April 16, 2014

Loyola Chicago's Thomas Jaeschke Named MIVA Player of the Year

SAN MARCOS, Texas -- The Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association has announced its all-conference selections for the 2014 season. By way of vote through the eight conference coaches, Thomas Jaeschke of Loyola Chicago has been named the MIVA Player of the Year. Driss Guessous has been named the MIVA Freshman of the Year and Loyola Chicago's Shane Davis has been recognized as the MIVA Coach of the Year after leading Loyola Chicago to a perfect 14-0 conference record.

Jaeschke backs up his stellar freshman season where he earned the MIVA Freshman of the Year award by leading the Loyola Chicago Ramblers to a 14-0 record in the MIVA conference as well as a 24-1 mark overall, a mark that put them at No. 1 in the nation for the last 10 straight weeks.  In conference standings, Jaeschke recorded 3.98 kills per set along with hitting at a .397 mark. Along with Joe Smalzer, Jaeschke leads the Ramblers in kills with 258 for the season.

Guessous, a redshirt freshman from Pasadena, Calif., led the conference with a hitting percentage of .446 in all matches and finished third with a mark of .413 in conference action. Guessous averaged 2.33 kills per set and 0.84 blocks per set in conference competition. Guessous also earned the MIVA Defensive Player of the Week award earlier this season.

After leading the Loyola Chicago Ramblers to a MIVA Tournament Championship and NCAA bid in 2013, head coach Shane Davis has led the Ramblers to being the No. 1 team in the nation with a 24-1 overall record and perfect 14-0 conference record. This season, the Ramblers have only lost 14 total sets and their lone loss of the season came to then-No. 11 USC in the third match of the season. Since, the Ramblers are riding on a 22-match winning streak. Loyola Chicago started the season at No. 7 in the preseason poll and have now spent a total of 11 weeks at No. 1.

Lewis led the way with five selections on the all-conference teams while Loyola Chicago and Ball State each had four picks. IPFW placed three players on the All-Conference teams while Ohio State had two selected. Lindenwood and Grand Canyon each had one selection. Earning first-team libero honors this season was David Ryan Vander Meer from Ball State and second-team honors went to Lucas Yanez of Lewis.

Earning first team honors were: BJ Boldog (Lewis), Cody Caldwell (Loyola Chicago), Driss Guessous (Ohio State), Thomas Jaeschke (Loyola Chicago), Matt Leske (Ball State), Ben Ponnet (Grand Canyon) , Geoff Powell (Lewis), Andrew Sellan (IPFW), Joe Smalzer (Loyola Chicago), and David Ryan Vander Meer (Ball State).

Earning second team honors were: Colin Hackworth (Lindenwood), Andrew Lutz (Ohio State), Graham McIlvaine (Ball State), Nicholas Olson (Loyola Chicago), Kevin Owens (Ball State), Greg Petty (Lewis), Eddie Rivera (IPFW), Omar Rivera (IPFW), Bobby Walsh (Lewis), and Lucas Yanez (Lewis).

The 2014 MIVA Tournament begins this Thursday, April 17 with No. 1 seed Loyola Chicago playing host to No. 8 seed Quincy in the first quarterfinal match. On Friday, No. 2 seed Lewis will host No. 7 seed Grand Canyon while No. 3 seed Ball State is set to host No. 6 seed Lindenwood. Finally, on Saturday, No. 4 seed IPFW will play host to No. 5 seed Ohio State to wrap up the quarterfinal matches.

The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals on Wednesday, April 23 and will play at the site of the higher remaining seed.

The tournament championship match will be played Saturday, April 26 at the site of the highest remaining seed. The winner of the MIVA Tournament will earn the league's automatic bid into the 2014 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championships held at the Gentile Arena in Chicago, Ill., home of Loyola Chicago. The two semifinal matches will be played on May 1 before the finals are set to be played on May 3.

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