COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 27, 2018) – As the men’s NCAA season draws to a close, players with ties to USA Volleyball are racking up the honors.
Men’s National Team member T.J. DeFalco of Long Beach State was named the very first Big West Player of the Year (the conference debuted this year) while former National Team Head Coach Alan Knipe (2009-12), also of Long Beach States, was named Coach of the Year.
UC Irvine’s Joel Schneidmiller, who played on the Boys’ Youth National Team, was named Big West Freshman of the Year.
The inaugural Big West All-Conference Team included DeFalco and Long Beach State’s Kyle Ensing and Josh Tuaniga. Both Tuaniga and Ensing played on youth and junior national teams and Ensing played on the 2017 Pan American Cup Team.
Hawaii’s Pat Gasman and Joe Worsley both played on youth and junior national teams. UC Irvine’s Scott Stadick and Cal State Northridge’s Arvis Green were both on the 2017 Pan American Cup team.
Hawaii’s Gage Worsley, who made the All-Freshman Team, was on the Men’s Junior National Team.
In the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), Loyola Head Coach Mark Hulse, who has coached USAV High Performance teams, was named Coach of the Year.
U.S. Men’s National Team member Jeff Jendryk of Loyola was named All-Conference as was Collin Mahan, who played on the Youth National Team.
In the EIVA, Princeton’s George Huhmann, who played on the Men’s Junior National Team, was named all-conference.
NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
The NCAA Men’s DI-II National Championship tournament began on April 26 when two-time defending champion Ohio State, winner of this year’s MIVA title, swept Conference Carolinas winner King University, 25-13, 25-23, 25-18.
On May 1, the action moves to Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, Calif., where UCLA will host the rest of the tournament. On May 1, Ohio State will play Big West wild card winner UC Irvine (6 p.m. PT) and MPSF wild card winner UCLA will face EIVA winner Harvard (8:30 p.m. PT).
On May 3, Long Beach State will take on the Ohio State/UC Irvine winner (6 p.m. PT) and BYU will play the UCLA/Harvard winner (8:30 p.m. PT). The championship game will be May 5 at 5 p.m. PT.
The semifinal matches will be streamed live on NCAA.com and the championship match will be televised live on ESPNU.
The finals of the NCAA Men’s DIII National Championship will pit the winner of Springfield/Vassar against the winner of Stevens Institute of Technology and Dominican. The championship will be played April 28 at 7 p.m. ET in Kenosha, Wis.
VOLLEYBALL NATIONS LEAGUE
Tickets are now on sale to see the U.S. Men play Serbia, Poland and Iran in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League on June 15-17 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
The Italian league playoffs have reached the finals where outside hitter Aaron Russell, setter James Shaw and Sir Safety Conad Perugia are 1-1 with outside hitter Taylor Sander, setter Micah Christenson and Cucine Lube Civitanova.
In the most recent match on April 25, host Civitanova beat Perugia, 22-25, 24-26, 25-17, 25-13, 15-11. Christenson scored four points on three kills and one ace and set Civitanova to a .554 hitting efficiency. Sander started the first two sets and scored five points on four kills and one block.
Russell scored 13 points for Perugia on 12 kills and one block. He was credited with 35 receptions, 34 percent positive. Shaw played as a substitute and scored one point with a block.
The best-of-five series resumes on April 28 in Perugia.
To reach the final, Civitanova eliminated middle blocker Max Holt and Azimut Modena in the semis.
In the fifth-place tournament, setter Kawika Shoji, outside hitter Jake Langlois and Gi Group Monza are playing Kioene Padova in the final match on April 29.
Monza eliminated libero Erik Shoji and Taiwan Excellence Latina in the semifinals while Padova eliminated outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and Calzedonia Verona.
Middle blocker Dan McDonnell and Trefl Gdańsk have advanced to the league semifinals against PGE Skra Bełchatów.
In the first semifinal match on April 25, host Gdańsk fell 22-25, 25-20, 26-28, 25-16, 15-12. McDonnell scored eight points on eight kills.
Middle blocker David Smith and Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie played libero Dustin Watten and Cerrad Czarni Radom for ninth place in the Polish league.
Host Zawiercie won the first match, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-21 on April 18. Smith scored 10 points on seven kills, two blocks and one ace. Watten started the first three sets and was credited with 13 receptions.
Host Radom came back in the second match and won 25-18, 25-19, 25-18 on April 20. Watten was credited with 12 receptions, 25 percent positive. Smith scored four points on three kills and one ace.
In the golden set, Zawiercie won 15-12 to finish ninth.
Setter Jonah Seif and MKS Będzin finished 13th after defeating Luczniczka Bydgoszcz 2-0 in the playoffs. In the second game, Seif scored seven points on a match-high five blocks and two kills. He set his team to a .492 hitting efficiency.
Outside hitter Matt Anderson and Zenit Kazan have advanced to the final of the Russian league tournament, where they lead Zenit St. Petersburg, 2-0. On April 21, Kazan won 19-25, 15-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-9. Anderson scored 18 points on 16 kills, one block and one ace. He was credited with 17 receptions, 41 percent positive.
The teams will play again on April 28.
Setter Michael Saeta and Chaumont defeated middle blocker Mitch Stahl and Paris Volley in the semifinals of the league playoffs, 2-0. In the second match on April 25, Chaumont won 26-24, 19-25, 25-16, 25-20. Stahl scored seven points on five kills, one block and one ace. Saeta played as a substitute.