Loyola unveils highly touted recruiting class

Photo courtesy of Loyola athletics

Loyola continued to maintain its national recruiting footprint — and is even now expanding into Europe.

Coach Mark Hulse announced Thursday that high school seniors Jonathan Drysdale-Anderson, Josh Gottlieb, Dan Mangun, Jack Martel, Ben Motplaisir, Matt Oakley, Justin Ross and Parker Van Buren have all signed national letters of intent to play for the Ramblers starting in 2021.

“This is a big class for us, not just in numbers, but in potential,” Hulse said in a statement. “It is full of big physical guys, high volleyball IQ’s, and a collective desire to compete for national championships. The group gives us added depth, physicality, and competition at every position, not to mention eight special and motivated young men who will continue to uphold the high standards of our program. We’re honored to have them aboard and we’re looking forward to watching them develop.”

Drysdale-Anderson, a 6-foot-5 opposite from Surrey, England, was a three-time most valuable player at the annual International Schools Sports Tournament and was the 2019 most valuable player of the ISSA Conference European Volleyball Tournament. In addition, Drysdale-Anderson won the most valuable player award three times at England’s national championships.

Gottlieb, a 6-foot-6 outside attacker and opposite from Wheaton, Illinois, was a first-team all-area selection and an all-state honorable mention with his high school team earlier this year. He also led his club team to a fifth-place finish at the 2019 USA Volleyball Boys National Championship.

Mangun, a 6-foot-4 setter from Joliet, Illinois, is a two-time all-conference selection and made the 2018 all-area team. In addition, Mangun was a member of the U.S. Boys’ Youth A1 National Team earlier this year.

Martel, a 6-foot-6 middle attacker from St. Louis, earned all-district honors as he finished the 2019 high school season with a 3.46 kills per game average. The two-sport high school athlete also averaged 0.82 blocks per game.

Montplaisir, a 6-foot-6 middle attacker from Irvine, California, made the all-state team in 2019 and helped lead his high school to the state playoffs for the first time in eight years. The two-time team captain also was a first-team all-conference selection.

Oakley, a 6-foot-1 libero from Carlsbad, California, set his high school’s record for career digs and helped the team win three consecutive conference championships. The libero also was a two-time selection to the USA Volleyball High Performance National Training Program.

Ross, a 6-foot-8 middle attacker from Buffalo Grove, Illinois, helped his club team earn a top-15 finish at the 2019 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championship. He also earned all-area and all-conference honors with his high school team last season.

Van Buren, a 6-foot-9 outside attacker from Cross Plains, Wisconsin, was a first-team all-state selection and the conference player of the year as he set the school’s single-season record with 509 kills. This was the second consecutive season that Van Buren earned all-state honors.

Loyola finished last season ranked in the nation’s top 10 and reached the MIVA Tournament finals. Among the starters returning for the Ramblers in 2020 includes all-conference setter Garrett Zolg.