Men’s Volleyball Reloaded for 2019

Men’s Volleyball Reloaded for 2019

The MSOE men's volleyball team lost some of the most prolific attack players in program history last season and head coach Shane Reid has done what any coach would do:

He reloaded.

Reid has a small but talented core of returning players and he will look to build around that group with an exciting freshman class of nine players.

Gone from last season's group are four players that finished with over 500 career kills in Neil Naughton (700), Logan Baerenwald (691), Sam Stealey (592), and Bryant Holland (528). Also gone is the director of last season's offense in setter Andrew Miller.

While the attack will be new, the foundation which its built on is as rock solid as can be. Reid will benefit from the return of senior setter Quin Krisik. Krisik is a former All-American and last played in 2017 when he was named the MCVL Offensive Player of the Year. He's gotten better each season at MSOE and the hope is that he can pick up where he left off.

Krisik's versatility on the floor is an asset for the squad and is demonstrated by his standing in the program's history. He enters his final season on pace to set school records for assists, aces, and digs. He's also posted the top attack percentage in school history and could be as much of a threat on the attack swinging as he is setting for others.

The setter position is a strength for the team as sophomore Jacob Bentz was able to ease into the collegiate game last season. He saw some time as the primary setter, averaging 8.60 assists per set when he was the starter. Overall, he averaged 3.76 assists per set in 38 played.

Junior Danny Martens returns in the back after an All-America First-Team season. He was second in the nation with 3.35 digs per set but stood out against top competition. In 12 matches vs. nationally-ranked and Division I/II teams, his per-set average was 3.49, a figure that would've topped the country. The NACC Defensive Player of the Year, he set a school record with 308 total digs last season and is already seventh in program history with 541 through just two seasons.

While the attack took a hit due to graduation, Reid's cupboard is not bare. Junior Jake Christiansen as demonstrated the ability to lead the attack at times over his first two seasons. As a sophomore, he was fourth on the team with 2.20 kills per set. He'll provide veteran leadership to the young group and could be an arm the offense relies on early in the season.

Sophomore Griffin Dunn showed potential in limited action last season and has been singled out as a player that could take a big step forward in 2019. In 14 sets over eight matches, he averaged 1.43 kills per set and hit .250. Without some of the elite hitters in program history ahead of him on the depth chart, he could grow into a high-volume attacker for the team.

Three middles are also back in the fold in junior Spencer Mueller, senior Brian Jones, and sophomore Luke Carpenter.

Mueller has fit nicely into the system over his first two seasons, giving the Raiders a solid middle pairing alongside Naughton. Mueller has ranked in the top-10 in team history for blocks per set in each of his first two seasons. In 2018, he ramped up his offensive production with 1.32 kills per set while also posting 0.83 blocks per frame. He also hit .292 and carries career figures of a .289 hitting percentage and 0.86 blocks per set into what could be an exciting junior campaign.

Jones is one of just two seniors on the roster and brings invaluable experience to the floor. He could step into a larger role on the floor while playing a key role in leadership and development off it. He's played in 72 sets over 31 career matches with 1.00 kill and 0.81 blocks per frame. He also hits at a .219 clip.

Carpenter earned some valuable experience as a rookie and rewarded the coaching staff with solid performances. Most notably was a seven-kill, .455-hitting performance at Lakeland late in the season. He logged 19 sets over nine matches and averaged 1.26 kills and 0.47 blocks per set.