Off the Block unveils Loyola All-Decade Starting Lineup

Photo courtesy of Loyola athletics

Some of the best players in Loyola program history are concluding the decade with an additional college men’s volleyball honor.

Off the Block announced on Wednesday the seven players selected to the Loyola 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.

Loyola in 2014 won the program’s first NCAA championship and then repeated as national champions the following year. In addition, the Ramblers made the NCAA Tournament three times and reached MIVA Tournament finals six times during the decade.

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.

Loyola All-Decade Starting Lineup presented by Off the Block

Setter: Peter Hutz
Opposite: Joseph Smalzer
Outside attacker: Thomas Jaeschke
Outside attacker: Mike Bunting
Middle attacker: Jeff Jendryk
Middle attacker: Nicholas Olson
Libero: Peter Jasaitis
Coming off the bench: Cody Caldwell, Collin Mahan, Garrett Zolg

Mike Bunting (2009-12)
Awards and honors this decade:
2010 First-Team All-MIVA, 2010 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2011 Second-Team All-American, 2011 Off the Block Fan Choice National Player of the Year, 2011 First-Team All-MIVA, 2011 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2012 First-Team All-MIVA
Bunting remains in the program’s top five all-time with 1,349 career kills. The outside attacker finished the 2011 season eighth in the nation with a 4.21 kills per game average on a career-high .372 attack percentage, including having a match-high 21 kills in an upset victory against then-No. 2 BYU. This also was the first of two seasons that Bunting was among the national leaders for kills. Bunting as a senior had double-digit kills in 18 matches and was in the nation’s top 15 averaging 3.64 kills per game.

Peter Hutz (2013-16)
Awards and honors:
2014 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2014 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 Second-Team All-American, 2015 Lloy Ball Award finalist, 2015 First-Team All-MIVA, 2015 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2016 All-American Honorable Mention, 2016 First-Team All-MIVA
Hutz guided Loyola to the nation’s best attack percentage in back-to-back seasons en route to winning back-to-back national championships. Hunt in 2014 was third in the country with an 11.42 assists per game average as he guided the Ramblers offense to a .366 attack percentage, including the team hitting .452 in its NCAA Tournament finals victory. The Ramblers also hit .350 and Hutz averaged 11.26 assists per game during the team’s 2015 championship season. Along with his offensive performance, Hutz had more than 600 career digs and 200 career blocks.

Thomas Jaeschke (2013-15)
Awards and honors: 2013 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2014 First-Team All-American, 2014 MIVA Player of the Year, 2014 First-Team All-MIVA, 2014 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 National Player of the Year, 2015 First-Team All-American, 2015 Off the Block National Server of the Year, 2015 Karch Kiraly Award finalist, 2015 MIVA Player of the Year, 2015 First-Team All-MIVA, 2015 MIVA Tournament Most Valuable Player, 2015 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2015 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Jaeschke as a junior — his final year at Loyola before declaring pro — finished fifth in the nation with a career-best 4.04 kills per game average and led the country with a 0.57 aces per game average. In addition, the outside attacker had both a team-high 20 kills and three aces in Loyola’s five-game overtime victory against Lewis in the NCAA Tournament finals. Jaeschke in 2014 was in the nation’s top 20 with both a 3.73 kills per game average and a career-best .397 attack percentage as Loyola won its first national title in program history. The outside attacker also concluded his three-year career seventh in program history with a .371 attack percentage.

Peter Jasaitis (2011-14)
Awards and honors:
2012 First-Team All-MIVA, 2014 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Jasaitis set the program record during the rally scoring era with 730 career digs. The libero ended the 2012 season second in the nation with a career-best 2.73 digs per game average and had at least 15 digs in five matches. As a senior en route to Loyola’s first NCAA championship, Jasaitis had a match-high 13 digs against Lewis in the MIVA Tournament finals and 12 digs against Penn State in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Jeff Jendryk (2015-18)
Awards and honors:
2015 National Newcomer of the Year, 2015 Off the Block Freshman All-American, 2015 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2015 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2015 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2016 Second-Team All-American, 2016 Ryan Millar Award finalists, 2016 First-Team All-MIVA, 2017 First-Team All-American, 2017 Ryan Millar Award finalist, 2017 Off the Block National Blocker of the Year finalist, 2017 First-Team All-MIVA, 2018 First-Team All-American, 2018 Ryan Millar Award finalist, 2018 First-Team All-MIVA
Jendryk finished each of his final three seasons in the nation’s top five for attack percentage and remains second in program history with a .449 career attack percentage. As a freshman, Jendryk had a season-high 17 kills while hitting .500 in a five-game victory against Lewis in the 2015 NCAA Tournament finals. Jendryk during his senior season was second in the nation with a .457 attack percentage and had double-digit kills in 10 matches. The future U.S. Men’s National Team middle attacker also was third in program history with 424 career blocks, including being seventh in the nation with a 1.16 blocks per game average in 2017.

Nicholas Olson (2013-16)
Awards and honors:
2014 All-American Honorable Mention, 2014 Second-Team All-MIVA, 2016 All-American Honorable Mention, 2016 Second-Team All-MIVA
Olson concluded his college career tied with Jendryk for third in program history with 424 blocks. The middle attacker finished the 2015 season fourth in the nation averaging 1.38 blocks per game, including having a combined 20 blocks in three NCAA Tournament matches to help the Ramblers repeat as national champions. He also had a career-best .552 attack percentage in that junior season — his second consecutive year hitting more than .500. Olson ended his time at Loyola with a .472 career attack percentage and had double-digit kills in nine career matches.

Joseph Smalzer (2011-14)
Awards and honors:
2011 First-Team All-MIVA, 2011 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2012 Second-Team All-American, 2012 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 Second-Team All-American, 2013 MIVA Player of the Year, 2013 Off the Block National Server of the Year 2013 First-Team All-MIVA, 2013 MIVA Tournament Most Valuable Player, 2013 MIVA All-Tournament Team, 2014 Off the Block National Server of the Year, 2014 All-American Honorable Mention, 2014 First-Team All-MIVA, 2014 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2014 MIVA Tournament Most Valuable Player, 2014 MIVA All-Tournament Team
Smalzer set the Loyola record with 234 career aces — nearly 100 more aces than any other player in program history. The opposite had a nation-best 0.65 aces per game average in 2013 as he helped lead the Ramblers to a MIVA championship. Smalzer during his senior season also was second in the nation averaging 0.64 aces per game, including having two aces in a NCAA Tournament semifinals victory against Penn State. Along with his serving, Smalzer is fourth in program history with 1,424 career kills. Highlighting his offensive performances was finishing sixth in the nation with a 3.81 kills per game average in 2013.