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April 2018


Back-to-Back Champions: The SDSU men’s club volleyball team captured the NCVF Collegiate Volleyball Championship.

SDSU men’s club volleyballSDSU defended its NCVF Men’s Division I title by sweeping Cal Poly A in the championship match. (Credit: Stephen Munson/USA Volleyball)

The San Diego State University men’s club volleyball team, a program of Associated Students, successfully defended its National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) Division I National Championship by defeating previously undefeated and third-seeded Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (SLO) A, 25-19, 25-22, in the championship match in April 2018.

SDSU, which finished the tournament 9-0 with just one set loss, defeated top-seeded Marquette A, 23-25, 25-15, 15-12, in the quarterfinals. The Aztecs then knocked off second-seed Florida, 25-21, 25-23, in the semifinals to earn their return berth in the championship match.

"Winning a national championship is truly an unforgettable feeling," said Alex Hristov, president of the club team. "But to be able to come back the next year and prove to everyone that you are champions for a reason, and to win a second title back-to-back, is something incredible in its own right." SDSU outside hitter Andrew Freiha was named MVP of the Men’s Division I Tournament, while teammate Sean Estabrooks was selected to the all-tournament first team. Cal Poly SLO, which concluded the tournament with an 8-1 record, topped Penn A, 25-21, 25-17, in the quarterfinals and Kentucky, 25-20, 25-16, in the semifinals.

Last year, SDSU took home the team’s first national championship, behind the performance of Freiha, who was also named Tournament MVP the previous year.

"The previous success in last year’s program and the help of the sports club administration at SDSU created a foundation for the team," said Hristov. "The chemistry between the guys on the team was what brought home the gold medal. Having close relationships with teammates throughout the year took our game to the next level."

Freshman Middle Blocker on the team, Neal Riley, shared his excitement about his first collegiate club Championship, and noted that next year the team hopes to return for a "three-peat" to keep their title of NCVF Division I champions. When asked what sets SDSU Club volleyball apart from their competitors, Riley responded, "the biggest factor that sets our team apart from others is our team chemistry and discipline on the court.". Club sports are such an amazing way to remain competitive and active in college and Riley agrees, "Club sports has given me something to identify with on this campus as well as given me something to look forward to and work for beyond the classroom.

By Ryan Schuler

 

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