The MSOE men's volleyball team is coming off a dramatic improvement on the court last season, winning 13 more matches than the previous season and spending much of the campaign nationally-ranked.
The Raiders have a new head coach in Shane Reid, and he is excited about the team and its prospects for staying among the nation's elite.
Reid's biggest asset is the return of All-American Quin Krisik at setter. Just a sophomore, he led the nation with 10.70 assists per set in his first season and was named the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League Rookie of the Year. In addition to directing the offense, he also contributed a team-best 203 digs to go with 41 service aces—which was second on the team, 76 kills and a .352 attack percentage.
Krisik's main target is gone in departed senior outside hitter Nick Manning, but Reid is confident that the team has the personnel to help fill that void. Manning was an all-league second team honoree and led the squad with 3.45 kills per set and 45 aces.
One option to see more attacks this season is junior Joe Humpal. After being the team's first setter as a freshman, he made the switch outside last season and averaged 2.25 kills per set. Reid is excited about his versatility, meaning he can contribute all over the court.
Sophomore Neil Naughton returns to head up a strong group in the middle. He was named to the all-league second team as a rookie, sitting second on the team with 2.68 kills per set. The 6-foot-7 middle hitter also finished with a team-best 97 blocks, the second-most blocks in a season in school history.
Sophomores Ben Clarke and Caleb Schober also return in the middle. Clarke was third on the team with 41 blocks last season and hit .351, which is the fourth-best attack percentage in school history. Meanwhile, Schober received limited playing time last season, appearing in five matches, but has made an impact in the preseason.
On the outside, sophomores Bryant Holland, Sam Stealey and senior Sean Donovan will look to help fill the void of Manning's departure. Holland appeared in 23 matches and posted four double-digit kill outings and two double-doubles last season. He provides Reid with another tool from the service line, as he racked up 20 service aces last season.
Stealey gained more playing time as the season went on, appearing in ever set over the last nine matches. He averaged 0.95 kills and 0.73 digs per set. Donovan is one of just two seniors to feature on a still-young squad. He will be counted on for leadership, especially at an uncertain position like outside hitter. He's appeared in 55 career matches with 30 kills and 78 digs.
The team's other senior is Josh Dougherty, who will form a solid libero tandem with freshman Sean Runyon. Dougherty has the most experience on the team with 72 matches played, having collected 350 digs. Runyon was a true freshman last season, but was hurt in his first appearance and missed the rest of the season.
Reid is excited about a pair of returning opposites in juniors Scott Boyk and Ed Krupski. Boyk brings a career 1.60 kill-per-set average into his third season. He's athletic and left-handed, a combination that Reid is excited to deploy.
Krupski, on the other hand, is older and more experience. He spent seven years in the marines and also coached at the high school and club levels before matriculating to MSOE. Reid is excited for what he can bring to the floor in terms of ability and additional leadership.