC Preseason Poll
Men's Volleyball looks for third consecutive title
Thursday, January 12, 2017
GANSEVOORT, NY – The 2017 Men's Volleyball Preseason poll for the North Eastern Athletic Conference was released Thursday afternoon, and two-time reigning champion Medaille College was selected third according to the coaches around the conference.
The Mavericks received three-first place votes, earning (51) total points with the rest of the NEAC coaches predicting a third place finish for Medaille. The Lions of Penn State-Altoona finished second in the preseason poll with (54) points after making it to the NEAC semifinals a year ago.
The team that beat Penn State-Altoona in the semifinals and lost to Medaille in the Championship game, SUNY Polytechnic, received four first place votes en route to topping the NEAC preseason poll with a total of (58) points.
2017 will be the first year that the NEAC Champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, as Medaille looks to capture their third straight regular season and tournament championship.
The season begins on Sunday, January 22 when the Mavericks travel to Greenville, Pennsylvania to take on Fontbonne University and Thiel College starting at 11:30 am.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute Tops 2016-17 NEAC Men’s Volleyball Preseason Poll
Thursday, January 12, 2017
GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – The SUNY Polytechnic Institute Wildcats were chosen as the favorites heading into the 2016-17 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men’s volleyball season after topping the coaches’ preseason poll rankings.
The Wildcats received four first-place votes and three second-place nods to top the charts with 58 total points. SUNY Poly will see the return of six players and five starters from last year’s squad that claimed the NEAC Runner-Up title after making a run to the conference championship. Leading the way will be a pair of 2015-16 NEAC All-Conference selections in junior setter Zach Goggin (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and senior middle blocker Nick Hagen (Hilton, N.Y.). Goggin was a First Team selection after leading the conference in both assists (1,163) and assists per set (10.38) last season, while Hagen received Third Team honors after leading the NEAC in both block assists (86) and hitting percentage (.360).
They will be joined by the sophomore trio of Max Szuba (Irondequoit, N.Y.), Ryan Gloff (Brockport, N.Y.) and Brian Malsan (Slingerlands, N.Y.). Szuba is coming off a 307-kill, 120-dig campaign for the Wildcats, while Gloff led the team and was third in the NEAC with 47 aces and Malsan appeared in all 31 matches as a libero, compiling 143 digs. SUNY Poly head coach Dan Liberto also returns for this third season at the helm and will test his team with bouts against eight American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) top-15 squads from the final poll in 2016.
Penn State Altoona placed second in the poll after garnering two first-place votes and 54 points total. The Nittany Lions will see six players return from last year’s tremendous season, where they posted a program-best record of 17-11 en route to making their first-ever NEAC Tournament appearance with a 12-4 conference mark. Sophomores Billy Smith (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) and Bradley Colditz (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) both return following tremendous debut seasons for Altoona. Smith, a setter, passed his way to the All-Conference Second Team after dishing out 950 assists last year, while Colditz was named the All-Conference Third Team after smacking 249 kills as an outside hitter. Senior outside hitter Jacob Byers (Level Green, Pa.) also returns, as do junior Justin Bannister (Willow Hill, Pa.) and sophomore Waldemar Rivera-Berrios (Toa Alta, P.R.) after both appeared in all 28 Nittany Lion matches last season.
Medaille College, the two-time defending NEAC champions, received three first-place votes and placed third overall with 51 points. Mavericks head coach Keith Koch, the reigning NEAC Coach of the Year, enters his 13th season in charge after guiding last year’s squad to a perfect 16-0 conference record, while also recording a victory over nationally ranked Elmira en route to a second straight NEAC title. Koch’s five returning players includes senior Calvin Crosby (Pendleton, N.Y.), who was second in the conference with 54 aces last season, as well as junior Sam Bloomberg (Lake Worth, Fla.), who was named last year’s NEAC Tournament MVP. Sophomore Matt Dempsey (Clarence, N.Y.) also returns after appearing in all 34 Maverick contests as a freshman.
Keuka College placed fourth in the poll with 42 points. A playoff team last year, the Wolves will be led by junior and 2015-16 NEAC All-Conference Third Team honoree Connor Gail (Euclid, Ohio) this season. Both Wolves’ setters also return in senior Spencer Avery (Hamburg, N.Y.) and junior Chris Corcoran (Big Flats, N.Y.). Wells College rounded out the poll’s top-five ranked teams after the Express tallied 32 points. First-year head coach Mark Lucas inherits five returners from last season’s squad, including junior and NEAC All-Conference Second Team selection Brannon Perdicho (Victor, N.Y.).
The complete 2016-17 men’s volleyball preseason poll rankings can be found below:
Rank Institution (First-Place Votes) Total Points
1 SUNY Polytechnic Institute (4) 58
2 Penn State Altoona (2) 54
3 Medaille College (3) 51
4 Keuka College 42
5 Wells College 32
6 D'Youville College 28
7 Lancaster Bible College 27
8 Hilbert College 20
9 Wilson College 12
The 2016-17 NEAC men’s volleyball season will officially begin next Friday, January 20, with the full season schedule being available on the NEAC website here. Be sure to follow all the action throughout the season using the free NEAC mobile app, Front Row, which can be downloaded here.
The preseason poll rankings were conducted by the NEAC men’s volleyball coaches, with each coach ranking out all teams but their own using a staggered points system (eight points for a first-place vote, seven points for second, etc.). No self-voting was allowed. This is the second year the NEAC has held preseason polls and they will now become a staple of all 18 conference-sponsored sports moving forward.
2017 New Paltz Men's Volleyball Season Preview
Ryan Novitsky, Athletic Communications Director, nphawks.com
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Senior co-captain Steven Woessner was named a 2017 Off the Block Preseason All-American.
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – Coming off a season that saw the Hawks hoist the first-ever team national championship trophy in the College's history and the program's second-ever United Volleyball Conference (UVC) title, the State University of New York at New Paltz men's volleyball team returns a slew of valuable veterans and welcomes several hungry newcomers eyeing another deep run in the NCAA Tournament in April.
The Hawks will look to replace setter Christian Smith '16, who was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) NCAA Division III National Player of the Year as well as the 2016 NCAA Tournament MVP and First Team All-America. Also departing are AVCA First Team All-Americans outside hitter Andy Fishman '16, middle hitter Christopher Husmann '16 and AVCA Honorable Mention All-American libero Kevin Nardone '16.
Despite losing this experience and leadership, New Paltz welcomes back senior middle blocker Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa), who was named First Team AVCA All-America and the Off the Block/Springbak National Middle Attacker of the Year in 2016.
"It's going to take a lot to repeat this year with so many new faces," Woessner expressed. "But everyone's hungry and we are looking to get back to that same place. It's going to be a fun season."
"The UVC is toughest competition in the country and it will take hard work and dedication but I think we have the squad to make a run again at the end," Woessner explained.
The Hawks will be guided by 11th-year head coach Radu Petrus and his assistant, Tony Bonilla, who begins his sixth year with the team. The duo earned the AVCA National Head Coach and Assistant Coach of the Year awards during last season's championship run.
Looking to defend the 2016 crown, the Hawks kick-off the 2017 season in California, playing on the West Coast from Jan. 16-20. The home opener is set for Feb. 5 as New Paltz hosts Alderson Broaddus and St. Joseph's (L.I.) in a tri-match.
The UVC opener is slated for Feb. 11 on the road at Penn State Behrend and the Hawks host Springfield in their first meeting since last season's NCAA Championship match on March 1. The 2017 UVC Tournament will be held from April 13-15 with the NCAA Tournament being hosted by Springfield from April 28-30.
New Paltz brings back 12 players from last year's championship roster including several regular starters in Woessner, junior outside hitter Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) and senior middle blocker Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa).
Woessner averaged 2.28 kills per set and finished with a team-leading .520 hitting percentage, which ranked second in Division III. Roessler averaged 2.71 kills per set while hitting .363 last year while Bonilla averaged 2.07 kills per set.
Senior co-captain Jake Roessler averaged 2.71 kills per set in 2016.
Also returning to the Hawks is senior C.J. Borfitz (Inwood, N.Y./Lawrence), junior Ben Cohen (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley), junior Mitchell Kennedy (Penfield, N.Y./Fairport), junior Ryan Cole (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East), junior Steve Gassert (Bellmore, N.Y./John F. Kennedy), junior Nick Denoncourt (Rochester, N.Y./Penfield), junior Matt Goldberg (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), junior Yorman Escobar (Sunnyside, N.Y./Aviation) and sophomore Nick Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa).
Petrus welcomes seven new faces to the roster this year, including sophomore setter/outside hitter Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport), who transferred from Medaille where he helped lead the Stallions to their fifth-straight Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) title and was named the AMCC Newcomer of the Year in 2016.
The six freshmen on the squad this year are libero Robert Nolan (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North), setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North), outside hitter Aaron Carrk (Delmar, N.Y./Bethlehem), middle blocker Tevin Skeete (Albans, N.Y./Benjamin N. Cardozo), middle blocker Nick O'Malley (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) and libero/defensive specialist Luke Barnell (North Syracuse, N.Y./Cicero-North Syracuse).
EMU SEASON PREVIEW: Returning Core Has High Expectations
by Jake Brown, Sports Information Intern, emuroyals.com
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The Royals return most of their regular players from the successful 2016 season. (photo by Scott Eyre)
The 2017 men's volleyball season holds plenty of potential for Eastern Mennonite University, as the Royals return a huge core of key players, including the entire starting lineup.
While the players have a high level of continuity, one of the bigger storylines for the season could be how the team adjusts to Interim Coach Ross Madden, who took over the program just in time for preseason practices.
Madden is excited to add what he calls "new beginning" to the strong group of experienced players brought in by previous coach Dominick Porter, who went 38-36 in his three seasons at his alma mater.
EMU finished 12-12 last year, just missing the four-team Continental Volleyball Conference tourney with a 5-7 record. Madden is optimistic that the Royals can finish over .500 and take the CVC Tournament head on.
"Returning pretty much the whole team means we are already used to playing together and in most cases living together," Madden states. "Honestly, it's a huge load off my back to have knowledgeable players in the weight room and on the court. We have several players that can structure great workout routines and many smart players that I trust to teach each other the right things."
Last year's young group has a high ceiling as they averaged 11.60 kills per set, the most in three years.
The team returns 10 players from that 2016 season, so the experience and knowledge on the court will be of importance.
"That experience hopefully equates to playing well as a team especially under pressure, but we are still a young, talented team with a lot to improve," Madden added on the current state of the team. "We have the talent to be a volleyball powerhouse in the years to come."
Within the team itself, Madden notes a few key players that will help carry the Royals to their ultimate goal. Setter Christian Taylor (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) is seen to be one of the leaders on the court for the 2017 Royals.
"We have great leadership returning from several pin hitters, and Christian, who started at the setter position as a freshman last year, is looking to lead the team through a great season," said Madden.
While Taylor is young, he put up big numbers for the Royals last season, finishing 13th in the nation with 10.01 assists per game as a freshman.
"Christian is an important piece of the puzzle. He sets the plays and runs the offense, while any of our outsides run the defense from the middle back," Madden added.
On the young team, comprised mostly of sophomores and a few juniors, Scott Brigham (Montpelier, Va./Patrick Henry) is the lone senior and looks to be a leader with both experience and power for the Royals.
The outside hitter was 26th in the nation last season with 3.43 kills per set. He also led the team with a total of 237 kills. A powerful attacker, Brigham has averaged 3.29 kills or better in each of his three seasons. He also had 113 digs.
"Scott is our only returning senior and his experience will be invaluable on the passing line," Madden added.
