Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's volleyball team will face a mix of new and old competition 2019 as they look to regain their team dominance of years past.
This season the men will be a one-conference team as the Spartans left the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) and gained some new foes in their original conference, the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC). The AMCC has added Wittenberg and Thiel to existing members D'Youville, Medaille, Penn State-Altoona, Penn State-Behrend, and Hiram as the conference earns an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
In the AMCC last season, the Spartans went 2-2 defeating the likes of Hiram and Medaille and suffering losses to Penn State-Behrend and Penn State-Altoona. The men recorded a 7-16 overall record and lost two seniors to graduation. A bolstered roster this season, four incoming freshmen join four sophomores, one junior, and four seniors.
Senior outside hitter Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) is the top performer from last year's team. By year's end, Pat was named an AMCC First Team All-Conference selection, Co-AMCC Player of the Year, and a NEAC First Team All-Conference selection. The talented senior led the team kills (298), kills/set (3.68), digs (151), digs/set (1.86) while ranking second in hitting percentage (.254) and service aces (28). He also tied for first in service aces/set (0.35), adding a team high four double-doubles and five matches of double-digit digs. In 15 matches this season, Stroh recorded double-digit kills, including three matches of 20 or more kills.
Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) returns to his natural position of Libero for his senior season after seeing time as an outside hitter as a sophomore and setter as a junior. He led team in assists (664) and service aces (29) last season while tying for first in service aces per set (0.35). He was fourth in digs (110) and blocks (29).
Senior Zac Bochocki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) is another player moving back to his natural position as he will slide to the inside to play middle blocker after a year at outside hitter last season. Bochacki finished 2018 third on the team in kills (136), kills/set (1.62), digs (116), digs/set (1.38), blocks (37), and blocks/set (0.44). He will be relied upon to be a leader and presence in the middle for the men.
In addition to Stroh, Kilijanski, and Bochacki is fellow senior Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield). He recorded at least a dig in every match he played last season and came on strong in the final seven matches of the season with five or more digs in six of seven matches.
Lone junior Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) will look to add another veteran presence this season but has served as a utility player for the men in years past. He has been an outside hitter, Libero, and will now set for the men this season. His ability to play anywhere and do whatever the team needs him to do makes him a unique and important asset.
Of the four sophomores returning to the team, middle blocker Ali Khadra (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville East) is a massive presence in the middle at 6-foot-7 and is coming off a monster freshman season. Khadra was an AMCC Second Team All-Conference selection in 2018 and established himself as a vital part of the team.
Ali finished first on the team in hitting percentage (.302), blocks/set (0.86), and blocks (71) while finished second in kills (128) and kills/set (1.98) as well as third in service aces (18) and service aces/set (0.22). He was a consistent force in the middle of the court for D'Youville all season, racking up five games of double-digit kills and 17 matches of at least five kills.
James Oliver (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville South), Matt Marzec (Amherst, NY/Williamsville North), and Danny Steck (Lancaster, NY/St. Francis) each saw opportunities as freshmen to gain experience through playing time and have grown into their roles as sophomores. Steck has developed into a promising player as he finished fifth on the team in kills (58), kills/set (0.97, and hitting percentage (0.25) in 2018, finishing the season with at least a kill in every match but one last season.
The freshman class of Anthony Dean (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Falls), Troy Stancampiano (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville East), Joshua Hoy (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island), and Evan Oliver (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville South) will all have opportunities to carve out roles within the rotation on the team in their young careers.
D'Youville will be under the guidance of head coach Hans Schroeder for the second consecutive season. Schroeder is a former NCAA Division III National Champion at Nazareth College where he was a two-time all-conference selection, a member of the Final Four All-Tournament Team, the Final Four MVP, and a First Team All-American. He is joined by first year assistant coach Collin McMahon - a former four-year player on the D'Youville men's volleyball team.
The men will tip-off their season on Friday, January 18 at Bard at 8:00pm and then play two additional matches on Saturday.