Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's volleyball team enters the 2020 season as they look to continue to build a winning mindset and grow as a team.
D'Youville will be led by first year head coach and former D'Youville men's volleyball player, Chris Krueger. Krueger has a great deal of coaching experience as he served as head coach of Hilbert's men and women's volleyball teams, leading the women from 2014-17. Following his time with the Hawks and prior to coming on at D'Youville, Chris spent 2017-19 as an assistant coach at Division I Canisius College with the women's volleyball program. During his time at Canisius, Krueger helped the team have six players to MAAC postseason teams.
Krueger will lead a young team with eight of the team's 13 players being underclassmen. Of the 13 players on the team's roster, six are returners from last season.
Senior setter Karl Jauch (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) and junior middle blocker Ali Khadra (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville East) will be relied upon to set the tone for the young squad as the two returning players whom contributed the most to the team in 2019.
Jauch led the team with 572 assists and 6.89 assists/set as a junior in 2019, establishing himself as the team's top playmaker. In addition, Karl finished fourth with 98 digs and 1.18 digs/set while playing 23 matches and 83 sets.
Khadra led the team on both ends of the court from the middle. Ali finished the season first with 83 blocks and 0.86 blocks/set while placing third on the team in kills with 165 and kills/set with 1.70. He is an imposing presence on both offense and defense side of the ball and will be counted on to be a leader in both areas this season.
Junior middle blocker/right side Danny Steck (Lancaster, NY/St. Francis) is another veteran player who will be thrusted into a key role for the men this season. Danny finished third on the team with 38 blocks and 0.58 blocks/set last season while tallying 55 kills - fifth on the team. His experience will be big for the young program.
The remaining three returners from last season's team are all sophomores for the men. Outside hitter/setter Anthony Dean (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Falls), outside hitter/defensive specialist Troy Stancampiano (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville East), and right side/outside hitter Joshua Hoy (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) will be asked to fill larger roles for the men this season with the experience they gathered in their first seasons.
The three combined for 63 kills and 66 digs with Dean leading the trio. His 43 kills and 44 digs were impressive for the then freshman as he added 10 blocks.
D'Youville welcomes several talented athletes to the program this season. Senior middle blocker/right side Devon Camel (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) and junior defensive specialist Mitch Mason (Eden, NY/Eden) have taken to the team quickly and will be asked to play important roles. Freshman outside hitter/middle blocker Dan Busha (Hamburg, NY/St. Francis) will be asked to play important minutes this season to help push the team.
Freshman defensive specialist Juan Centeno (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville North), freshman outside hitter William Anderson (Lake View, NY/Frontier), sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist Jake Kowalewski (Attica, NY/Attica), and sophomore outside hitter Kyle Dick (Churchville, NY/Churchville-Chili) all have athleticism that will add depth to the team.
Throughout the preseason and as the season will go on, the team will continue to push for growth. An overall effort to develop a winning mindset will guide the team as they push towards the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) playoffs.
The Spartans will begin their season this Sunday, January 26 as they host the Daemen Wildcats in the College Center Gym. D'Youville will then return home to host the Penn State-Behrend Lions on Wednesday, February 19 to begin their conference schedule at 7:00pm.
You can read more about how the Spartans are expected to finish in the conference with the AMCC preseason poll.