Taylor and Brigham are looked at by Madden as the leaders on the court for the Royals, considering their experience and notable accomplishments in previous seasons. Aside from their play, he will look upon the duo to be vocal leaders on the court.
"These players need to be loud and chatty on the court in order to keep the team on the same page," said Madden.
Among the many returners, there are notable players that put up outstanding numbers last year for the Royals.
Outside hitter Tim Callahan (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) notched 99 kills, averaging 2.06 per set. The experienced junior will be looked upon as an offensive leader this upcoming season.
Sophomore Travis Abele (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) came onto the scene last season and made an immediate impact. He landed 183 kills in his freshman season (2.47 per set) and led the team with 149 digs. He will look to have his role increased and to put up higher numbers as he improves on the court for the Royals.
Another player expecting to take an offensive leadership role is outside hitter William Ragland (North Chesterfield, Va./Thomas Dale). The junior collected 149 kills and 141 digs for the Royals last season.
Junior Dan Lutz (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) and sophomore R.J. Ocampo (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) will not get many breaks on a team thin in middles. Lutz notched 102 kills and 64 blocks last season, displaying a major impact on both sides of the net.
Also back is junior libero Micah Buller (Richmond, Va./Douglas Freeman), who was third on last year's balanced team with 137 digs.
With a full set of returning starters, Madden expects to simply work his newcomers into positions of need. One such adjustment is Sean Wright (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run), who is learning a role as the backup setter.
Madden is optimistic, claiming one of the main goals for the team is to stay healthy for the entirety of the season.
"I believe we will be a very sound group overall and if we take care of ourselves and remain injury free, we can fill in the cracks and be very hard to beat," Madden added.
The goals are set high for the Royals, per Madden, and the formula is simple, yet important for the team to reach the CVC Tournament, a feat that has been challenging in seasons past.
"If we want to make the CVC for the first time we need to stay healthy and happy as a team through the cold winter months," Madden stated. "When the CVC season and then tournament finally rolls around, the team that still has fire in their belly and passion for the game in their heart will come out on top."
Madden believes that the chances for the experienced team are promising, but will require a focused group effort in order to carry out the ultimate goal.
"The men are excited for the fresh start they have with a new coach," Madden added. "I'd love to help develop a sense of pride within our volleyball team that spreads to the school and community, and I feel like we are building on something very good."
The Royals start their 2017 campaign on Saturday with a doubleheader against Emmanuel (Ga.) and future CVC-rival Southern Virginia. The first match starts at 10:00am.
NCAA men: Ohio St. beats Mason, conference roundups, POWs
By Lee Feinswog, VolleyballMag.com
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Ohio State's Nicolas Szerszen Is the MIVA POW/OSU athletics
Most NCAA men’s volleyball teams are just two or three matches into their respective seasons, although Cal State Northridge (CSUN) is 5-0 and UC Irvine is 4-0.
There were two matches Tuesday.
No. 1 Ohio State improved to 3-0 when the Buckeyes of the MIVA swept visiting George Mason of the EIVA and the visiting King Tornado of Conference Carolinas swept the Lincoln Memorial to give the Railsplitters a loss in the program’s first match.
Moving forward, it’s a busy week with a full slate ahead and awards to report from all four men’s conferences. And there’s another conference ready to join the party in 2018.
MIVA: Start with the Buckeyes’ 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 victory over 11th-ranked George Mason (2-1). Ohio State has won 26 matches in a row — including the NCAA-championship match last May and 78 of 96 sets during that stretch.
Nicolas Szerszen led with 16 kills and hit .522. Miles Johnson had 14 kills, hit .393 and had three blocks.
Jack Wilson led Mason with 10 kills and hit .368.
“I am happy in the way that my guys fought, but I think we left a few points on the table in each game that could have been the turning point,” Mason coach Jay Hosack said, adding that Ohio State is “a good team and they are going to win a lot of matches just because they don’t make a lot of mistakes. Their hitters are always available and always making swings.”
The only MIVA match on tap for Wednesday has Grand Canyon (1-1) at Hawai’i (3-0) of the MPSF. On Thursday, Ball State (2-1) entertains Saint Francis (2-1) of the EIVA.
The MIVA also announced that Szerszen is the offensive player of the week and Ball State’s Nick Lavanchy the defensive POW..
As Ohio State beat USC and No. 2 UCLA, Szerszen averaged 3.50 kills and hit .340.
Lavanchy, a freshman libero, averaged three digs against Princeton and Hawai’i in the Outrigger tournament.
MPSF: There are four matches involving MPSF teams on Wednesday, including three league battles as Long Beach State (3-0) goes to USC (1-2), CSUN (5-0) plays at Cal Baptist (1-2) and UC Irvine (4-0) travels to UCSB (3-0). Also, Hawai’i (3-0) plays host to Grand Canyon of the MIVA.
On Thursday, there’s a big MPSF match when UCI goes to UCLA (2-1). BYU (1-1) plays host to McKendree of the MIVA.
CSUN sophomore Dimitar Kalchev, an outside hitter from Kardzhali, Bulgaria, was named the MPSF POW after he hit .534 and averaged 4.38 kills per set in four wins.
CONFERENCE CAROLINAS: King beat independent LMU 25-20, 25-21, 25-12 in the season opener for both teams.
Jeff Sprayberry led King with 11 kills and hit .320, while Sean Luhmann had nine kills and hit .562.
Evan Cory, a freshman opposite who is the first player from Louisiana ever mentioned in a boys volleyball roundup, led with Railsplitters with eight kills. He added three digs and two blocks.
Wednesday’s schedule shows one match, North Greenville opening its season at NJIT of the EIVA. On Thursday, North Greenville goes to Princeton of the EIVA.
Mount Olive opposite Robert Poole is the Conference Carolinas POW. The junior from England averaged 4.43 kills per set and hit .250 as the Trojans dropped two matches against top-15 teams.
EIVA: As mentioned, Mason lost at Ohio State.
The only match Wednesday is NJIT (0-2) playing host to North Greenville.
On Thursday, Mason opens league play at Charleston, which also opens its season. Princeton (1-2) gets North Greenville, and Saint Francis (2-1) goes to Ball State of the MIVA.
The EIVA offensive POW is Jeff Hogan of Saint Francis. The senior opposite averaged 3.9 kills and hit .421 in three matches.
The defensive POW is teammate Keith Kegerreis. The junior middle had 13 blocks last week.
NORTHERN ATHLETICS CC ADDING MEN: The Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference announced the addition of men’s volleyball next school year.
The NCAA said in a news release that the NACC will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship in 2018, the ninth league with a ‘Pool A’ bid or commonly referred to as an AQ. The NCAA has crowned five champions at the men’s Division III level, the first which came in 2012.
The members of the NACC include Alverno College, Aurora University, Benedictine University, Concordia University Chicago, Concordia University Wisconsin, Dominican University, Edgewood College, Lakeland University, Marian University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Rockford University and Wisconsin Lutheran College.
Five member institutions currently sponsor the sport — Benedictine University, Dominican University, Lakeland University, Marian University and Milwaukee School of Engineering — while spring of 2018 will serve as the inaugural season for both Aurora University and Concordia University Wisconsin, bringing NACC membership to seven.
The NACC began its first season of competition in the fall of 2006, then known as the Northern Athletics Conference. The conference consists of 12 private colleges and universities from the shared-border states of Illinois and Wisconsin, all of which are NCAA Division III members.
Reigning Champ Stevenson Picked As CVC Preseason Favorites
Monday, January 9, 2017
The reigning Continental Volleyball Conference Champions (CVC), Stevenson University, are the favorites in 2017 as well; according to the CVC Coaches Preseason Poll. Stevenson received 47 total points in the poll, picking up six first-place votes, as they will look to defend their conference title.
Stevenson finished 26-8 overall last season, going 11-1 in conference play and capturing the program's first ever CVC Tournament title. The Mustangs advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals last spring before falling to #2 Springfield. The Mustangs return 11 players from last year's squad but will have to replace a core group of graduating seniors that included 2016 CVC Player of the Year Rob Wingert as well as Kyle Pottieger and Patrick Schuyler. The trio helped the program to three straight CVC championship match appearances and guided the Mustangs to a 83 wins over their four years. The Mustangs need look no further than 2016 CVC Rookie of the Year Landon Shorts as the next man up. Shorts, a sophomore outside hitter, led the Mustangs with 345 kills last season while ranking in the top ten in the conference in service aces, total points, kills, kills per set, and hitting percentage. Also returning are senior middle blocker Nate Ellis and sophomore opposite Jason Gardner. Ellis totaled 220 kills last season while hitting .392 with Gardner finishing with 154 kills. Newcomers Nate Bosse and Kyle Bosko, both middle blockers, and Derek Tangora, a libero, should see time on the court as well. Another newcomer for the Mustangs will be Head Coach Aldis Berzins, who takes over the program after spending the last 14 years as Senior Director of Sports Development and Coaching Education for Special Olympics International.
Marymount University was picked second in the poll, receiving 40 total points and one first-place vote. The Saints were 19-11 overall last season, going 9-3 in conference play. Head Coach Hudson Bates has increased the team's win total each season since the program's birth in 2014. Last year marked the first winning season in program history as they advanced to the CVC Tournament. The Saints are led by senior middle blocker Tomasz Kziazkiewicz. Kizazkiewicz became the program's first ever All-American, earning Second Team honors after finishing with over 200 kills and 100 blocks while hitting .407 last season. Also back is opposite TJ Wiechecki, who has earned All-Conference honors in each the last two seasons, as well as junior setter Erich Bratke, 7.48 assists per match. The Saints have filled out the roster depth with a strong freshman class that includes Shane Limbaugh, James Safley, and Joseph Zanelotti. Coach Bates will put the Saints to the test this season, scheduling 11 non-conference matches against teams that were ranked last year.
Juniata College was chosen to finish third, picking up 38 total points. The Eagles will be led by first year head coach and alum Glenn DeHaven, who takes over the program after serving as the women's volleyball head coach at Stevens Institute of Technology. DeHaven takes over a team that finished 10-16 last season, going 5-7 in the CVC. Senior middle Kyle Seeley is the leader of a youthful Eagles squad that has just four seniors. Seeley led Juniata with 303 kills last season, ranking third in the conference, and added 70 total blocks. Also back is senior Quinn Looper, a setter, who recorded 373 assists in his first year as a starter in 2016. In addition, Jake Dube and Zach Guiciardi will provide added experience for the Eagles. A couple of players looked upon to increase their workload will be Quinn Peterson and Matt Vasinko. Peterson, a sophomore outside hitter, finished with 176 kills last season while Vasinko, a junior outside hitter, totaled 178 kills.
Coming in fourth on the poll is Rutgers University-Newark. The Scarlet Raiders received 29 points including the final first-place vote. Scarlet Raider head coach Pedro Trevino returns seven players and just one starter from last year's team that went 24-4 overall, 10-2 in the CVC, and advanced to their second straight NCAA Division III Tournament. That starter is junior outside hitter Corey Pieper. Pieper finished second on the team last year in kills with 240 while hitting .266 with 51 service aces. Joining Pieper in the regular rotation will be Brendon Frank, Dom Gutowski, and Justin Sandy. The Scarlet Raiders will hope their incoming class that includes Jake Conners and Jalen Sorrell can help offset the loss of standouts Cody Chidsey, Jack Fredricks, and Kevin McCandless; a trio that accumulated 46 wins and two Elite Eight trips over the last two years.
