The building process for the newest NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team now includes one of the top recruits from Puerto Rico and multiple high school champions.
Daemen College recently announced that it signed seven high school players to be part of its inaugural season in 2019.
“I am very excited about our first recruiting class for the Daemen College men’s volleyball program,” coach Don Gleason said in a statement. “There is no doubt that they can all play at a high level, but more importantly, they connected with the vision we’ve established for this program. Building a championship culture from the ground up will truly be a team effort, and I believe these young men have the maturity and drive to do so.”
Gleason was named the program’s head coach in May 2017. Daemen is a NCAA Division II school located in Amherst, New York, and is the first Northeast college in more than a decade to add a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball program.
Three of the seven recruits for Daeman are middle attackers.
Randy Perez, a 6-foot-6 middle attacker from San Juan, Puerto Rico, was a member of the Puerto Rican Youth National Team that competed at the 2017 FIVB U19 World Championship. Perez was among the leaders in that international tournament with a 0.50 blocks per game average and was fifth on Puerto Rico with 31 kills.
Jesse Donorovich, a 6-foot-5 middle attacker from Lockport, New York, earned back-to-back All-Western New York honors with his high school team. Donorovich during those two years led the team to undefeated conference seasons and a section championship as a senior.
Jahari Winkfield, 6-foot-4 middle attacker from Oswego, Illinois, was an all-conference selection as a junior. Winkfield played three seasons for his high school’s varsity boys’ volleyball team.
Ryan Beck, a 5-foot-10 libero from Pittsburgh, ended his high school career helping his team reach the state finals. Beck also earned the high school scholar-athlete award three times.
Jaden Gillette, a 5-foot-10 libero Spencerport, New York, was a first-team all-county selection in his senior season. In addition, Gillette helped his high school team win back-to-back conference and section championships.
Kyle Kon, a 6-foot-2 outside attacker from Oswego, New York, helped his team reach the state finals all four season while in high school. He also was a first-team all-conference selection for three seasons.
Michael Krueger, a 6-foot-2 setter from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, earned all-section honors as a junior and senior. He also served as the captain for his high school team during the last three seasons.
Daemen has yet to release its 2019 schedule and will compete its inaugural season as an independent team without a conference affiliation.