All-MIVA starters Vargas, Diedrich to return to Mastodons for 2021 season

Photo courtest of Purdue Fort Wayne athletics

Two senior starters who have been multiple-time All-MIVA recipients are heading back to Purdue Fort Wayne for the 2021 season.

The Mastodons announced Monday that outside attacker Pelegrin Vargas and middle attacker Richie Diedrich have both opted to spend an additional season playing college men’s volleyball.

The NCAA granted men’s volleyball players an extra year of eligibility after the remainder of the 2020 season was canceled in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. This eligible ruling, which applied to all student-athletes in spring sports, resulted in seniors being able to return for the 2021 season.

Vargas led the MIVA and was fourth in the nation with a 4.38 kills per game average last season en route to being an All-American Honorable Mention for the third straight year.

Despite missing the first week of the season because he was playing with the Puerto Rican Men’s National Team, Vargas had at least 15 kills in nine matches. Among his top performances included a match-high 17 kills on a .417 attack percentage in a four-game victory against Ohio State.

Vargas also is 107 kills away from moving into the top-10 all-time in program history for career kills.

Diedrich the shortened 2020 season finished fifth in the nation averaging 1.26 blocks per game, including having a season-high 12 blocks in a road win versus George Mason. In addition, the Second-Team All-MIVA selection had a career-best .367 attack percentage and hit at least .500 in four conference matches.

Purdue Fort Wayne was ranked in the top 10 of both the national coaches poll and national media poll during the first month of the season. The Mastodons, though, fell out of the national rankings and were in sixth place in the MIVA when the season was canceled.