Highly touted middle highlights new UC Irvine recruiting class

A middle attacker who helped the United States win a gold medal at the recent U21 NORCECA Continental Championship along with three all-conference high school players will join UC Irvine.

UC Irvine coach David Kniffin announced last week that high school graduates Sean Dennis, Zack Mills, Patrick Sohacki, Scott Stadick and Austin Wilmont have all committed to play for the Anteaters beginning in 2017.


Stadick had six kills on a .400 attack percentage as the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team defeated Cuba in the gold medal match at the U21 NORCECA Continental Championship to earn a berth to the 2017 U21 FIVB World Championship. The 7-foot middle attacker from Watertown, Wisconsin, also helped the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team to a seventh-place finish at U19 FIVB World Championship last year and was named the Best Blocker at the international tournament.

“Scott’s playing resume speaks for itself. He has also been accepted into the ultra-selective Paul Merage School of Business,” Kniffin said in a statement. “He will bear the weight of huge expectations on the court, in the classroom and in the community. He embodies everything I could ask for in a No. 1 recruit and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to walk with him on his journey.”

Sohacki, a 6-foot-6 opposite and outside attacker from Chula Vista, California, was a first-team all-conference selection as he led his high school team to its first league championship in almost a decade. In addition, Sohacki earned Second-Team All-San Diego Section honors and with his club team was named the Team Impact Player of the Year.

Wilmot, a 6-foot-9 outside attacker from Los Angeles, was selected to the first-team all-conference as a high school senior. He also led his high school team to a first-round appearance in the 2016 California state tournament.

Mills, a 6-foot-5 opposite and outside attacker from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, was a two-time all-conference recipient in high school. Along with his high school team, he helped his club team win a gold medal at the 2014 USA Volleyball Junior National Championships.

Dennis, a 6-foot-11 middle attacker from La Verne, California, helped guide his club volleyball team to a silver medal at the SCVA Junior Boys Classic earlier this year.

UC Irvine one year removed from reaching in the NCAA Tournament semifinals finished last season in eighth place in the MPSF and lost in the conference tournament quarterfinals. The Anteaters return a majority of starters for the upcoming season including All-American opposite Tamir Hershko, who was injured for most of the 2016 season.