Eastern Mennonite finished fifth in the preseason poll with 28 total points. The Royals bring back every starter and a total of 11 players from last year's squad that finished 12-12 overall and narrowly missed making the CVC Tournament with a 5-7 conference mark. A familiar face will be in charge of the Royals this year, albeit in a different role and new colors. Former CVC standout and Juniata graduate Ross Madden has taken over the Eastern Mennonite program after having coached in the high school ranks and as a club tournament director. Madden will have a strong core to build upon with their top six attackers returning from last year. Senior outside hitter Scott Brigham leads the way, 3.43 kills per set last year, while sophomore Travis Abele and juniors William Ragland and Dan Lutz all reached the 100 kills mark in 2016. Running the offense once again will be sophomore Christian Taylor, who recorded 761 assists last season. Newcomer Josh Elmore, an opposite, will battle for time on the court.
Cairn University was picked sixth in the poll, receiving 18 total points. The Highlanders were 6-14 overall and 1-11 in the CVC under Head Coach Deb Schendel. This will be Coach Schendel's second season at the helm and she will look to build upon last year's season, which featured five freshman players seeing time on the court. Last season it was a pair of sophomores in Micah Godshall and Andy Willits leading the team with Godshall totaling 170 kills and Willits leading the team with 175 kills.
CVC Newcomer Alvernia University was chosen seventh in the poll with 11 total points. This will be the first season of play for the Crusaders program that is led by Coach Deb Schlosser. The Crusaders expect a trio of players (Anthony Dadson, Justin Gibbs, and Collin Welteroth) to help the program find their footing and grow. Dadson is a 6'5" sophomore middle, while Gibbs is a 5'10' junior setter and Welteroth is a freshman outside hitter. With 15 players on the roster, the Crusaders will look to find a strong combination on the court to compete in their first year.
Thiel College was picked eighth, receiving 10 total points in the poll. Thiel, coached by Adam Roche, went 3-16 overall and 1-11 in conference play last season. The Tomcats return all six starters with the trio of Regan Hess, Cody Patterson, and Thad Paunovich once again heading up the attack. Hess totaled 129 kills last year while hitting .221 and Paunovich finished with 128 kills and 82 digs. Patterson led the Tomcats with 193 kills and chipped in with 92 digs. Also returning is Zach Rombach, a senior setter, who recorded 539 assists and 150 digs to lead the team in both categories. Among the newcomers expected to contribute will be Jacob Burkley, Jacob DeRue, and Mitch Patterson.
The CVC is one of the premier men's volleyball conferences in NCAA Division III with eight members. The 2017 season begins on January 12th with the first full slate of conference matches set for February 10th.
EIVA preview: New look as George Mason enters as favorite
By Mike Miazga, volleyballmag.com
Thursday, January 5, 2017
George Mason won the EIVA last year
The days of the Penn State men’s volleyball team running roughshod over the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association are apparently over.
After winning their 18th EIVA regular-season title in a row and 32nd conference title in program history last spring, the Nittany Lions were ousted from the EIVA tournament at home in the semifinals by Saint Francis, which ended up losing to George Mason in the finale.
Now George Mason, which won its first conference title in 28 seasons, is the preseason king of the hill, garnering seven of eight first-place votes in the EIVA preseason coaches poll. Penn State received the other first-place tally and was ranked second but only five points ahead of preseason EIVA No. 3 Saint Francis.
Mason, which was the No. 6 seed in the NCAA men’s championship at Penn State last year and lost to eventual NCAA-champion Ohio State in one of the two play-in matches, returns a number of high-profile contributors from a year ago.
Senior libero Johnny Gomez is back after leading the nation in digs a year ago (3.03 per set). He was an all-EIVA first-team pick and earned AVCA All-American honorable-mention accolades. Also back is 6-7 junior setter Brian Negron and 6-7 senior right side Jack Wilson, a fifth-year senior who had off-season shoulder surgery.
Second-year coach Jay Hosack — a former Penn State assistant — also is high on 6-7 redshirt sophomore middle Langston Payne, who originally came to the program as a walk-on right side but switched positions.
“He can touch 11-8 or 11-9 and has a real long hang time,” said Hosack. “I think he’s going to pose some headaches for teams we face.”
Mason’s incoming freshman class was ranked in the top 15 in the country by VolleyballMag.com and features the likes of Brad Creamer (6-8, RS), Sam Greenslade (6-7, OH), Hayden Wagner (6-6, OH) and Luis Velez (6-4, S). Creamer was a 2016 VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50 selection.
Hosack, the current USA men’s junior national team coach, said this year is trending on the different side with Mason being picked as the preseason conference favorite.
“It’s a new position for these guys,” he said. “It will be a real test to see how we handle the pressure. These are expectations we’ve never had before. We’ve turned the corner and now the real trick is maintaining that level of play on a consistent basis. We’re fired up to be in this new position.”
Hosack, the 2016 conference coach of the year, added that the EIVA as a whole has taken a major step forward.
“The EIVA this year is stronger and better than years past,” he said. “With us winning the title for the first time in 28 years and someone winning it for the first time in 18 years besides Penn State is quite a statement to be made. It shows the conference is getting better. Saint Francis had never beaten Penn State and it beat them twice in the same season last year. That’s a testament to Saint Francis and how hard they are recruiting over there and how that coaching staff has done a great job.
“As a whole, the conference has to go out and start beating some of the other teams from the other conferences on a regular basis and pick up the profile of the conference. Once that happens we will be considered an even stronger conference.”
Penn State is looking to put last year’s EIVA semifinal exit at Rec Hall in the rear-view mirror.
“Yes, I think last year was a disappointment in the sense we only lost one guy from the year before,” said longtime Penn State coach Mark Pavlik, who starts his 22nd year at the helm. “We didn’t rise to the challenge before us. We could have won three or four more matches with one more swing for a kill. We weren’t able to get it done. This year, we’re looking for the best possible ways we can to score points.”
The Nittany Lions, who have lost only seven EIVA matches in the last 20 years, welcome back 6-4 senior outside hitter Chris Nugent, redshirt sophomore outside Lee Smith, redshirt junior middle Kevin Gear, redshirt senior middle-right side Matt Callaway, as well as right sides Jalen Penrose (6-8, redshirt junior) and Calvin Mende (6-11, redshirt freshman).
Pavlik said Penrose and Mende are battling it out for the starting right-side positions. Nugent was the EIVA co-player of the year in 2016 along with NJIT’s Jabarry Goodridge.
The setting controls have been turned over to 6-4 redshirt freshman Luke Braswell.
“We’ll see how Luke develops,” Pavlik said. “He has a winning pedigree. His high school (Northeastern) won two state titles in Pennsylvania where the coach Matt Wilson (a former Ohio State player) runs a real nice program. He comes out of a program that knows how to win. That’s a crucial trait for a setter to have. I like the start Luke has gotten off to.”
Like Hosack, Pavlik agrees the EIVA continues upward.
“This is not your father’s EIVA,” he said. “I’m so proud of the conference. I think back when I first started and some programs were not well-supported. Many had part-time coaches or coaches that were coaching both men’s and women’s. That takes a toll. Since then, you have young coaches that want to do the right thing and want to work together to grow the EIVA.
“The last four or five years, every head coach in the conference has been at JO’s recruiting. There are good players out there and EIVA coaches are trying their hardest to get those kids into their gyms. I really like the direction the league is pointed in.”
Saint Francis, out of Loretto, Pa, returns all-EIVA first-team pick Stephen Braswell (6-2, OH), as well as second-team selections Daniel Ford (6-5, S) and Jeff Hogan (6-4, RS). The Red Flash, under the direction of coach Mike Rumbaugh, posted five wins a year ago against nationally ranked foes. Saint Francis had been 0-37 all-time against Penn State prior to its first of two wins against the Nittany Lions last season.
“It’s nice to get respect from everybody else in the conference to vote us third this season,” said Rumbaugh, the longest tenured active coach in the SFU athletics department in his 19th season. “I feel pretty good where we are at as a team. It is going to be a competitive battle throughout the EIVA since everyone is much improved this season.”
Princeton was ranked fourth in the EIVA preseason poll and will feature a youthful look this season. Former all-EIVA middle Junior Oboh will be a key figure for the Tigers, while Billy Andrew and Trey Sickler will vie for the other middle spot.
Coach Sam Shweisky, also head coach of the USA boys’ youth national team, brought in the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation as ranked by VolleyballMag.com, which features 6-11 St. Louis native George Huhmann, who adds depth and further promise to the middle position as a 2016 VolleyballMag.com Fab 50 pick.
Junior Kendall Ratter and freshmen Greg Luck and Parker Dixon will compete for outside playing time. Junior Mike Fuerst and senior Kurt Thiemann should compete for the right-side position while sophomore Matthew Nicholas returns from an injury.
Senior Jonah May and freshman Shane Gooding are at the setter’s slot, while sophomore Corry Short should open the season at libero.
Princeton is playing this weekend in the Outrigger Resorts Invitational in Hawaii. Princeton played in the 1998 NCAA semifinals at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii. Princeton will face AVCA No. 7 Hawaii and AVCA No. 15 Ball State.
New Jersey Institute of Technology, which opened last season 6-0 to achieve the program’s longest winning streak since 2007, returns the aforementioned Goodridge, who was an AVCA All-American honorable-mention pick last season and the EIVA co-player of the year, ranked fourth in the country in kills per set (4.38) and 36th in hitting percentage at .303. The Barbados native led the EIVA in both total kills (390) and kills per set.
Highlanders coach Danny Gonclaves returns 11 letterwinners and four starters.
Harvard, under the direction of Princeton graduate Brian Baise (89-72 in six seasons), went 13-11 last year and 9-6 in EIVA action. The Crimson return eight letterwinners, including captains Casey White (6-4, OH, Mira Costa H.S. alum) and Sam Murphy (5-9 libero out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). An incoming freshman class includes the likes of prep standout Matt Ctvrtlik (6-5, setter), the son of Olympian Bob Ctvrtlik and a 2016 VolleyballMag.com Boys’ Fab 50 selection.
Fairfield, Conn.-based Sacred Heart, under the leadership of coach Gregory Walker, returns a pair of all-EIVA second-team selections in senior right side Christopher DeLucie and junior libero Joshua Ayzenberg. DeLucie was second on the team and fourth in the conference in kills per set at 3.67 (which included a career-high 27 in a match against NJIT), while Ayzenberg was second in the EIVA and 10th in the country in digs per set at 2.55 (fifth all-time on Sacred Heart single-season list).
Charleston went 4-24 and the West Virginia school finished 0-14 in its first year in the EIVA last season. Coach Ken Murczek, the former women’s coach at Wake Forest, will work with the team’s top-three kill producers from a year ago in Nassau, Bahamas natives Eugene Stuart (6-6, MB, Soph.), Rajahl Moxey (6-3, RS, Jr.) and Reading, Pa. native Ryan Santos (6-6, OH, Jr.). The Golden Eagles will play their home matches in the school’s new Russell and Martha Wehrle Innovation Center.
EIVA Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. George Mason
2. Penn State
3. Saint Francis
5. New Jersey Institute of Technology
7. Sacred Heart
8. Charleston (W. Va.)
AVCA DIVISION III MEN'S PRESEASON POLL: JANUARY 4, 2017
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
|Rank||School (First-Place Votes)||Total Points Adjusted||2016 Record||2016 Final Rank|
|2||SUNY New Paltz (5)||229||33-2||1|
|6||UC Santa Cruz||148||19-7||7|
Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Elmira 12; Endicott 9; Mount St. Joseph 8; Marymount 3; MIT 3
Two teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of five combined points.
Next Poll: January 24
Season Preview: Every NCAA men’s volleyball team in a sentence or two
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The preseason talk and hype surrounding a team typically can be summed up in one or two sentences.
