What a July it’s been! From the Pottstown Rumble, BJNC, my (Ramius) Volleyball Vacation in Wisconsin, there’s been no shortage of Volleyball events to cover or talk about. The 2022 D3VB season creeps ever closer, and with that the debut of several new faces in the landscape. It’s my privilege to bring you Part III of our impact recruit piece, where we take a look at a few faces who have the potential to make a name for themselves in their very first season.
The list below is by no means exhaustive, and is displayed in alphabetical order so no one should be saying they are “ranked” in any meaningful way. For emphasis, do not email us asking “why was my son not listed” (looking at you parents!), my response will be incredibly snarky.
Buddy Cohen (Middle Blocker, NYU)
Buddy Cohen looked very impressive at BJNC, and I can only imagine Coach Pina and the NYU staff are happy about that. Fresh off winning Gold at BJNC with Balboa Bay VC, Buddy displayed many of the traits that make him an enticing MH2 prospect. He went pin to pin, he read well, and he hustled.
He’s a little limited offensively for now to challenge for the MH1 against Tyler Flood, but Buddy will easily helps shore up the middle of the court with the departure of All-American Neil Ferraro. NYU may have been absent from 2021, but they’ll be returning in full force come 2022.
Mitchell Hester (Middle Hitter, NCC)
Things are always bigger down in Texas, and Mitchell Hester is big. A 6’7 prospect with a heavy arm, Hester is the rawest and possibly most unknown prospect of the athletes I’ve listed. He will need to improve his spacing on offense and hand work at the net to compete with the top teams, but he will still easily contend for the MH2 role on this Cardinals team. Tall beats all in our world, and the extra physicality makes the Cardinals even bigger as they gear up to challenge reigning CCIW/NCAA Champion Carthage.
David Markes (Middle Hitter, Carthage)
The Reigning national champions gain a unique weapon in David Markes. Of all the things I love in volleyball, offensively active middles are high on the list, and Markes is definitely checking that box (notice I use the term Middle Hitter, not Middle Blocker). The hustle, athleticism, and speed are there… and they’re all going to Carthage.
He has elite size, power, and an impressive BIC for a Middle. Coach JW is known to be creative, and I can only guarantee he’ll be attempting to use this offensive versatility everywhere he can. Assuming Markes breaks into the starting lineup, I could easily see he and Bulthuis becoming the most formidable middle duo in D3VB, which should terrify everyone on the Firebirds path to repeat.
Grant Oh (Outside Hitter, MIT)
The third MIT recruit to hit this series, Grant Oh is probably one of the more interesting prospects I have researched this year. Grant has a strikingly smooth playstyle, which is incredibly deceptive. The smoothness of his game makes you think initially there is nothing special, but the ball control and efficiency are never the bench raising plays.
I watched him pass nails during the BJNC Gold Medal match, and the pressure of the moment didn’t seem to phase him. You can’t teach that, and it’s a quality which will come in handy as MIT looks to break out in 2022. He has the largest hill to climb in his first season at MIT given their depth at OH, but the talent is there to break into the starting line-up.
Jordan Shinaut (Opposite/Middle, Lasell)
Coach Vautrin definitely had a theme this year with his recruit class, as he has brought in a group of talented, physical players. Of them all, Jordan Shinaut caught my eye the most. He has the frame and potential to grow into a top tier opposite in D3VB. His ability to terminate balls is his biggest attribute coming into this season, as the Lasers only hit .145 as a team last year. They are in need of terminal attackers who can efficiently score points. Jordan will be an option in this regard to make some noise.
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