LEBANON — McKendree University men's volleyball coach Nickie Sanlin has announced the first list of signees for the Bearcats' newest program. A total of 10 student-athletes have committed to play for McKendree in its inaugural 2014 season, which is slated to begin in late January.
Of the 10 recruits, six come from local programs. Brice Miller, of Althoff Catholic High School, is the lone signee from the Metro East area. Other recruits from the St. Louis area include Eric Arbrolat, of Marquette High School; Alex Moll, of Lafayette High School; Michael Polizzi, of De Smet High School; Brendan Schmidt, of Fort Zumwalt West High School; and Spencer Sweetin, of Francis Howell High School.
Rounding out the inaugural signing class are Dustin Borenstein of Highland Park (Ill.) High School, Wyatt Patterson of Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) High School, Andrew Schnittker of Buffalo Grove (Ill.) High School and Jack MacLean of Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast High School. All 10 recruits will be freshmen for the Bearcats in 2014.
"I am very excited about the inaugural class of student-athletes that will the building blocks and foundation of our program," said Sanlin. "They all bring a wealth of experience from excellent high school and club programs across the country. For each of them to want to be a part of a program that is starting from the ground up shows me that these young men have great character and work ethic.
"Our affiliation with the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) immediately makes our schedule very competitive and I am very excited to see our student-athletes step up to the challenge. I'm very proud to announce this first class. It's a great day to be a Bearcat!"
The McKendree University men's volleyball team will open its first season of competition Jan. 25 with a tri-match at Dominican University near Chicago. The Bearcats will face host Dominican University before taking on the College of Mount St. Joseph. McKendree will host its first-ever home match Jan. 28 against Missouri Baptist University.
Here's a look at the signees:
Eric Abrolat (Hometown: Ballwin, Mo.)
Right-Side Hitter - Marquette High School, Chesterfield, Mo.
Three-year letterman...averaged 3.25 kills per set and 1.78 serving points per game as a senior...was a first-team All-Conference selection in the Suburban West Conference as a senior...helped the Mustangs to a Class 4 Missouri district title in 2012...qualified for Open Division at J.O. Nationals with club team four times (2009 through 2012)
Dustin Borenstein (Hometown: Highland Park, Ill.)
Outside Hitter - Highland Park High School, Highland Park, Ill.
Earned four letters during high school career...earned first-team Lake County All-Area and was a Central Suburban League All-Conference choice...played for USA High Performance in 2011 and 2012...was named one of Top 50 Players in the State for Boys Youth Continental in 2012 and 2013.
Jack MacLean (Hometown: Lincoln, Neb.)
Setter - Lincoln Southeast High School, Lincoln, Neb.
Led High Flyers Volleyball Club team with 737 assists and was second with 36 service aces in 2013...helped team to a 2012 USAV Iowa High Performance regional championship...was a 2012 USAV BJNC All-Tournament selection...received 2009 AAU All-American honors after leading team to second-place finish at AAU Open National Championship.
Brice Miller (Hometown: O'Fallon, Ill.)
Libero - Althoff Catholic High School, Belleville, Ill.
Was a four-year letterman in volleyball for the Crusaders as an outside hitter/defensive specialist...collected All-Tournament team honors in the 2013 Southwestern Illinois Boy's Volleyball Tournament...helped Althoff to first boy's volleyball regional championship in school history in 2010.
Alex Moll (Hometown: Chesterfield, Mo.)
Right-Side Hitter - Lafayette High School, Wildwood, Mo.
Led Lafayette to first Missouri Class 4 state championship in program history as a senior...led the Lancers with 242 kills, including 15 in state title match...was second on squad with 23 service aces...named second-team All-Metro accolades as a senior...earned All-Conference honors as a senior...helped Lafayette to consecutive regional and district championships as a junior and senior.
Wyatt Patterson (Hometown: Flossmoor, Ill.)
Middle Blocker - Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor, Ill.
Averaged 4.6 kills and 2.4 blocks per game during career at Homewood-Flossmoor...posted 239 kills and 97 blocks as a senior for the Vikings...garnered All-Conference honors as a senior...was named Homewood-Flossmoor's Most Valuable Player as a junior and senior...collected the Vikings' four-year varsity award...selected as the team's Most Improved Player as a sophomore.
Michael Polizzi (Hometown: St. Louis)
Middle Blocker - DeSmet Jesuit High School, St. Louis.
Was a three-year varsity letterman...led team in blocks and ranked among leaders in kills as a senior for the Spartans...had 118 kills and 76 blocks as a junior...paced team in blocks as a junior and senior...named third-team All-Metro as a senior...collected All-Tournament honors at Parkway Central Tournament...helped DeSmet to a 31-3 record as a junior.
Brendan Schmidt (Hometown: O'Fallon, Mo.)
Middle Blocker - Fort Zumwalt West High School, O'Fallon, Mo.
Led team with 153 kills, 154 blocks, 256 digs and 19 service aces as a senior...earned second-team All-State honors and first-team All-Conference accolades...was an All-Tournament selection in the Parkway Central Tournament...was a two-year letterman.
Andrew Schnittker (Hometown: Arlington Heights, Ill.)
Outside Hitter - Buffalo Grove High School, Buffalo Grove, Ill.
Registered 181 kills, 42 blocks and 31 digs during his senior season at Buffalo Grove...helped lead the Bison to consecutive regional titles in each of his last two seasons, part of a run of eight consecutive regional championships at the school...was part of the Bison's 2011-12 MSL East Division championship squad.
Spencer Sweetin (Hometown: Defiance, Mo.)
Outside Hitter - Francis Howell High School, St. Charles, Mo.
Collected 105 kills and 66 digs as a senior for the Vikings...led team in blocks as a senior...helped Francis Howell to the best conference record in school history...helped lead the Vikings to a conference title.