With the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball season starting in earnest this week, check out the quick-hit breakdown of every team in the nation entering the 2017 season.
BYU — All of the pieces are back for BYU, including one of the best pin-hitter combinations in the nation. This is as good of a year as any for the Cougars to get over the hump and win their first NCAA championship in more than a decade.
UCLA — The Bruins may have benefitted the most from the experience of playing in the NCAA Tournament last season. All the starters come back one-year wiser, and coach John Speraw has the Bruins back to being an annual title contender.
Long Beach State — All-American outside attacker TJ DeFalco, All-American setter Josh Tuaniga and opposite Kyle Ensing statistically were one of the greatest freshmen trios in recent college men’s volleyball history. Now time for the sophomore-year encore performance with a NCAA championship in their sight.
UC Irvine — The injury-plagued nightmare of the 2016 season is over. The Anteaters now have a powerful pin-combination of Tamhir Hershko and Michael Saeta, along with a possible AVCA Newcomer of the Year candidate in freshman middle attacker Scott Stadick.
Pepperdine — Business should be booming for The Malibu Roofing Company this season. Whether the Waves can move into the top four of the MPSF will come down to their offensive production at the pins.
Hawai’i — Don’t sleep on the Rainbow Warriors this year. Hawai’i has the passing and the offensive firepower to knock off any team in the MPSF — especially when playing at home.
Stanford — Stanford graduated the best setter and best middle attacker in the nation. A favorable MPSF schedule and an experienced head coach in John Kosty, though, could make the Cardinal a top-five MPSF team at the end of the season.
UC Santa Barbara — The Gauchos under coach Rich McLaughlin have made the eight-team MPSF Tournament each of the last four seasons. With a roster primarily comprised of freshmen and sophomores, UC Santa Barbara will be fighting to keep that streak alive.
CSUN — So many returning starters could mean this finally could be year CSUN gets back to the MPSF Tournament — and maybe even win its first postseason match since 2010.
USC — Despite an 1tth-place finish in the MPSF last season, there are reasons for USC to be optimistic. The big thing is just giving second-year head coach Jeff Nygaard time to develop his young players.
UC San Diego — This will be the year UC San Diego gets a MPSF victory and maybe even pull off a big upset before the season’s over.
Ohio State — Everything is aligned for the Buckeyes to repeat as national champions — the 2017 NCAA Tournament is on their home court and all but one starter returns, including outside attacker and 2016 AVCA National Player of the Year recipient Nicolas Szerszen. A 2017 title, though, won’t be an inevitability because spoiler — there are other good teams.
Lewis — Preseason All-American opposite Mitch Perinar is one of the best pin-hitters in the conference, and middle attacker Jacob Schmeigelt has the potential to win the Ryan Millar Award. How deep of a postseason run the Flyers have may largely depending on the development of their new starting setter Matt Yoshimoto.
Loyola — Jeff Jendryk made a case in the second-half of last season why he is the best middle attacker in the nation. Much like Lewis, though, how much of a MIVA title contender Loyola is this season will largely depend on the ability to replace its graduated All-American setter.
Ball State — The Cardinals are one of the best defensive teams in the nation. The off-season addition of several dynamic outside attackers is just what Ball State needed to be in contention for a MIVA title.
McKendree — The Bearcats last season had their first postseason victory in program history. Things are only continuing to get better for this fourth-year program that returns a lot of starters.
Grand Canyon — The Antelopes almost quietly last seaon set a program-record with 17 victories. The loss of graduated All-MIVA opposite Gerrard Lipscombe will be difficult to replace, but Grand Canyon is fully capability of setting the single-season program record for wins again.
Fort Wayne — The rebuilding process continues for second-year head coach Rock Perrotte. While a MIVA title is unlikely this year, the Mastodons will be much more competitive in all of their matches.
Lindenwood — Outside attacker Jake Duckworth and opposite Ryan Moore may be the most underrated pin-combo in the conference.
Quincy — MIVA coaches always seem to vote Quincy to finish in last place in the preseason polls, but every year Quincy doesn’t finish in last place. Give credit to coach Hadley Foster for continuing to make this program more competitive each season.
George Mason– The Patriots have gone from being the pursuer to the pursued and the preseason favorite in the EIVA. George Mason has a veteran roster and a head coach capable of handling the preseason expectations and returning to the NCAA Tournament.
Penn State — Yes, Penn State last season didn’t win the EIVA for the first time since Bill Clinton was in office, but it’s not like the entire season was a train wreck — the Nittany Lions beat four nationally ranked teams. The EIVA is much improved, but Penn State will still be in contention for the conference title.
St. Francis — The Red Flashes have the pin hitters and setter needed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in their program history. The only thing more electrifying than its St. Francis offense is its Rummy Rascals student section.
Princeton — The Tigers potentially have one of the best middle attacker combination in the conference with Junior Oboh and freshman George Huhmann. Princeton should fare better than its seventh-place finish in the EIVA last season.
NJIT — Preseason All-American outside attacker Jabarry Goodridge is one of the most dynamic players in the conference. The Highlanders are now looking to take that next step and get back into the postseason for the first time since the conference went to a four-team EIVA Tournament format in 2012.
Harvard — Harvard continues to be one of these teams that just overachieves. While the Crimson were picked in the preseason to finish the EIVA in sixth place, they will be likely vying for a postseason berth at the end of the season.
Sacred Heart — There are some good things developing at Sacred Heart under coach Greg Walker. If the Pioneers can find a way to make the EIVA Tournament, it would be a big step for the program.
Charleston — The Golden Eagles made the splashiest move of the off-season hiring former Wake Forest women’s volleyball coach Ken Murczek. The third-year program is improving and should get its first conference victory in program history by the end of the season.
CONFERENCE CAROLINAS PREVIEW
Barton — The Bulldogs under coach Jeff Lennox may be the best turnaround story in the nation. With the way Lennox has recruited in recent years, this year could be the start of something special.
Mount Olive — The Trojans suffered countless injuries last year but still found a way to finish in the top half of the Conference Carolinas standings. Mount Olive will have a deceiving overall record because of a brutal non-conference schedule, but will be more than capable of winning the Conference Carolinas.
King — King set all-conference outside attacker Jeff Sprayberry a conference-high 1,227 times last season. Sprayberry has the capabilities to take over a match, and the Tornado have enough other solid players to win a conference title.
Limestone — Expect both outside attacker Bruno Kretzschmar to put up big offensive numbers in his senior season and for the Saints to compete with the top teams in the Conference Carolinas.
Belmont Abbey — No senior in nation meant more to his team last season than Belmont Abbey outside attacker Nolan Albrecht. Replacing him will be difficult but trust in the process of coach Sean Manzi.
Erskine — The defending Conference Carolinas champions have a new coach and roster with all but four freshmen. It’s not a criticism to call this a rebuilding season — it just is one.
North Greenville — If you are going to pick a team to win a conference title that finished outside the top five in their conference’s preseason poll, take Hawai’i or North Greenville. The third-year program has made serious strides this off-season.
Lees-McRae — The Bobcats were so depleted at times last season that first-year coach Henry Chuang didn’t even have enough players to do six-on-six scrimmages at practice. With the addition of Chuang’s first recruiting class, Lees-McRae will likely be the most improved team in the nation.
Pfeiffer — It’s a time of transition at the university but Paul Lawson is still one of the best coaches in the conference
Emmanuel — Another year transitioning from NAIA to NCAA Division II makes the Lions ineligible for the postseason. They might not make the Conference Carolinas Tournament but they will beat several teams who do make that tournament.
Coker — Coach Eric Synder developing a Brazilian recruiting pipeline is continuing to payoff for this program. The Cobras could legitimately get near 20 wins this season.
Concordia-Irvine — Concordia-Irvine scheduled like a team that will be joining the MPSF next season. The Eagles should be more competitive in those matches versus MPSF opponents and even win a few this year.
Alderson Broaddus — The Battlers play five matches against EIVA opponents this season. Don’t be surprised if Alderson Broaddus makes a statement and wins a couple of those matches.
Lincoln Memorial — Who knows what to expect from this first-year program. We’re just popping open a celebratory Not Your Father’s Root Beer at Off the Block here in Nashville because another Tennessee school has added men’s volleyball.
