COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 20, 2017) – The college men’s volleyball season is headed into its final weeks. We wanted to check in on several people with ties to the U.S. Men’s National Team.
UCLA Head Coach John Speraw, who coaches the U.S. Men’s National Team in his spare time, and the Bruins saw their season end in the MPSF quarterfinals when they lost to UC Irvine, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-22. Middle blocker Mitch Stahl, who played in the 2015 Pan American Games, was named First Team All-MPSF. Setter Micah Ma’a, who has trained with the Men’s National Team, was an honorable mention.
Middle blocker Jeff Jendryk and his Loyola Ramblers lost to Ball State in the MIVA quarterfinals, 17-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-23. Jendryk played on the U.S. Men’s Pan American Cup teams in 2015 and 2016. Jendryk was named First Team All-MIVA for the second straight year. He is a finalist for the Off the Block Ryan Millar Award as the nation’s best blocker. He was the runner-up for the award in 2016.
Long Beach State, which went into the MPSF playoffs as the AVCA’s No. 1-ranked team, will host Hawaii in the final on April 22. Long Beach State beat UC Irvine in the semifinals on April 20.
Beach outside hitter T.J. DeFalco (see photo above), who has played on U.S. Men’s Pan American Cup and Games teams, was named the MPSF Player of the Year and First Team All-MPSF. He is also a finalist for the Off the Block Karch Kiraly Award as the nation’s top outside hitter. DeFalco’s teammate Josh Tuaniga, who also played in the Pan American Cup, was also named First Team All-MPSF. He is a finalist for the Off the Block Lloy Ball Award as the nation’s best setter.
BYU’s men’s team, the second-seeded team in the MPSF playoffs, fell to third-seeded Hawaii (3-0) in the MPSF playoff semifinals on April 20. Outside hitter Jake Langlois, who has played on Pan American Cup teams, was named to the All-MPSF First Team and is a finalist for the Off the Block Karch Kiraly Award. Outside hitter Brenden Sander, who played at the Pan American Cup, made the All-MFSF second team. Opposite Ben Patch, who played on the Pan American Cup team, was an All-MPSF Honorable Mention and is a finalist for the Off the Block Bryan Ivie Award as the nation’s top opposite.
The NCAA Men’s Division I/II Volleyball Championship will be played May 4-6 at St. John Arena on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus.
Setter Micah Christenson and Cucine Lube Civitanova advanced to the league final after defeating middle blocker Max Holt and Azimut Modena, 3-1 in the semifinal series.
In the last match of the semifinals on April 19, Civitanova beat Modena, 25-15, 19-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-10. Christenson scored two point on an ace and a block and set his team to a .479 hitting efficiency. Holt scored five points on two kills, two blocks and one ace.
Civitanova will play either Sir Safety Conad Pergugia or Diatec Trentino in the final, which is scheduled to begin April 25.
Libero Erik Shoji, setter Kawika Shoji and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk won their first playoff match against Nova Novokuybyshevsk, 25-17, 19-25, 25-19, 25-15 on April 20. Erik Shoji was credited with 16 receptions, 63 percent positive. Kawkia Shoji started the first three sets and scored one point on one kill. He helped set the team to a .484 hitting efficiency. The teams will play again on April 23.
Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and Asseco Resovia Rzeszów are now playing Jastrzębski Węgiel for third place in the playoffs. On April 18, Węgiel won, 25-21, 34-32, 24-26, 25-21. Jaeschke started the third and fourth sets, scoring 17 points on 15 kills, one block and one ace. He was credited with 14 receptions, 50 percent positive. The teams will play again on April 23.
Middle blocker Dan McDonnell and Chaumont will play GFC Ajaccio VB in the league semifinals, starting on April 22. Ajaccio advanced to the semis by beating middle blocker Russell Holmes and Paris Volley, 2-1 in the quarterfinals. In the third match, Ajaccio beat Paris, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 16-25, 15-11. Holmes scored 14 points on a match-high six blocks and eight kills.
Chaumont lost in the final of the CEV Challenge Cup to Russia’s Fakel Novy Urengoy. In the second match on April 16, Urengoy won, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-18. McDonnell started the first three sets and scored one point on a block.
Outside hitter Greg Petty and Pamvohaikos ended their season after losing to Olympiacos, 3-0 in the playoff semifinals. In the final match on April 18, Pamvohaikos fell, 25-19, 25-23, 25-20. Petty finished with 10 points on five kills, two blocks and three aces. He was credited with 31 receptions, 52 percent positive.
Middle blocker David Lee and Ziraat Bankasi are tied 1-1 in a playoff with Halkbank. On April 14, Bankasi beat Halkbank, 25-20, 25-21, 18-25, 23-25, 15-12. Lee scored eight points on four kills, two blocks and two aces. On April 18, Halkbank came back to win, 25-22, 25-14, 25-18. Lee scored two points on one kill and one block. The teams will play again on April 21.