Men's Volleyball Looks to Continue Successful Run

Men's Volleyball Looks to Continue Successful Run

The MSOE men's volleyball team is enjoying the best run of success in team history, having posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time and a school-record 18 wins last season.

The Raiders spent much of last season nationally-ranked and have captured the voter's optimism this season as they debuted at No. 12 in the AVCA preseason national poll and then moved up to No. 11 before starting the season this week.

Head coach Shane Reid and his team have good reason for optimism around the program as it embarks on its 2017 season. First of all, the team returns 90 percent of its kills from a season ago and all but one starter.

Three juniors in former All-American Quin Krisik and all-league second-teamers in Sam Stealey and Neil Naughton headline the returners that drives a surprisingly still-young roster.

Krisik has been named to the All-MCVL First Team in each of his first two seasons and quickly established himself as one of the nation's top setters. He was named to the AVCA All-America Second Team as a freshman when he led the nation in assists per set. Last season, he guided the offense with 11.07 assists per set and led the team with 35 service aces.

Three players are back after registering more than 200 kills last season. Senior Scott Boyk led the team with 254 kills and was sixth in the league with 3.48 per set as an opposite. Junior Bryant Holland had 211 kills and Stealey tallied 207, while both players were second on the team with 24 aces each. Stealey averaged 2.92 kills per set and led the hitters with a .258 attack percentage to Holland's .258.

Naughton is back at middle hitter, where he tallied 160 kills with an efficient .369 attack percentage. His percentage was a school record and second in the league. He also had a team-high 61 blocks, including 16 solo blocks, and averaged 0.77 blocks per set.

MSOE will be without Naughton's partner in the middle, junior Ben Clarke, who will miss the season while studying abroad. Clarke led the team with 0.98 blocks per set and was another efficient attacker in the middle with a .315 attack percentage.

Junior Caleb Schober and sophomore Brian Jones do return in the middle and were quite effective on the block. Schober logged 26 sets over 13 matches and averaged 1.31 kill and 1.11 blocks per set. Jones, on the other hand, had 21 blocks over just 19 sets (1.11) and finished with 19 kills.

Libero Josh Dougherty represents the lone lost starter from last season, earning all-league second-team honors as well as serving as team captain. He led the team with 213 digs and will be missed, but sophomore Sean Runyon is hoping to step into that role. He played in 20 sets over 12 matches last season with 23 digs.

Reid has plenty of options adding depth on the attack, most notably senior Joe Humpal and junior Logan Baerenwald. Humpal averaged 2.12 kills per set while battling injuries last season. He adds depth at setter, his primary position as a freshman, but has adapted well as a hitter. Baerenwald returns from a season away in the study abroad and will look to pick up where he left off after his first two seasons when he had nearly 300 kills over the two seasons.

Also returning for the Raiders is junior Andrew Miller and senior Ed Krupski. Miller adds depth at setter and rotates in to serve regularly. He has impressed the staff in his limited time running the offense and gives Reid confidence when he is on the floor. In seven sets as the primary setter last season, he averaged 11.15 assists.

Krupski is in his third season in the program. He played in 28 sets last season as an opposite and averaged 1.68 kills per set, as well as 0.57 blocks. In addition to his role within the game plan, he also brings strong leadership to the program with a coaching background behind him.

The depth continues for the MSOE as it adds three impressive freshmen. Danny Martens, Jake Christensen, and Spencer Mueller could all see significant floor time as they continue to develop.