Coaches 2016 All-WNY girls volleyball team
By Miguel Rodriguez, Buffalo News
Monday, January 2, 2017
The All-WNY girls volleyball team. Back row from left: Summer Slade, St. Mary’s,; Caitlyn Meyer, St. Mary’s; Julia Kurowski, Lancaster; Julia Carter, Maryvale; Lexi Novak, Williamsville East; Molly Breier, Eden; Samantha Burgio, Eden. Front row from left: Madalyn Bowen, Panama; Beth Miller, Portville; Sydney Colligan, Portville; Lindsay Proctor, Grand Island; Meghan Neelon, Clarence. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News) (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
|2016 All - New York State|
|Class||Team||Player, Year, School|
|Class AA||2nd Team||Meghan Neelon-12 (Clarence)|
|Class AA||3rd Team||Julia Kurowski-11 (Lancaster)|
|Class AA||5th Team||Melissa Ratzel-11 (Clarence)|
|Class A||1st Team||Lexi Novak-12 (Will East)|
|Class A||2nd Team||Makayla Greenfield-11 (Will East)|
|Class A||2nd Team||Rachel Steffan-10 (Will East)|
|Class A||2nd Team||Lindsay Proctor-12 (Grand Island)|
|Class B||3rd Team||Julia Carter-12 (Maryvale)|
|Class B||4th Team||Anna Dussault-12 (Alden)|
|Class B||5th Team||Chanyve Powell-12 (Albion)|
|Class C||1st Team||Samantha Burgio-12 (Eden)|
|Class C||1st Team||Molly Brier-12 (Eden)|
|Class C||2nd Team||Sam Logan-11 Eden)|
|Class C||2nd Team||Alyssa Durski-12 (Eden)|
|Class C||2nd Team||Sierra Keim-10 (Portville)|
|Class C||3rd Team||Beth Miller-10 (Portville)|
|Class C||5th Team||Taydem Printup-12 (Akron)|
|Class D||1st Team||Maddy Bowen-10 (Panama)|
|Class D||1st Team||Tara Sweeney-12 (Panama)|
|Class D||2nd Team||Quinn Payne-11 (Panama)|
|Class D||3rd Team||Angela Filkov-12 (North Collins)|
|Class D||5th Team||Marissa Hamilton-12 (Ellicottville)|
Chosen by WNY coaches
|Player, School, Year|
|Meghan Neelon Clarence 12||Three-time first-team pick led team in kills, digs and assists as Red Devils won third straight Section VI Class AA crown.|
|Molly Breier Eden 12||The Edinboro commit compiled second-most digs on Raiders with 412 and also had 215 kills, 87 aces and 84 stuff blocks.|
|Sam Burgio Eden 12||Last year’s state Gatorade and Prep Talk Awards Player of the Year amassed 687 kills, .418 hitting percentage and team-high 472 digs for state champions.|
|Lindsay Proctor Grand Island 12||Three-time team captain is a repeat first-team pick and ends five-year career as the Vikings’ all-time leader in digs (1,244) and aces (237).|
|Julia Kurowski Lancaster 11||Third-year starter finished with 493 assists, 365 kills and 188 digs in helping the Legends earn share of ECIC I title.|
|Julia Carter Maryvale 11||Three-year starter and team co-MVP recorded 280 kills, 95 digs and 85 aces to help Flyers win second straight division title.|
|Madalyn Bowen Panama 10||Three-year starter played key role in helping Panthers win state title, recording 343 kills, 234 digs and posting 93.7 serve percentage.|
|Sydney Colligan Portville 10||Second-year starter finished with 240 kills, 285 digs and 164 aces as Panthers captured Class C-2 title during 47-5 season.|
|Beth Miller Portville 10||Member of 2014 and ’15 state title teams, MVP of Clarence Tournament recorded 312 kills, 108 blocks and 106 aces for Panthers.|
|Caitlyn Meyer St. Mary’s 12||Monsignor Martin MVP wraps up her four-year career with team-high 399 kills and second-most blocks (64) to help Lancers win state title.|
|Summer Slade St. Mary’s 11||Third-year starter recorded 259 kills, 122 digs, 58 aces and compiled a hitting percentage of .287 for the Lancers.|
|Lexi Novak Wmsv. East 12||Repeat selection, the four-year starter set team records for career kills (1,804) and compiled the second-most kills in the state during the regular season.|
|Honorable Mention||City Honors: Alena McKelvy-11, Sacred Heart: Micaela Ryan-11, Will East: Makayla Greenfield-11|
Large School (First Team)
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
S/OH Meghan Neelon Clarence 12
OH Lexi Novak Wmsv. East 12
OH/S Lindsay Proctor Grand Island 12
OH Alena McKelvy City Honors 11
S Makayla Greenfield Wmsv. East 11
MH Kelly Fellner Lancaster 12
MH Melissa Ratzel Clarence 11
Claire Brandon Grand Island 11
MH Julie Milbrand N. Tonawanda 12
OH/S Julia Kurowski Lancaster 11
OH Julia Carter Maryvale 11
S Olivia Alessi East Aurora 9
Large School (Second Team)
|School Player Yr.|
ALBION: Chanyce Powell-12
ALDEN: Anna Dussault-12
CITY HONORS: Jenna Balducci-12
CLARENCE: Maddie Christopher-12
EAST AURORA: Julia Halsey-11
GRAND ISLAND: Lauren Chadwick-11
KENMORE WEST: Abby Borkowski-11
LANCASTER: Katie Becht-11
LOCKPORT: Kathryn Krchniak-12
NIAGARA-WHEATFIELD: Jenna Sonnenberg-10
ORCHARD PARK: Liz Chou-11
WILLIAMSVILLE EAST: Rachel Steffan-10
Small School (First Team)
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
OH Samantha Burgio Eden 12
RS Caitlyn Meyer St. Mary's 12
OH Summer Slade St. Mary’s 11
S Julia Vitale St. Mary's 11
L Gina Appenheimer St. Mary's 12
OH Sierra Keim Portville 10
OH Taydem Printup Akron 12
OH Molly Breier Eden 12
MB Sam Logan Eden 11
MB Micaela Ryan Sacred Heart 11
OH Madalyn Bowen Panama 10
MB Beth Miller Panama 10
Small School (Second Team)
|School Player Yr.|
AKRON: Darion Jonothon-10
CASSADAGA VALLEY: Jenny Caskey-11
EDEN: Alyssa Durski-12
ELLICOTTVILLE: Marissa Hamilton-12
MOUNT ST. MARY: Lillian Mueller-11
NARDIN: Erin Wright-11
NORTH COLLINS: Angela Filkov-12
PORTVILLE: Haley Unverdorben-11
RANDOLPH: Mackenzie Marsh-12
SACRED HEART: Lauren Aichinger-11
SOUTHWESTERN: Kendyl Austin-12
ST. MARY'S: Hannah Mulhern-10
2016 ALL ECIC
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
S/OH Meghan Nelson Clarence 12
OH Julia Kurowski Lancaster 11
OH Lexi Novak Wmsv. East 12
OH Samantha Burgio Eden 12
OH Molly Breier Eden 12
OH Julia Carter Maryvale 11
S Olivia Alessi East Aurora 9
S Makayla Greenfield Wmsv. East 11
MH Kelly Fellner Lancaster 12
MH Melissa Ratzel Clarence 11
S Lis Chou Orchard Park 11
S Anna Dussault Alden 12
2016 ALL ECIC
|School Player Yr.|
CLARENCE: Maddie Christopher-12
EAST AURORA: Julia Halsey-11
EDEN: Sam Logan-11
EDEN: Alyssa Durski-12
FRONTIER: Emma Booth-12
HAMBURG: Meg Seidel-11
HAMBURG: Alexa Pace-12
LANCASTER: Katie Becht-12
ORCHARD PARK: Amanda Renaldo-11
SWEET HOME: Tizah Peters-12
WEST SENECA WEST: Rebekah Patrick-12
WILLIAMSVILLE EAST: Rachel Steffan-10
2016 ECIC I
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
OH Sadie Joba Orchard Park 11
OH Alyssa Babinger Lancaster 12
OH Emily Kuhn Clarence 12
L Kara Paradowski Lancaster 12
S Grace Sipos Frontier 12
OH Jade Cummings Clarence 10
MB Karleigh Haines Jamestown 10
S Abby Vincent Williamsville North 10
OH Abby Ryan Orchard Park 9
2016 ECIC I
|School Player Yr.|
FRONTIER: Cami Duggan-11
FRONTIER: Brooke Buck-12
JAMESTOWN: Brooke Federko-12
LANCASTER: Jenna Patterson-11
WEST SENECA WEST: Sarah Fritschi-12
WEST SENECA WEST: Katie Todaro-12
WILLIAMSVILLE NORTH: Allie Macon-10
2016 ECIC II
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
RS Christy Ackendorf Sweet Home 11
MH Leah Orsini Wmsv. East 12
MH Ally Jozwiak Wmsv. East 11
MH Sarah Wittek Iroquois 10
L Julia Reed West Seneca East 12
OH Kaylee Herbst Hamburg 11
S Madison Jensen Hamburg 11
L Larren Tone Hamburg 11
L Gabby Presuttie Williamsville South 10
2016 ECIC II
|School Player Yr.|
AMHERST: Claire Wanzer-12
HAMBURG: Isabella Hubert-12
HAMBURG: Eleanor Clarker-11
IROQUOIS: Raven Kirsch-11
IROQUOIS: Anna Feneziani-12
WILLIAMSVILLE EAST: Julianna Benz-12
WILLIAMSVILLE EAST: Jess Weaver-12
WILLIAMSVILLE SOUTH: Grace Stahl-11
WILLIAMSVILLE SOUTH: Megan Muehlbauer-10
2016 ECIC III
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
OH Jaelah George Maryvale 12
S Emily Raczynski Maryvale 12
MH Olivia Covington East Aurora 10
RS Quinn Whatley Wast Aurora 11
OH Ariel Smith Lake Shore 12
OH Talia Wright Lake Shore 12
OH Lauren Grant Starpoint 11
MH Jena Ponosny Cheektowaga 12
MB Brittany Bobeck Depew 12
2015 ECIC III
|School Player Yr.|
CHEEKTOWAGA: Maria Verrastro-12
DEPEW: Tess Borgosa-12
EAST AURORA: Megan McNeight-12
EAST AURORA: Emma Oar-11
MARYVALE: Aleza Hoiensahl-12
MARYVALE: Morgan Michalski-11
PIONEER: Kaitlin Kozlowski-12
STARPOINT: Allison Wick-12
STARPOINT: Olivia Schoenfeld-12
2016 ECIC IV
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
OH Paiton Basinski Eden 10
L Emma Sutfin Eden 9
MH Susie Horton Cleveland Hill 11
L Emily McIntosh Cleveland Hill 12
MH Shelby Kerstin Alden 10
L Maria Garbo Tonawanda 11
S Meadow Wittman Springville 10
OH Alexandria Alteri Alden 12
MH Caroline Roy Springville 11
2016 ECIC IV
|School Player Yr.|
ALDEN: Emma Wlostowski-9
CLEVELAND HILL: Lydia Catalino-12
CLEVELAND HILL: Kathryn Skora-12
EDEN: Meghan Cassidy-12
EDEN: Bridget Wzresinski-11
HOLLAND: Claudette Langoehr-11
JFK: Victoria Getz-12
LACKAWANNA: Jacquie Derwin-10
SPRINGVILLE: Sydney Rosati-11
TONAWANDA: Caitlyn Vishion-12
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
Micaela Ryan Sacred Heart 12
Mia Wilde Sacred Heart 12
Lillian Mueller Mount St. Mary 11
Summer Slade St. Mary’s 11
Jillian Vitale St. Mary's 11
Hannah Mulhern St. Mary's 10
|MVP: Caitlyn Meyer-12 (St. Mary’s)|
|School Player Yr.|
MOUNT MERCY: Erin Sliwinski-12
MOUNT ST. MARY: Caroline Manna-12
NARDIN: Erin Wright-11
SACRED HEART: Emma Rehrauer-12
SACRED HEART: Lauren Aichinger-11
ST. MARY’S: Gina Appenheimer-12
2016 NIAGARA FRONTIER
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
OH Abby Borkowski Kenmore West 11
OH Claire Brandon Grand Island 11
OH Lauren Chadwick Grand Island 11
OH Kathryn Krchniak Lockport 12
OH Julie Milbrand North Tonawanda 12
OH/S Lindsay Proctor Grand Island 12
L/S Jenna Sonnenberg Niagara-Wheatfield 10
2016 NIAGARA FRONTIER
|School Player Yr.|
S Mackenzie Franks Niagara-Wheatfield 10
L Braillen Hare Lockport 12
MH Amanda Jordan Grand Island 12
S Kourtney Krchniak Lockport 10
L Erin Veronica Kenmore West 12
S Sam Veronica Kenmore West 10
OH Kali Yates Niagara-Wheatfield 12
2016 NIAGARA FRONTIER
|School Player Yr.|
L/DS Maddie Finn Grand Island 12
L Alexis Gault Lockport 12
OH Maddie Phillips Grand Island 12
MH Jordan McKenna Kenmore East 11
S Kendall Mills Kenmore East 12
L Destinee Norman Lew-Port 11
L Anna Taylor Kenmore East 12
|Pos. Player School Yr.|
MB Chanyce Powell Albion 12
MB Bea Bacon Roy-Hart 12
OH Taydem Printup Akron 12
S Emily Kams Medina 12
S Emilie Barleben Albion 12
OH Darlon Jonathan Akron 10
|School Player Yr.|
AKRON: Sharrah Jonathan 11
MEDINA: Molley Gross-12
NEWFANE: Faith Morgan-10
ROY-HART: Brianna Brewer-12
ROY-HART: Olivia Vorholzer-11
WILSON: Raechel Blasius-11
|School Player Yr.|
AKRON: Helene Hill-10
AKRON: Whitley Stafford-11
AKRON: Neely Abrams-11
AKRON: Taylor Schlosser-10
ALBION: Caitlyn Snook-11
ALBION: Kaitlyn Van Skiver-12
ALBION: Sierra Newton-10
MEDINA: Je’ne Brown-10
MEDINA: Maddie Williams-10
NEWFANE: Megan Froman-12
NEWFANE: Mackenzie Perry-10
ROY-HART: Skyler Christopher-10
ROY-HART: Aspen Moore-10
WILSON: Jennifer Myers-12
WILSON: Madelyn Seely-8
WILSON: Sarah Nugent-9
All-WNY girls volleyball wrapup: Pierce goes out on top
By Miguel Rodriguez, Buffalo News
Monday, January 2, 2017
While 1,000 is an eye-catching number, 995 will always be special to Stephen Pierce.
But that’s not the only number the veteran coach will be associated with from here on out. As impressive as 995 is, 13 and eight are equally as huge.
Those record-setting figures are among the reasons the retiring coach of girls volleyball at Eden is considered a legend in the scholastic sport's circle in the Empire State.
