Jonathan Bates | Associate Editor
The best Princeton players at their positions during the decade are receiving a college men’s volleyball honor.
Off the Block announced on Friday the seven players selected to the Princeton All-Decade Starting Lineup presented by Off the Block.
The All-Decade Starting Lineup recognizes the best players to compete with a team since 2010. Similar to the starting lineup for a match, the All-Decade honor is comprised of a setter, opposite and libero* along with two outside attackers and middle attackers.
The Off the Block staff determined the All-Decade Starting Lineup using a variety of factors including career statistical performance and the team’s overall success when a player was a member of the program.
This is also part of a series from Off the Block to celebrate the end of the decade in college men’s volleyball. Off the Block throughout the rest of 2019 will release an All-Decade Starting Lineup for every NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team.
Princeton made to the EIVA tournament finals four times during the decade, culminating with winning the tournament in 2019 in five games over Penn State.
Off the Block is a national award-winning website that was established in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball.
Princeton All-Decade Starting Lineup presented by Off the Block
Setter: Joe Kelly
Opposite: George Huhmann
Outside attacker: Cody Kessel
Outside attacker: Parker Dixon
Middle attacker: Junior Oboh
Middle attacker: Michael Dye
Libero: Tony Ensbury
Bench: Pat Schwagler
Bench: Devin Stearns
Bench: Will Siroky
Joe Kelly (2017-)
Awards and honors: 2019 Second-Team All-EIVA
This was most contested position on the Princeton all-decade team, as we also considered going with Scott Liljestrom and Chris Kennedy. Kelly led the 2018 and 2019 Princeton teams with 930 assists and 1130 assists respectively. A testament to Kelly’s setting is the fact that four of his teammates were received All-EIVA honors in 2019.
George Huhmann (2017-)
Awards and honors: 2017 First-Team All-EIVA, 2017 EIVA Newcomer of the Year, 2018 First-Team All-EIVA, 2018 All-American Honorable Mention, 2019 Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Player of the Year, 2019 All-American Honorable Mention
There might be a debate as to whether he’s a middle attacker or an opposite, but there is no debating his accomplishments. He led the 2018 and 2019 team in kills and kills per game. He also led the 2017 and 2019 teams with 99 blocks each season and led the 2018 team with 33 aces. In three seasons so far, Huhmann has tallied 957 kills good for a 3.05 kills per game average; he also has a career .329 attack percentage.
Cody Kessel (2012-15)
Awards and honors: 2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2012 EIVA Newcomer of the Year, 2013 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 All-American Honorable Mention, 2015 First-Team All-EIVA, 2015 Second-Team All-American
Kessel was the third Princeton player ever named to an All-American team (Marin Gjaja in 1991, Derek Devens in 1998). He led the 2014 and 2015 teams in kills, kills per game, and points. He also led the 2015 team in aces with 20. Kessell ended in Princeton career with 1,175 career kills good for a 3.71 kills per game average.
Parker Dixon (2017-)
Awards and honors: 2017 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2019 First-Team All-EIVA, 2019 All-American Honorable Mention
We debated whether to go with Dixon or Pat Schwagler (2010 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2010 EIVA Newcomer of the Year, 2013 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 Second-Team All-EIVA) with the second starting outside attacker spot, but the edge went to Dixon because he was named an All-American and because he was part of a conference-winning team. Dixon led the 2017 team with 289 kills and a 2.86 kills per game average. In three seasons so far, Dixon has a total of 906 career kills, good for a 2.85 kills per game average.
Junior Oboh (2014-18)
Awards and honors: 2015 First-Team All-EIVA, 2017 First-Team All-EIVA, 2018 Second-Team All-EIVA
The middle attacker may be known as the first collegiate men’s volleyball player to grant an in-match interview. Oboh led the Tigers in 2014 and 2015 in blocks, while leading the 2016 and 2017 teams in attack percentage. He finished his Princeton career with a .373 attack percentage and a 1.06 blocks per game average.
Michael Dye (2010-13)
Awards and honors: 2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2013 Second-Team All-EIVA
The second starting middle attacker spot came down to Dye and Siroky. Dye led the 2012 team with 26 aces and led the 2013 team with 76 blocks and a .305 attack percentage. Dye finished his Princeton career with a .313 attack percentage and 280 blocks.
Tony Ensbury (2012-15)
Awards and honors: 2014 First-Team All-EIVA
While Huhmann and Kessel were no-brainer picks to be on the Princeton all-decade starting team, Ensbury might have been the easiest selection as no other liberos were even considered for this spot. Ensbury led the Tigers in digs in each of the four years at Princeton, and finished with a total of 730 career digs.