At the end of every season, teams must say farewell to the graduating talent. A new season brings fresh talent to the court. Loyola’s men’s volleyball team is welcoming seven new players to its roster, including six who were recognized as Volleyball Magazine’s “Fab 50” seniors for 2015.
Six games into the season, first-years Colin Mahan, Will Tischler and Dane Leclair have had substantial amounts of playing time and have proven to be beneficial for the Ramblers.
Mahan brings an impressive résumé to Loyola’s roster as a first-year. The 6-foot-5-inch outside hitter from Victor, New York, was named All-Greater Rochester Boys Volleyball Player of the Year in 2015 and Most Valuable Player of the Division II high school state tournament in 2014 and 2015. He was also selected to the 2015 USA Boys’ Youth National Team.
Since becoming a Rambler, Mahan, who earned his third collegiate start against the University of Charleston on Jan. 23, has 21 kills on the season and a .447 hitting percentage.
Tischler played for Sports Performance — the same volleyball club sophomores Jeff Jendryk, Ricky Gevis and Jake Selsky played for prior to college. The 6-foot-7-inch outside hitter led Downers Grove South High School to its 2013 state title and was named to the Boys’ Junior National Championship All-Tournament Team in 2015. Tischler has played in 10 sets and has 11 kills as a Rambler.
Leclair, a Pittsford, New York, native, is a talented setter, according to head coach Mark Hulse. The 6-foot-4-inch setter was selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association First Team Boys’ High School Senior All-American and 2015 USA Boys’ Youth National Team.
The three rookies agreed that the transition from club to collegiate volleyball can be challenging.
“The game is faster,” said Mahan. “You have to be on it the whole game. You can’t just take some points off at the higher level.”
Mahan added that energy and enthusiasm from a larger fan base brings an increased intensity to the game.
The mentality of playing at a Division I school is something Tischler said he had to work on when he first became a Rambler.
“What makes a huge difference is the mental edge in this part of the game,” said Tischler. “In [college volleyball], you really have to be dialed in and you can’t let plays get to you at all.”
The first-year players also acknowledged that their transitions from club to collegiate volleyball went more smoothly thanks to the help of the veteran players.
Loyola’s coaching staff continues to recruit talented athletes to join the men’s volleyball program.