Pierce stepped down after 28 seasons as coach of perhaps the most successful public schools program in the state. He made the announcement after the team secured its 18th straight trip to the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association final four.
Pierce, 54, plans to visit his two adult daughters who live in Boston and Philadelphia. An English teacher, he also wants to focus more on his primary profession and simply do other things.
"I've spent a lot of years doing volleyball almost 365 days a year," Pierce said. "Who knows? Way down the road I may come back ... but not for the foreseeable future."
He went out on top as Eden won its 14th state championship overall (13th with Pierce as head coach), including eight in a row to cap a 43-3 season in which the team’s only losses came against teams (St. Mary’s of Lancaster and nationally ranked Penfield) that won state championships of their own.
Pierce’s 995 wins rank first in state history. He’s the only coach to guide a team to eight straight state titles and his 13 state championships also rank first all-time. He also served as an assistant when the Raiders secured the program's first title.
Eden's 14 state titles are eight more than the three programs that share second place on the all-time list.
Pierce also earned national Coach of the Year honors in 2010 and Prep Talk Awards Coach of the Year in 2015.
During his career, Pierce matched wits against and worked with some of the best coaches in the area and state. While he enjoyed that experience immensely, he took greater delight in seeing athletes he coached go on to be impact players in the game of life – as teachers, pilots, accountants, etc.
"It's nice to see them become successful in other fields," Pierce said.
"Stephen has certainly had a big impact on Western New York volleyball," St. Mary's coach Don Pieczynski said. "He has trained and coached numerous players who have excelled at the college level. He is excellent at teaching the finer details of the game and his teams always played with fierce pride and intensity. His no-nonsense approach for years was second to none and his teams carried that demeanor onto the court."
Many talented players have been coached by Pierce over the years – a big reason why the Raiders have been so successful. Two of those athletes are members of this year’s All-Western New York team, which is selected by area volleyball coaches.
Last season’s state Gatorade Player of the Year and Prep Talk Awards Player of the Year Samantha Burgio capped her six-year career by earning her third All-WNY first-team pick. Fellow six-season teammate Molly Breier, a past all-state pick, also is on the All-WNY team.
Defense is always a key to winning and both finished one-two on the Raiders in digs. Burgio, the MVP of the state tournament, recorded 472, while Breier had 412. The two showed their defensive skills during the overall Section VI Class C final – the closest Eden came to losing a playoff match. Portville pushed the Raiders to four tough sets but Burgio and Breier prevented the Panthers from earning potential momentum-swinging points by extending rallies that went Eden’s way.
Burgio also recorded 687 kills, 114 aces, 84 blocks and finished with a .418 hitting percentage. Breier finished with 84 blocks, 87 aces and 215 kills.
Burgio is expected to enroll in Maryland in January to get an early jump on her studies and start practicing with the Big 10 team that awarded her an athletic scholarship. Burgio isn’t the only multi-time All-WNY selection heading to major Division I programs.
Meghan Neelon of Clarence, like Burgio a three-time All-WNY selection, has a full ride to attend Alabama. Grand Island’s Lindsay Proctor has a full ride to West Virginia. St. Mary’s Caitlyn Meyer is going to James Madison.
Seniors aren’t the only All-WNY picks on the Division I radar. Junior Julia Carter of Maryvale has a scholarship and verbal commitment to Syracuse. Lancaster’s Julia Kurowski, also a junior, has verbally committed to Colgate. She also received offers from Niagara, Rhode Island and Binghamton.
Williamsville East senior Lexi Novak is undecided where she’ll head to college but the two-time All-WNY pick also is a coveted talent as she notched 609 kills and finished with 359 digs in helping the Flames win their third straight Section VI Class A title and reach the state final four for the second straight season.
Breier is heading to Division II Edinboro.
Underclassmen earning spots on the All-WNY team include St. Mary’s junior Summer Slade and sophomores Madalyn Bowen (Panama), Beth Miller (Portville) and Sydney Colligan (Portville).
Slade, a first-team All-Catholic, led the Lancers (36-7-4) with 58 aces. During the state Catholic tournament, she helped the team to its second title in three years by finishing with 39 digs and 31 kills. She's also on the Division I radar.
Bowen, a three-sport athlete who has started on softball since seventh grade and basketball since eighth, earned MVP honors in helping Panama win the state Class D title in its first final-four appearance.
In addition to earning MVP honors at the Clarence Tournament, Portville’s Miller earned league MVP honors for the season. She and Colligan played key roles in helping the Panthers win the Section VI Class C-2 title and post a 47-5 overall record (including tournaments), 19-1 in dual matches. Both helped the program win state titles in Class D in 2014 and 2015. The title reign ended in the clash of reigning state champions for the overall Class C title against Eden.
MIVA preview: Defending-champion Ohio State the top pick
By Mike Miazga, Volleyball Magazine
Monday, January 2, 2017
2016 AVCA player of the year Nicolas Szerzsen leads Ohio State/Jay LaPrete photo
The Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association continued to flex its muscles in a big way last year with Ohio State becoming the third league entrant in a row to win the NCAA title and fourth in the last six years.
And Ohio State, which downed BYU in three sets to win the national crown, is a heavy favorite to do more even more damage in the MIVA and beyond in 2017.
Ohio State is ranked first in the country in the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. The Buckeyes got 23 of a possible 24 first-place votes and UCLA got the other.
“I believe Ohio State is at the top,” Lewis coach Dan Friend said. “They have a great core of returning players with some really good arms. Following Ohio State, I think its Ball State, Loyola, McKendree and us. The other team that could be a sleeper is Grand Canyon.”
Accordingly, MIVA coaches also tabbed the Buckeyes as the preseason conference favorites with eight of nine bench bosses giving Ohio State first-place votes (Lewis received the other).
“I believe the MIVA is at its strongest position in many years,” longtime Ohio State coach Pete Hanson said. “Lewis and Loyola will be much improved along with Grand Canyon and McKendree. Those were all young teams that did not lose many players. I think we are one of the top teams in the league, but on any given night you can be ripe for an upset if you fail to play hard.”
All of the preseason hype surrounding the Buckeyes is likely justified, considering the team returns six of seven starters from a team that went 31-2, headlined by 2016 AVCA player of the year Nicolas Szerzsen (6-4, OH, Jr.). Szerszen, also the MIVA player of the year, ranked second in the league in kills per set (4.23) and also set a school record with 63 service aces (0.42 aces per set).
The Buckeyes also have 6-6 senior right side Miles Johnson, who was named the NCAA tournament MVP and garnered first-team All-American honors. Senior 6-5 setter Christy Blough also returns, as does 6-7 sophomore middle blocker Blake Leeson, who was an all-NCAA tournament team selection. Senior libero Gabriel Domecus is back, along with redshirt 6-8 senior middle blocker Driss Guessous.
Key newcomers include French transfer Maxime Hervoir (6-3, OH) and freshman Reese Devilbiss (6-2, OH, 2016 VolleyballMag.com Fab 50 selection).
“The ability to draw on the experiences of last season and know that the core group is together and should be able to adapt to the new player on the floor who is replacing Christian Franceschi (graduated outside hitter),” Hanson said.
Hanson said a key emphasis this season will be serving teams out of system, which he noted creates opportunity to score points and then convert them when the opportunity arises.
“Those components are all inter-connected,” he said.
The longtime coach added his squad is not about to rest on its laurels.
“What I like most about my team is its continuing work ethic and the attitude of continuing to improve,” Hanson said. “I do not sense they are resting on their success from last season. They want to make this a whole new season with a new and better script.”
Jacob Schmiegelt is a senior middle for Lewis
Lewis, which finished 19-13 and lost to Ohio State in five in the MIVA final, comes into the season ranked No. 6 in the nation. Friend’s squad also doesn’t lack returning talent.
The Flyers return a key core that includes 6-7 senior outside hitter Trevor Weiskircher, 6-6 redshirt sophomore right side Mitch Perinar and 6-6 redshirt senior middle blocker Jacob Schmiegelt. Perinar was the 2016 MIVA freshman of the year and earned all-MIVA second-team honors along with Schmiegelt.
Lewis also loaded up on the newcomer front with the additions of Cal Baptist transfer Danny Maurer (6-8, MB, Jr.), along with freshmen Kyle Bugee (6-5, OH) and Dalen Instenes (6-5, OH). Ryan Coenen is a 6-9 redshirt freshman outside hitter. VolleyballMag.com had Lewis with the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in 2016 behind only Stanford.
“We have some good size and athleticism at the net which I think can help our blocking and out-of-system attacking,” Friend said. “This group gained experience from last year (Lewis graduated eight seniors in 2015), so I look for that to help us out.”
Friend said first-ball contact will be key for the Flyers.
“We need to be aggressive and serve well along with controlling the pass and dig opportunities,” he said.
Friend also is a fan of the atmosphere in the Romeoville, Ill., practice gym.
“We do a great job of communicating and bringing a high level of energy,” he said. “This helps them compete consistently against every opponent. I also enjoy the work ethic they bring day in and day out.”
Loyola-Chicago checks in at No. 3 on the MIVA preseason poll and No. 11 nationally after coming off a 20-8 season.
Jeff Jendryk, blocking, is a returning All-American for Loyola
The Ramblers welcome back juniors Jeff Jendryk (6-10, MB), Ben Plaisted (6-5, RS), Ricky Gevis (6-11, RS) and Jake Selsky (5-11, libero) and sophomore Collin Mahan (6-5, OH). Jendryk was an All-American second-teamer last year after hitting .431 (278 kills) and posting 101 total blocks. Plaisted averaged 3.18 kills per set, while Gevis was at 3.22 per set. Mahan was versatile in his role, posting 1.99 kills per set while hitting .278 and registering 107 digs. Selsky had 186 digs last year.
Loyola key newcomers include freshmen Ian Cowen (6-5, S), Kyle Piekarski (6-8, MB) and Kyler Kotsakis (6-5, OH). Loyola did graduate-student setter Peter Hutz, an all-MIVA first-team pick.
Jendryk, Gevis and Selsky were on the court during Loyola’s 2015 NCAA title run.
“We have a fun mix of youth and experience combining guys like Jeff, Ricky and Jake with a talented core of underclassmen, some of whom got some very valuable experience last year,” second-year Ramblers coach Mark Hulse said. “I think we will be tough to stop in that we won’t rely on any one guy to do all the work and diverse offenses are the toughest to scheme against.”
Pass and serve, he said, are key.
“A lot of our success will boil down to our ability to pass the ball and serve effectively, which has been a constant in our league,” he said. “We certainly have the pieces to be able to do that, but it will be a work in progress. With rare exceptions, the teams that can control one or both of those phases of the game have been the teams holding trophies in May, so that will be at the front of our minds throughout the year.”
Ball State also hit the 20-win barrier a year ago and also is filled with returning talent. Junior 6-11 middle Matt Walsh and senior 6-6 outside Brendan Surane both were all-MIVA second-team picks last year. Walsh finished sixth in the league in blocks per set, while Surane was the MIVA’s 10th leading point scorer. Also back are junior 6-4 outside Mitch Weiler and sophomore libero Adam Wessel, who both ranked in the top 10 in the MIVA in digs in 2016, as well as senior middle blocker 6-6 Alex Pia who was third in the league in blocks. Senior setter Connor Gross (6-5, S) also returns. Freshman Matt Szews (6-8, RS) will help the Cardinals as well.
“We have the ability to generate high-level offense,” said Ball State coach Joel Walton, who noted the team’s pin attacking is improved over recent seasons. “We have strong point-scorers in all positions. Connor understands our offense and makes good decisions as our setter. We also can score points from the service line and we have improved the strength of our serving. We return many experienced players and expect our depth to be another strength.”
