Question 1: Summarize the CVC programs who competed last night with one sentence per program.
- Juniata- Young, talented squad that took some early lumps but has also discovered their identity at the most important time of the year.
- SVU- Experienced team with lots of offensive firepower and two of the country’s most underrated student-athletes in Kaipo and Candland.
- Kean- Uber talented group that often looked disjointed when best pieces were on the floor together.
- Rutgers Newark- Crisp, explosive offensive team that was bit by their lack of depth at year’s end.
- SVU: Well-rounded team that took care of business against a great Rutgers squad. Recabarren will be a tough piece to replace.
- Juniata: A young squad with a boatload of potential. If Juniata manages to steal the CVC this year, the NCAA exposure for the youngins will play a huge role in future years for postseason success.
- Rutgers-Newark: Excellent pin talent in Zaleck and Kumar with one of the best setters in the country in Tuohy. A few pieces away from being a lethal team.
- Kean: Kean is a team that had the pieces they needed to do well this year but did not perform to the best of their ability when it mattered most.
1. Kean: Very talented team whose ceiling wasn’t reached this year.
2. Juniata: Very talented team whose Freshmen are beginning to play at the next level.
3. Rutgers-Newark: Very talented team who was exposed a little bit this year against stronger competition.
4. Southern Virginia: Very talented team who has flown under the radar all year.
Question 2: Is Stevens falling in the MAC semi-final this year a blip on the radar or a changing of the guard?
Harvey: Blip on the radar. I was very high on them coming into the MAC Tournament but couldn’t create enough pressure from the service line or generate high offense. Stevens was hurt by a number of opt-outs (Jack Bittker among them) so some of that top end pin talent was missing from the roster. I expect them to reload with players returning and quality first years to enhance Buehring’s 2nd year with the ducks.
Bradley: I actually had increased hope on Stevens coming into this MAC tournament. They were on a bit of a hot streak coming in which is why I picked them to go the distance in my bracket. Obviously, it was a down year for the program. For the next couple of years, I’d surmise that the MAC will be up for grabs. But, Stevens is a prestigious school and will attract talent from all across the country solely for academic purposes. In a few years, I’d say Stevens will be running the MAC.
Ramius: I’m not exactly too sure on this front. Stevens is a great school and has a strong athletics program so it’s really easy to get good recruits there. Coach Buehring is a good coach with a demonstrated success at program building from his time at Benedictine, and he came into Stevens this year rather late in the hiring season after Dorywalksi retired. I think this is more likely just a blip than it is a downfall. It may not be next year, but I think within two the Stevens powerhouse returns.
Question 3: Rank the three following freshman setters (two of whom got wins tonight) by who you would most want to start your program with. Reese Ganter (Juniata), Anthony Kryzkowski (Wentworth), Gene McNulty (Carthage)
Harvey: I think all three coaches are thrilled with having these young men at the helm of their offenses and programs, I would be most excited about Anthony Kryzkowski. I think he has done a great job elevating the Wentworth attackers to a new level. He comes from the same high school as Wentworth’s former All-American setter Collin Ritter so we have reason to project similar development. He played maturely beyond his years in last weeks upset over Endicott and will be able to continue to grow with some of Wentworth’s nice young pieces, making them a program to watch in 2022.
Ganter and McNulty both have a few more pieces around them. Ganter has the unique opportunity to have two high school teammates at the collegiate level, as well as the country’s top middle in Kevin Duffy. McNulty has the nation’s best outside as an outlet as well as some of the top talent in the midwest.
Bradley: Reese Ganter – Gene McNulty – Anthony Kryzkowski.
Ramius: Honestly I’d want all of them on my team and don’t want them at the same time. Ganter catches my eye the most out of all three because I often see him make blockers look very stupid, McNulty doesn’t seem flashy because he’s playing on Carthage but he makes Carthage much better, and Kryzkowski is (IMO) the best of the three in terms of technique, build, and athleticism. These young men are going to be battling each other for the remainder of their careers as the standout setters of this class (and Austin Richards).
My biggest issue with choosing any of them right now is that not a single one of them is jump serving in matches and that is simply not a serving style I can get behind with the way the game is evolving. My team would need to attack from the service line on every rotation and float-serves just don’t do that. While I’d be happy with any of them, if forced to choose I’m probably going with Kryzkowski.
Question 4: Which of Saturday’s match-ups are you looking forward to the most?
- LBC @ Springfield x2
- Stevenson @ Messiah
- Juniata @ Southern Virginia
- NACC Final
- UVC Final
Harvey: Lancaster Bible at Springfield. These matches mean a lot. By the time of first serve, the Pride will have played one match in the last month and LBC hasn’t played a “quality opponent” since February 20th. Both of these teams will be shaking off some rust while also proving they belong in the discussion for NCAA Tournament Pool B bid
Bradley: This is a very good question. Obviously, being a New Paltz alumnus, I am looking forward to the UVC final the most. Beyond my UVC bias, I am looking forward to Juniata vs. SVU. I think this game holds a lot of potential for Juniata. I touched on this a little before, but getting those freshmen into an NCAA tournament would be huge for the program. If they win the CVC this year, I could picture them doing some serious damage next year since they will be graduating no starters. I am also interested in seeing Springfield get back on the court to see how strong they will look after this lengthy break.
Ramius: This answer is largely dependent on the UVC final. If the UVC final is New Paltz vs Vassar (which is very likely given the the rumored Covid issues hindering Nazareth right now), it becomes my must watch match given the battles that have occured between Vassar and New Paltz this year. If it’s not New Paltz vs Vassar, I’m looking at the NACC final. The money favorite match up is Benedictine vs Dominican, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Aurora pulled an upset in the semis over the eagles (sorry CUW, I would be very surprised if you pulled off the upset in the semis, but I hope you can prove me wrong again!). The NACC final should be fireworks, and I’ve had it penciled into my must see game all season.