BYU, Fort Wayne, Hawai’i, NJIT players compete in European League

Photo courtesy of Hawai’i athletics

Four college men’s volleyball players are spending this summer competing in one of the most prestigious European international tournaments.

NJIT’s Alvaro Gimeno, BYU’s Miki Jauhianien, Fort Wayne’s Frederico Santos and Hawai’i’s Stijn van Tilburg are all on their nations’ rosters for the 2018 Golden European League.

The Golden European League is a monthlong competition that started last week and features the national teams from 12 countries. In addition, the top-four teams after the six-match league play round advance to the final round that begins on June 13.

Gimeno is one of the youngest players on the Spanish roster for the European League. As a freshman with NJIT, Gimeno was among the NCAA leaders with a 3.29 kills per game average and was named the 2018 EIVA Newcomer of the Year.

Jauhianien rejoins the Finish Men’s National Team after competing for his country in the FIVB World League last year. The middle attacker was second on BYU with a 0.87 blocks per game average and had a career-high 76 blocks to help the Cougars reach the VolleyFour.

Santos is one of four setters on the roster for Portugal. In his freshman season with Fort Wayne, Santos was the back-up setter but did come off the bench and had 43 assists in a five-game comeback victory against McKendree in February.

van Tilburg is playing for the Netherlands after he was sixth in the NCAA averaging 3.93 kills per game and in the NCAA’s top 20 with a .328 attack percentage last season. The All-American and International Player of the Year finalist also had at least 20 kills in four regular season matches as he helped the Rainbow Warriors finish in second place in the Big West and No. 5 in the national coaches poll.

The Netherlands halfway through the league play round is in third place in Pool B. Finland and Portugal are tied for first place in Pool C, while Spain trails by one match and is in third place.