Walton and company are looking to build upon last year’s second-place regular-season tie.
“The MIVA will be extremely strong again this season,” Walton said. “There won’t be any matches teams can take lightly. Ohio State is the defending NCAA champion and they return the majority of last year’s team.
“Ohio State is the MIVA favorite and the season will determine where everyone ranks. Ball State, Lewis, Loyola, and McKendree all return large portions of last year’s team’s. We were picked fourth by the MIVA coaches in the preseason poll. My team and staff is very motivated to prove we were significantly under-ranked.”
McKendree, located in Lebanon, Ill., won 11 matches last year and returns all starters from a year ago. Redshirt 6-9 junior middle blocker Brendan Schmidt led the MIVA in blocks per set and tied for sixth in the nation (1.19). Senior middle blocker Wyatt Patterson was fourth in the country in hitting percentage (.450). Junior setter Pasquale Fiduccia also is back and the team fortified the depth at that position with the addition of 6-4 freshman Zach Schnittker (younger brother of senior right side Andrew Schnittker).
“This year’s team has matured into a talented group of men,” said McKendree coach Nickie Sanlin. “Being thrown to the fire of the MIVA in the beginning years of the program has shaped the culture of this group. The strong team culture in and out of the gym will help propel us to new heights during the season.”
Grand Canyon, located in Phoenix, won 17 matches in 2016 and split its 16 MIVA contests. Coach Matt Werle, who was named permanent head coach this past May after serving in an interim role during the 2016 season, returns juniors Shalev Saada (6-6, OH) and Sky Engleman (5-9, libero), along with 6-6 redshirt junior middle Ashton King and 6-2 senior setter Michael Milstein. Saada was an all-MIVA first-team pick after racking up 271 kills, 100 digs, 45 blocks and 33 aces. Engleman led the team in digs with 171.
Grand Canyon also added seniors Drake Silbernagel (6-8, MB) and Matthew Kinnebrew (6-2, RS) to the roster. Kinnebrew played at Juniata College while Silbernagel was on the Arizona State club team.
“We will have a strong balance in every skill of the game,” Werle said. “We may not have a superstar, but our team will be balanced and will play together. This is the most dedicated and disciplined group of guys we have had—top to bottom. We should be able to score out of each attacking zone.”
Werle is part of an entirely new Grand Canyon coaching staff, plus 10 of the 22 players on the roster are new as well.
“I like the way this group of guys has bought into what the staff has been preaching,” Werle said. “We have worked on getting on the same page throughout the fall and the structure that was put in place was believed in by the team.”
Fort Wayne won 10 matches last season and welcomes back 6-4 junior outside hitter Tony Price (267 kills and 68 blocks), 6-3 sophomore setter Michael Keegan (825 assists), redshirt senior outside hitter-libero Scott McNerney and 6-3 senior setter Gabriel Quinones (241 assists).
The Mastodons added former St. Francis player Jack Carlson (6-4, libero) to the roster, as well as 6-4 freshman outside hitter Pelgrin Vargas from Puerto Rico. Freshmen Matt Zeske (6-2, OH) and Richie Diedrich (6-7, MB) also are new to the club.
“We still are in search of an identity and learning how to play with each other, building team cohesiveness and chemistry,” Fort Wayne coach Rock Perrotte said. “We are an extremely young team with three seniors and one junior so our strengths are with our youth and hunger to learn.”
Lindenwood, which won five matches in 2016, returns seniors Jake Duckworth (6-5, OH) and Ryan Moore (6-4, RS), along with junior Michael Chard (6-5, OH) and sophomore Connor Hipelius (6-8, MB). Duckworth led the team with 227 kills last season. Moore had 218 kills, while Chard had 131 and Hipelius had 120 kills. Junior setter Joseph Mayer is a transfer from Santa Monica College where he was the team’s MVP last season.
Quincy returns senior middle blocker Jarrod Kelso, who finished fifth in the MIVA last year in kills with 328. The all-MIVA second-team pick was sixth in hitting percentage at .406. Also back are senior setter Thane Fanfulik and junior libero Collin Merk. Quincy won 18 matches last year under 11th year head coach Hadley Foster.
“Our league has won three straight national titles and four of the last six so I think the top of our conference is as good as it’s ever been,” Loyola’s Hulse said. “No doubt Ohio State is running from the front, but I think we’re one of the few teams that will be in a position to compete for the conference and the championship at the end of the year.
“Our sport is fun in that you can make a push at the end if you do the right things along the way, so we are really focused on that process.”
2017 MIVA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Ohio State (8)
2. Lewis (1)
4. Ball State
6. Grand Canyon
7. Fort Wayne
MPSF preview: UCLA, BYU top toughest and ever-changing conference
By Ed Chan, Volleyball Magazine
Monday, January 2, 2017
The BYU Cougars hope to improve upon their runner-up finish from 2016
(shown here at the MPSF 2015 playoffs)./Ed Chan, VBshots.com
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is widely regarded as the toughest men’s volleyball conference from top to bottom and the 2016-17 season will likely be even more competitive.
MPSF teams occupy seven of the top 10 AVCA pre-season poll spots, with UCLA at No. 2, BYU at No. 3, Long Beach State at No. 4, Pepperdine at No. 5, Hawai’i at No.7, UC Irvine at No. 8, and Stanford at No. 9.
UCLA, BYU, and Long Beach State all made it to the NCAA national semifinals, but MIVA upstart Ohio State spoiled the MPSF party and took home the championship hardware.
What’s more, as the MPSF begins its 25th season, the winds of change are coming. This year the MPSF features an unbalanced 18-match schedule. Schools will play seven teams twice, and four others once (two tier-one teams and two tier-two teams, based on the past five year’s results) to total 18 matches.
UCSD coach Kevin Ring likes the move.
“For the first time in many, many years, the MPSF is going with an unbalanced schedule, which provides each team most non-conference opportunities,” Ring said. “We’ve taken an aggressive approach to scheduling, as we will face Ohio State, Ball State, BYU, Princeton and Grand Canyon, as well as a few other teams within our non-conference schedule.”
Those winds of change will pick up for the 2018 season as CSU Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Hawai’i, and UC San Diego move to the newly formed Big West men’s volleyball conference. That season will also feature the addition of two new programs, Concordia University Irvine from the NAIA, and Grand Canyon University from the MIVA. Thus, the Big West will have six participants, and the MPSF eight, both conferences satisfying the minimum requirement of six teams to earn an automatic championship berth.
Back to the MPSF, which has brought home 16 of 24 championships since its inception in 1992-93.
“(The MPSF) is going to be ultra-competitive,” Cal Baptist coach Derek Schmitt said. ” … there’s no easy night in this conference.”
UCLA coach John Speraw agrees.
“I think the level at the top of the conference will be higher this year,” Speraw said. “Everybody’s going to be a little bit better.”
The MPSF preseason coaches’ poll lists BYU at the top with 119 points, followed by UCLA with 111, Long Beach State at No. 3 with 103, UCI at No. 4 with 79 points, and Pepperdine at No. 5 with 73. Hawai’i, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, CSU Northridge, USC, Cal Baptist, and UC San Diego round out the conference.
BYU’s Ben Patch has been training with Team USA/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
BYU returns five starters plus its libero, losing only middle Michael Hatch. Opposite Ben Patch scored a team-best 4.32 kills per set and has gained valuable experience in training with the national team. Patch and outside hitter Brenden Sander were both AVCA first-team All-Americans, while 6-10 outside Jake Langlois was second team. Leo Durkin will against direct the Cougar’s offense, where he averaged 10.54 assists/set on his way to AVCA honorable mention honors.
“Our team is looking forward to the start of the 2017 volleyball season,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. He was 27-4 in his first season after moving over from coaching the women. “We have a great group of guys who are learning and working hard each day to build on the success of last year.”
Jake Arnitz and the UCLA Bruins are ranked No. 2 in both the AVCA and MPSF preseason polls/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
UCLA returns its entire starting squad for 2017 and hopes to better its NCAA semifinal finish after dropping a tough five-set decision to eventual champion Ohio State. Speraw, also the USA men’s coach, is 77-43 in four seasons at UCLA, which tied for second in the MPSF last season.
UCLA is paced by explosive setter/hitter sophomore Micah Ma’a, a 6-foot-3 AVCA first-team All-American who also trained with the Olympic team. Ma’a led the Bruins with .48 aces/set in 2016, and had 2.12 kills/set, hit .310, dug 1.6/set, and blocked for .7/set. AVCA second-team outside Jake Arnitz led 3.31 kills per set, hitting for .313 for the season.
“We were a bit more beat up in the fall than I would like,” Speraw said, “but I think we’ll be stronger than last year.”
Speraw’s opinion is bolstered by the fact that UCLA brought in the No. 3 VolleyballMag.com recruiting class for 2017. The freshman class includes Daeanan Gyimah, a 6-8 Canadian middle who touches 12 feet, Sam Kobrine, a 6-3 setter/outside from Corona del Mar, and Sam Jones, a 5-9 libero from storied Mira Costa.
Josh Tuaniga of Long Beach State received second-team All-American honors as a freshman/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
Long Beach State returns five starters from 2016, when the 49ers lost in the national semifinals. Coach Alan Knipe is in his 14th season, with a 251-143 record.
USA national-team candidate TJ DeFalco returns, along with sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga (second-team AVCA All-American), and AVCA honorable-mention libero Andrew Sato.
Huntington Beach products DeFalco and Tuaniga have tremendous chemistry together that started in high school. LBSU loses only middle Taylor Gregory.
Long Beach also picks up four junior college transfers, middle Nick Amado, libero Jordan Molina, outside Vincent Pizzuti, and outside Andrew TenBrink.
“As a team, we are getting better in all facets of the game,” Knipe said, “including volleyball skill sets, volleyball IQ and the team’s physical conditioning. We have some maturity from last year’s young freshman group with a lot of good returners coming back from last year. We’re excited to start the season.”
Irvine star Tamir Hershko only played 41 sets last year due to injury/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
UCI returns four starters from its injury-plagued 2016 season where the Anteaters tied for eighth in the MPSF with a 10-20 record (7-14 MPSF). Israeli Tamir Hershko led with 3.71 kills per set, despite only playing in 41 sets due to injury. The Anteater’s backcourt is largely intact, as setters Dante Chakavorti (9.58 assists/set) and Michael Saeta (.52 assists/set, 1.97 kills/set) return, along with libero Dillon Hoffman (2.13 digs/set).
UCI coach David Kniffin is in his fourth season, with a 53-38 record. Kniffin has a bit of restocking to do, with the losses of Jason Agopian (2.01 kills/set), Kyle Russell, (2.88 kills/set), and Marty Ross (1.31 kills/set).
Irvine expects some good numbers from the VolleyballMag.com No. 8 recruiting class, with three Fab 50 selections in 6-11 middle Sean Dennis of Bonita, 6-6 right side Patrick Sohacki from Eastlake, and 7-foot middle Scott Stadick of Watertown.
“The human and athletic potential of this recruiting class is special,” Kniffin said.
“We are healthy, which is refreshing. As usual, we don’t match-up guy-for-guy with some of the top teams, but collectively we should be a force. I think that is the foundation that UCI volleyball has been forged on and has been successful with. On any given night, we could have a 5-11 guy lining up to block next to a 7-foot guy.”
Marv Dunphy begins his 34th season at Pepperdine/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
Pepperdine finished 13-11 last year and ranked seventh nationally. Coach Marv Dunphy begins his 34th year, with a 602-265 overall record. The Waves return four starters and a libero, but lost a pair of AVCA second-team All-Americans in Matt Tarantino (3.88 kills/set) and Tommy Carmody (1.58 kills/set, 100 blocks, 9 solo).
