The reigning National Player of the Year will not be part of Loyola’s attempt next season at pulling off a national championship three-peat.
All-American outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke announced Tuesday that he will forego his senior season and play professionally in the Polish Volleyball League.
Jaeschke, a two-time All-American, finished last season in the nation’s top five with a 4.04 kills per game average as the Ramblers repeated as NCAA champions. In addition, the outside attacker was selected as the 2015 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year and became the first MIVA player to earn the AVCA National Player of the Year.
“I’ve enjoyed every second at Loyola,” Jaeschke said in a statement. “It is a school that took a chance on me when few teams recruited me and I’ll always be grateful for that. The program set me up for success in every way possible. I can’t express how much Loyola means to me and it will always be an experience I look on positively. I’m extremely excited for the next chapter in my life.”
Along with his college success, Jaeschke was selected to the U.S. roster for the FIVB World League and helped the United States reach the upcoming league finals.
Jaeschke will play professionally for Asseco Resovia, which has won seven Polish Championships in its club’s history.
“We certainly wish Thomas nothing but the best as he enters the next phase of his playing career,” Loyola coach Shane Davis said in a statement. “He is a two-time national champion and was a terrific representative of Loyola both on and off the court. Our guys are excited for the unique opportunity ahead of them next season, to contend for a third consecutive national championship.”
This is not the first time in recent years a college men’s volleyball player as a junior won the National Player of the Year and then opted to forego his senior season. Former Penn State All-American outside attacker Matt Anderson turned professionally one year early after leading the Nittany Lions to the 2008 NCAA title.
Despite the loss of Jaeschke, the Ramblers return a majority of starters from last season’s championship team. Among those returning includes All-American setter Peter Hutz Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American middle attacker Jeff Jendryk.