2013 Snap Shot (printable version)
2013 Season Review: The 2013 Hilbert men’s volleyball season produced individual record-setting results continuing the growth in the program. Early season injuries prevented the Hawks from playing with a full roster and then late-season nagging injuries limited performances and team success. The Hawks repeated their win loss record (6-21) from the 2012 season, even with all the speed-bumps they faced along the way. Junior Adam Weaver finished the season ranked #1 in Division III volleyball in kills per set and sophomore Ryan Ratajczak complemented him with a #5 ranking in digs per set.
For the first time at Hilbert, five senior athletes progressed through the program and celebrated senior day activities with their coaches, teammates and fans. Anthony Blasz, Adam Clabo, Scott Ross, Fred Sickau,
and Ryan Tofil
ended their careers with impressive senior night performances. Blasz
, four-year student athletes, brought great work ethic and love for the sport which, during their tenure, became an NCAA championship sport. Sickau
entertained the Hawks with his outstanding leaping ability for three seasons and Ross
dressed in the royal and white for only two seasons after arriving via the junior college circuit.
Hilbert, a member of the United Volleyball Conference, competes in the toughest league in Division III men’s volleyball. Nine of the twelve conference members are consistently ranked in the AVCA Top 15 national poll. In an effort to prepare his team for that high-level of competition coach Bill Schultz scheduled weekend tournaments and tri-matches, challenging his players to perform over a longer period of time. They opened the season going 2-2 at the SUNYIT tournament, where Adam Weaver became the Hawks’ All-Time Kill leader just three games into his junior season. And Hilbert grabbed two wins over the course of the two UVC cross-over weekends, defeating Bard and SUNYIT.
The 2013 program set several Team Season Records. With a new record in kills (830), the Hawks also garnered the top spot in Kills per set (9.76), Attack Attempts (2,362), Assists (768), and Assists Per Set (9.04). David Mellerski
took over as the setter this season when his fellow sophomore setter, Stephen Phillips
, suffered a potentially season ending injury. Mellerski’s
primary passing target was Weaver
, both in the front line as well as middle back. Weaver’s
311 kills bettered his two earlier seasons which, in their time, were record breaking totals. The outside hitter led Division III with 4.32 kills per set at the conclusion of Hilbert’s season, maintaining a .287 hitting percentage.
Sickau drew attention at the net, and completed his senior season with 143 kills, moving to #5 on career list with 485. He roamed the outside position but would occasionally float to the middle and attack off a quick set. Ross and Blasz were middles and concluded their careers with good timing with Mellerski who moved into second place in Hilbert’s All Time Assists with 694 after one complete season as the primary setter.
After two seasons, Ross completed his career with 284 kills and 101 total blocks. And Blasz left the program as the All Time Service Ace leader (70), as the number two leader in Total Blocks (132) while chipping in 370 kills and 278 digs after outdistancing everyone else in the program as the All Time leader in sets played (327) and matches played (99).
Adam Clabo joined Blasz as a four-year team member and found himself settling into the libero role his middle years on the team. He leaves to program ranked fourth in All Time Digs (431). Ryan Ratajczak shared defensive duties with Clabo, and the sophomore is already two digs away from sharing the number two slot on the All Time List. His 501 career digs gives him a 2.91 digs per set average after 172 sets played in two seasons.
Senior Ryan Tofil
, sophomores Andrew Duncan
and Stephen Phillips
as well as freshman Korey Schwab
all contributed at different points in the season. Schwab played in all 85 sets and ended his first year with 65 kills, 14 aces and 141 digs. Tofil
shared duties on the front line entering the game in specific rotations to give the team a lift. The senior added a number to each stat line, finishing his second season with 5 kills, 1 assist, 3 digs, and 5 blocks while Duncan
finished with 8 digs, 1 assist, 1 service ace, 1 dig, and 7 blocks. Phillips
came back in the last week of the season after an off-season injury prevented him from practicing until April. In his two games, the setter passed for four assists and earned one service ace along with five digs.
The Hawks have a big void to fill with the loss of the seniors to graduation. But Coach Schultz will find ways to rebuild the Hawks around the returning nationally ranked leaders along with two solid setters and athletic underclassmen who will be joined by in the incoming freshmen class.