Pepperdine’s returning starters are redshirt-sophomore David Wieczorek (2.94 kills/set), Mitchell Penning (1.53 kills/set, .95 blocks/set), Colby Harriman (2.61 kills/set), setter Joshua Stewart (10.12 assists/set), and libero Weston Barnes (2.02 digs/set).
Dunphy will rely upon six newcomers to fill in the blanks. Senior Kyle Suppes rejoins the squad after a one year hiatus. Junior transfers Alex Harthaller of Innsbruck, Austria, and Owen Yoshimoto of Ventura hail from IPFW and Santa Barbara City College, respectively. Noah Dyer of San Clemente, Robert Mullahey of Manhattan Beach, and Sam Bradley of Honolulu are freshmen.
“The first thing I think of when I think of our team is we are not going to be as big as we have been historically,” Dunphy said. “We graduated two guys that are 6-9 and also last year I think we were pretty dependent on Tarantino to get lots of kills, aces, and blocks …we threw him lots of sets. In theory, we are going to have to be more balanced offensively, and I think we have some depth to help with that.”
Sophomore opposite Stijn van Tilburg will feature prominently in Hawai’i offense./Hawai’i Athletics
Hawai’i was 16-12 last year after losing in the MPSF quarterfinals. Coach Charlie Wade has compiled a seven-year record of 107-91. The Rainbow Wahine return five starters, losing second-team All-Americans Sinisa Zarkovic, an outside, and libero Kolby Kanetake.
Wade will lean on sophomore opposite Stijn van Tilburg (6-8, All-MPSF Honorable Mention, 3.26 kills/set), senior outside and Honolulu native Kupono Fey (6-5, 2.61 kills/set), and senior middle Hendrik Mol (6-6, .99 blocks/set).
Outside hitter and USC transfer Larry Tuileta figures to be in the mix after earning all-MPSF freshman honors, while freshmen Bulgarian junior national-team member Rado Parapunov and USA junior national-team member Austin Matautia will compete for starting spots.
Stanford outside Gabriel Vega averaged 2.87 kills/set in 2016/Stanford Athletics
Stanford finished 19-6 overall, and at 17-5 tied for second in the MPSF. Cardinal coach John Kosty is 174-115 as he enters his 11th season.
Stanford returns junior libero Evan Enriques (2.53 digs/set), sophomore outside hitter Jordan Ewert (1.48 kills/set), redshirt junior middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw (1.6 kills/set, 1.00 blocks/set), and redshirt senior outside hitter Gabriel Vega (2.87 kills/set, .273 hitting percentage).
Stanford faces the loss of three critical starters from 2016: setter James Shaw (MPSF player of the year), middle blocker Conrad Kaminski (2.29 kills/set, 1.45 blocks/set), and outside Madison Hayden (3.47 kills/set).
Paul Bischoff is part of Stanford’s No. 1 ranked VBM recruiting class of 2017/Stanford Athletics
Stanford’s cupboard, however, is well stocked, boasting the VolleyballMag.com top ranked recruiting class that includes 6-7 middle Eric Beatty of Huntington Beach, 6-5 setter Paul Bischoff of Glenbard, 6-9 middle Stephen Moye of El Segundo, 6-6 middle Jacob Thoenen of Christian, 6-5 right side Mason Tufuga of Costa Mesa, and 6-5 side Eli Wopat of Dos Pueblos. Wopat’s twin sisters, Carly and Sam, played at Stanford.
UCSB has three Boehle brothers on its squad: junior Hayden (shown), redshirt senior Parker, and incoming freshman Davis/UCSB athletics
UCSB came away from 2016 with a 20-10 record (14-8 MPSF) and ranked fifth nationally after a five set loss at BYU in the MPSF semifinals. Coach Rick McLaughlin faces some challenges, losing three-time All-American setter Jonas Seif, All-MPSF middle Ryan Hardy, second-team All-MPSF right side Matt Marsh, and starting outside Austin Kingi.
But don’t feel bad for the Gauchos just yet, as they boast the No. 5 VolleyballMag.com recruiting class.
“We brought in nine guys we like a lot,” McLaughlin said. “Four or five of them already have very high volleyball IQs, sound skills, have won a ton and will really help our training environment immediately. The other four or five have incredible potential and could become very successful players in the MPSF after a few years. We are very excited about all nine and can’t wait to get them in our gym.”
Six of those players were featured on the 2016 VolleyballMag.com Boys’ Fab 50 list: Davis Boehle (6-0, libero-S, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.), Randy Deweese (6-6, S, Natomas Prep, Sacramento, Calif.), Roy McFarland (6-3, OH, Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Casey McGarry (6-0, S, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.), Keenan Sanders (6-6, MB-RS, Scripps Ranch (San Diego, Calif.), Jack Truman (6-10, MB, Loyola (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Jeff Campbell’s Matadors lose only one starter from 2016/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
CSU Northridge finished 14-15 (7-15 MPSF), tied for the eighth and the final spot in the MPSF tournament but lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with UCI. Jeff Campbell is in his 20th year (277-272), and returns six of seven starters.
The Matadors will hit the ground running, losing only middle blocker Brian O’Gorman (.98 kills/set, 37 blocks), allowing them to keep 83 percent of their offensive output from 2016.
“That’s a big factor and the guys we have are athletic, talented and they all have the right mindset,” Campbell said. “When you have a group that is as committed to being better as our guys are, then you develop a winning culture.”
6-9 senior middle Josiah Byers (All-MPSF Honorable Mention), 6-6 senior outside Jakub Ciesla (3.24 kills/set, 19 aces), and 6-4 sophomore outside Dimitar Kalchev (3.04 kills/set, 101 digs) will figure prominently in the offense, with 6-3 sophomore setter Sam Porter (9.95 assists/set, 101 digs) and 5-10 senior libero CJ Suarez (1.99 digs/set) on the ball control side.
“We’ve got a very talented group of players this year,” Campbell said. “And with that, we have players with experience which is something we’ve been missing the last several years. We have the game time experience at outside hitter, opposite, middle blocker, setter and libero, which is really important when you’re playing really good teams night in and night out.”
USC’s opposite Christopher Orenic/USC athletics
Preseason No. 10 USC struggled to a 7-19 record (5-17 MPSF and finished 11th in the MPSF. Second-year coach Jeff Nygaard returns five starters, 6-9 senior middle Andy Benesh (1.5 kills/set, .72 blocks/set), 6-4 senior outside Lucas Yoder (3.25 kills/set), 6-6 junior right side Jon Rivera (2.58 kills/set), 6-6 junior setter Gert Lisha (8.93 assists/set), and 5-10 sophomore libreo Matt Douglas (.87 digs/set).
The Trojans lose outside hitter Alex Slaught (2.4 kills/set), and libero Brooks Varni (1.79 digs/set), while welcoming 5-8 freshman libero Michael Chang (All-CIF Division I first team), 6-3 setter Matt Faraimo (All-CIF San Diego first team), 6-8 middle blocker Matt Hassel (USA boys youth continental team), 6-7 opposite Lucas Lossone (VolleyballMag.com Fab 50, 2016 AVCA All-American first team), 6-5 outside hitter Sean Morrissey (2016 VolleyballMag.com Fab 50, 2016 AVCA All-American first team), 6-4 outside Aaron Strange, and 6-2 outside hitter Jackson Wedbush (2016 VolleyballMag.com Fab 50, All-CIF Division I first team)
Nygaard likes what he sees so far in his freshman class.
“Michael is a highly-intelligent and hard-working player who is developing his role with our team,” Nygaard said. “He represents the best about USC athletically and academically. Matt (Faraimo) takes a very level-headed approach to the game, is very coachable, works hard and is a good player. He filled in setting for us in fall competition and I couldn’t have been more pleased.
“Matt (Hassel) puts in the work, listens to his coaches and wants to improve in every aspect of the game. He is developing into an MPSF blocker. Sean is a physical, explosive, poised player with a world of potential and a good future. I’m excited to watch him progress. Jackson (Wedbush) is one of our best all-around players and is a great server. He has a team-first mindset. Jackson (Barrett) ran through walls to become part of our team after fall practice, which earned the players’ respect. He continues to develop as he fast tracks his acclimatization to our program.”
Overall, Nygaard expects marked improvement this year.
“We continue to progress toward establishing a culture of being a sustainably great team. From last year to this year, we have evolved tremendously in learning what it takes to achieve success. We’ll be a much better team than past years and will contend with every team we face. We have strong senior leadership and experience, and I’m also excited about the potential that our young players bring. When we are on our game, we’re a strong side out team that will do a good job defensively.”
Cal Baptist’s Enrique de Diego Garcia will play a greater role for the Lancers this year/CBU athletics
Cal Baptist was 14-16 (6-16 MPSF) and one win and one set away from its first ever MPSF tournament berth. Coach Derek Schmitt begins his second season 45-36 overall.
CBU returns middle blocker Enrique de Diego Garcia (2.07 kills/set, .481 hitting percentage, 105 blocks, 10 aces), libero Emmett Enriques (1.93 digs/set, 46 assists), outside Rohit Paul (1.67 kills/set, .81 digs/set, 31 blocks, 24 aces) and middle Jackson Burge (1.24 kills/set, .382 hitting percentage, 49 blocks, 35 digs, 18 aces).
On the flip side,the Lancers lose outside Rocky DeLyon (2.75 kills/set, .253 percentage), opposite Roy Powell (2.53 kills/set, .274 percentage), and setter Arturo Iglesias, (9.54 assists/set, 103 digs, seven aces).
“Our expectation is to be better than we were last year,” Schmitt said, “and if we can do that, we have a shot to get into the postseason. It’s not going to be an easy road, but this is what we have worked so hard for.
“We are going to be bigger than we’ve been in my couple years here. We will have a little more physicality out there, so I think that’s going to be good for us.”
Schmitt recognized the MPSF changes ahead.
“The landscape changes and starting next year everyone is going to make the tournament, so this is our last chance to earn it and I want to earn it. I don’t want to get in just because we are in the conference, I want to earn it – that’s a major goal.”
Senior outside Ian Colbert led UCSD last year with 233 kills/UCSD athletics
UCSD went winless, 0-22, in the MPSF and 5-23 overall. But Ring, entering his 12th year (77-236, 40-206 MPSF) has plenty to be pleased about, returning five starters and 13 letter winners.
“We are excited about our future move to the Big West Conference for the 2018 season,” Ring said, “but we are equally as excited and determined for our final run in the MPSF. It is going to be another highly competitive year in the conference.”
6-1 senior outside Ian Colbert led the team with 233 kills, 154 digs, and 13 service aces, while 6-8 junior opposite Tanner Syftestad finished second with 216 kills, and chipped in 81 digs and 15 service aces. Senior middle blocker Shayne Beamer will make major contributions this year, with 117 kills and 56 total blocks in 2016.
The Tritons will need to replace libero Tanner Howard (174 digs) and outside hitter Kirill Rudenko (139 kills, 16 service aces). Key freshmen include 6-2 outside Devin Pontigon of Oceanside and 5-11 libero Ryan Lew of San Marino.
“The 2017 UC San Diego men’s volleyball squad is the most experienced team we’ve had over the past few seasons,” Ring said, “with a number of players returning this year who have previously been starters for one or two seasons. Experience goes a long way in the very competitive MPSF, and we look for our three most experienced players, Ian Colbert, Shayne Beamer and Tanner Syftestad, to lead the team offensively this season.”
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