Per usual, I couldn’t spend anymore time sitting on the sideline as Ramius continues to overlook some of the future top performers in college volleyball, last year I brought you names like Tim Flanagan, Ryan Givens, and well… don’t worry about the others. So let’s take a look at the future stars when 2023 rolls around.
Note from Ramius – the players featured aren’t ranked in any meaningful order, as we at FrogJump do not rank incoming recruits. Parents, do not email us asking “why was my athlete not listed”… you will not like my response.
Brayden Green – Setter – Wentworth Institute of Technology
Wentworth had one of the more surprising campaigns in 2022. Despite tabbing Jacob LaBouliere (All-American Outside Hitter) as one of my breakout candidates, even I was surprised to see the Leopards advance to the Final 4. The Leopards will lose First Team All-American Connor Adams to graduation, and Coach Giglio may have found his replacement down south in Brayden Green.
Green is a setter with a tremendous combination of location and tempo, two major keys when you have All-Americans like LaBouliere and Hunter Oshman on the pins. The Ocean Bay setter has the ability to keep his middles involved offensively. This should help the Leopards return to the NCAA Final Four, or beyond.
Tyler Hoke – Middle Blocker – Stevens Institute of Technology
Coach Buehring had the Ducks quacking in 2022, returning to the NCAA Final Four for the first time since 2019. The Ducks were able to get there with incredible team defense, finishing 2nd nationally in Blocks/Set. All-American Middle Blocker Connor Feulner was a key part of this success at the net, ranking 2nd individually in blocks/set for the Ducks.
Stevens was able to to do this despite a revolving door at the M2 position, which is where Tyler Hoke has an opportunity this year. An alumnus of PREVAIL Volleyball club, Hoke is a long, explosive athlete who will pair well with Feulner with his offensive prowess and defensive presence – keeping the Ducks in the national discussion again this year.
Michael Greco – Middle Blocker – Dominican University
Dominican has a lot of change coming their way. They graduated the most successful class of athletes in program history, losing All-Americans Jack McGuire, Mat Molloy and George Kougan. Midwest standout Will Craft was just named Head Coach for the Stars, and will need to replace the production of this trio of players somewhere.
Greco has the opportunity to slot in at the Middle and pickup right where Molloy left off with River Forrest Roofing Co. A potent offensive weapon with great size, I would not be surprised to see Greco shining for the Stars and Coach Craft.
Gabe LaRobardiere – Opposite – St. John Fisher College
The Cardinals are another team that surprised many (not me – check the receipts from Pond Talk Week 11), winning the UVC to earn their first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. They did this with their primary offense coming from the two outsides Josh Bigford and Jake Baker.
The arrival of LaRobardiere gives Coach England a lot of options to complement the pins. The big armed attacker from Syracuse Volleyball Club hits a heavy ball, something every coach loves on the right side. I think his build and play style will help absorb more volume from Baker and Bigford (they took 54% of team’s attacks) and will be a welcome outlet for the next conductor of the Cardinal offense, likely Evan Ingerick.
Jasper Schultz – Outside Hitter – Lasell University
You could make an argument Lasell was the breakout program of 2022, after a slow start to the season they handed Springfield their only regular season loss. They followed this up with a big win over GNAC rival Wentworth before petering out toward the end of the regular season. Jordan Shinaut and Brenden Joyce carried the offensive load for the Lasers combining for over 6 kills/set. Freshman Theo Zaharewicz brings a lot of size to the net for Lasell but his offensive production was a bit inconsistent and he was subbed out in the back row.
Schultz has the chance to be a high volume attacker to help balance the offense, and play in the back row to bring another BIC threat for Coach Vautrin. The SMASH outside hitter may not have the same raw size, but is a vertical attacker who can give Garcia another tool on offense to utilize as the Lasers chase down aforementioned WIT in the GNAC.
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