The regular season college men's volleyball season has come to a close, and playoff season is upon us! Check out where our Bay to Bay alums stack up as we head towards the National Championships in May.
Joel Schneidmiller (UC Irvine): The freshman outside hitter was named the inaugural Big West Conference Freshman of the Year! Throughout the regular season Joel was named the Freshman of the Week 5 times and was the AVCA National Player of the Week after helping the #3 Anteaters win back-to-back matches against #2 ranked BYU.
Joel ranks 7th in the Big West in hitting percentage at .328 and 12th in the conference in kill per set at 2.63. The Anteaters will head into the Conference tournament as the #3 seed, and will play against UC San Diego in the first round of playoffs. Irvine will likely need to reach the Big West Conference finals in order to reach the NCAA tournament in May.
Andrew Zhu (NYU): The senior captain was the only Violets player to play in all 94 sets for NYU this season. Zhu totaled 133 kills (1.41/set) and 14 points on the season. NYU lost a heartbreaker in the UVC semi-finals to the #1 seeded Steven Institute of Technology 12-15 in the fifth set.
Alex Li (NYU): The sophomore outside hitter lead NYU in total points (363), total kills (312), and kills per set (3.76). For his efforts this post season, Alex was named to the UVC All-Tournament Team
Nathan Smith (Penn State): Nathan has made a late season surge appearing in 5 matches as setter for the Nittany Lions. Penn State finished the regular season as the #3 seed in the EIVA and will take on Harvard on Thursday April 19th at 2:00 pm. On the opposite side of the EIVA bracket, #1 seed George Mason will take on the #4 seed Princeton.
Wyatt Harrison (UCSD): Wyatt was named to the All-Big West Freshman Team after his stellar rookie campaign. Harrison ranks second on the team in points per set (2.54) and has brought a consistency to the San Diego passing line with a .966 reception percentage. The Tritons will take on UC Irvine in the first round of the Big West playoffs.
Kyle Bugee (Lewis): Bugee ranks fifth on the team in points per set for the #7 ranked Flyers. He finished the regular season hitting .222 and helped Lewis defeat IPFW in the first round of the MIVA playoffs. Next up, Lewis will take on defending National Champions Ohio State on Wednesday night in Columbus. Bugee and the Flyers will need to win the MIVA tournament in order to get into the NCAA tournament.
Kevin Orsley (Emmanuel College): Orsley appeared in 30 of 31 matches for the Emmanuel Saints. Totaling 201 kills, 30 blocks, and 27 service aces on the season. Orsley and Emmanuel College fell in the GNAC semi-finals to Rivier 1-3.
Markus Melbardis (Loyola-Chicago): Melbardis has appeared in 8 sets this season for the Ramblers, hitting a blistering .412 on the season. The Ramblers currently sit at #8 nationally and are in a strong position for an NCAA tournament berth as long as they can reach the MIVA tournament finals. Next up, Melbardis and Loyola-Chicago will take on Ball State in the MIVA semi-finals this Wednesday, April 18th.
Aleks Melbardis (Stevenson): Aleks and the Mustangs defeated Arcadia in the MAC Championship game to clinch an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Stevenson will take on Elms in the first round of the tournament this Friday. Check out highlights from the championship match below:
Andrew Weisner (UC Merced): Weisner and the Bobcats finished the season at 14-10 and on a 6 match win streak. Including big victories over Menlo College, #4 ranked St. Ambrose, and Hope International.
Cameron Ponce (Johnson & Wales): Ponce and the Wildcats fell in the first round of the GNAC playoffs. Ponce led Johnson & Wales in assists per set, digs per set, and total blocks. For his efforts, Cameron was named the Conference Player of the Week for the second time in his career.
Ben VanDerLuit (Concordia-Irvine): VanDerLuit and the Eagles have sustained a high level of play throughout MPSF conference play, earning the #4 seed and a first-round home match against Grand Canyon. The Eagles dispatched the Lopes in the first round and will head to BYU to take on UCLA in the MPSF semi-finals. Concordia will need to win the MPSF tournament in order to make it to the NCAA tournament.
Bailey Mundy (NJIT): Mundy appeared in 60 sets for the Highlanders totaling 78 kills, 17 blocks, and 13 service aces. NJIT finished the season with a record of 9-17 and 5-9 in the EIVA conference.
Shea Filardo (Menlo College): Filardo and the Oaks finished 4-21 in their inaugural season as a program. Shea led the team in assists with 417 and chipped in 14 kills on the season while setting a 6-2.
Nathan Wang (M.I.T.): Wang and the Engineers finished the season at 16-9 and 4-5 in the UVC conference. Nathan appeared in 22 matches and tallied 132 kills, 103 digs, and 16 aces in his rookie campaign