Wednesday, 7 June 2023

International Volleyball

Who would players, coaches pay to watch at NCAA men’s volleyball tourney?

Who would players, coaches pay to watch at NCAA men's volleyball tourney?

Which players would you pay to see in National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship (schedule below)?

We asked some of the participants who will be at George Mason starting Sunday when the tournament opens with Ohio State facing King. The respondents could not pick their own players/teammates.

Several coaches — perhaps not wanting to give their potential opponents any bulletin board material — picked more than three. Here were some of the responses:

King coach Ryan Booher: “Literally about everybody from the Hawai’i team. And UCLA … Merrick McHenry. Penn State, Brett Wildman and Cal Fisher … I can’t wait to see Grand Canyon live. I have seen them on video, and they’re such fast, athletic guys.

“(Hawai’i setter) Jakob Thelle is just amazing. He played here when he was a freshman, and they came to play us. He was just a serving sub at that point in his freshman year, and just to see him now, his evolution.”

Jakob Thelle celebrates with Hawai’i fans in Irvine/Jim Wolf photo

UCLA coach John Speraw: “I’d watch Thelle and (Dimi) Mouchlias and Spyros (Chakas) from Hawai’i … I’d watch the Penn State crew. I think Toby (Ezeonu) is an impact player in the middle. He’s really fun to watch. I think (Cole) Bogner, their setter, has really done a great job this year … On Ohio State, you’ve got to watch (outside hitter Jacob) Pasteur … On Grand Canyon, you’ve got to watch (OH Camden) Gianni and (OH Christian) Janke. I think their ability to serve the ball — and (OH Jackson) Hickman — that team is not big but super athletic with big arms. On Long Beach, (OH) Sotiris Siapanis has had a great year. If (opposite Clarke) Godbold is playing well, they’re in a good spot.”

Hawai’i coach Charlie Wade: “I would say the middles Ezeonu from Penn State and, certainly, McHenry from UCLA. Those are like NBA athletes. Really dynamic. And the other guy I’d put not too far behind them … is Pasteur from Ohio State. That’s a legit national- team-level guy that’s got a really bright future in our sport.”

Penn State’s Toby Ezeonu/Mark Selders, Penn State Athletics

Long Beach State middle Simon Torwie: “I’m a really big fan of the Penn State middle, Toby. I just love watching him … I think I’ll stick with middles: Merrick McHenry. I want to see how he does. He’s a ridiculous physical player, and it’s really cool to see what he does. … The two Greek guys (at Hawai’i), Dimi…

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