The presence of NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball will be felt at one of the biggest European events.
Six current college players – Hawai’i’s Spyros Chakas, Dimitrios Mouchlias and Jakob Thelle; NJIT’s Martin de Chavarria and Jens Feldthus; and Ohio State’s Sotiris Siapanis – will all compete in the 2023 EuroVolley qualification tournament.
Chakas and Mouchlias after helping lead the Rainbow Warriors to their second consecutive NCAA championship joined Greece for the international tournament that started this week.
Mouchlias finished last season in the NCAA’s top 25 with a 3.59 kills per game average on a .354 attack percentage. The opposite also had 11 kills and zero errors on a .500 attack percentage in a sweep against Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament finals.
Chakas was among the national leaders averaging both 0.45 aces per game and 3.34 kills per game. In addition, the outside attacker had double-digit kills in all five postseason matches for the Rainbow Warriors.
The two pin-hitters’ teammate Thelle will play for Norway at the EuroVolley.
Thelle, a finalist for the Lloy Ball Award as the NCAA’s top setter, guided the Rainbow Warriors to the fifth-best attack percentage at .340. The senior also led the NCAA with both 61 aces and a 0.59 aces per game average.
de Chavarria joins Spain after ending last season fourth in the NCAA with a 1.23 blocks per game average. The middle attacker had a career-high .435 attack percentage – the third consecutive season hitting at least .400.
Feldthus was among NJIT’s leaders in 2022 with a 2.52 kills per game average and was in the EIVA’s top 10 averaging 0.33 aces per game. In addition, Feldthus had double-digit kills in two postseason matches as the Highlanders reached the EIVA Tournament finals.
Siapanis returns to the court for Cyprus after missing the entire 2022 season. The outside attacker in 2021 was a Freshman All-American and was eighth in the nation with a 4.12 kills per game average.
The qualification tournament will continue throughout August. The top 12 teams at the end of this qualifier will advance to the 2023 EuroVolley.