Overseas success for men’s voll eyball

Joyce Balash, Assistant Sports Editor

Photo by Steve Woltmann.
Weiskircher has taken a step up from playing collegiate volleyball and has further progressed to his professional career in Greece.

 

The men’s volleyball team is used to finding success in the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), but this year, two former players have branched out and are continuing their careers overseas post-graduation in May.

Completing their college volleyball campaign in May 2017, both Jacob Schmiegelt and Trevor Weiskircher have recently signed professional contracts to continue their athletics in Europe.

Schmiegelt was picked up by Jarvamaa Volleyball Club in Estonia, while Weiskircher is playing for Pamvohaikos Volleyball Club in Greece. The pair had been working hard throughout their college careers for the opportunity to advance and play overseas.

“I didn’t really think about playing professionally until my senior year,” said Weiskircher.

Weiskercher had a conversation with his coach at the beginning of his senior year. The Pamvohaikos player jokingly mentioned to his coach that it would be cool to one day play professionally. With the help of his team and mentors, the volleyball player’s dream became a reality.

Weiskircher, a 6-foot-7-inch outside hitter, transferred to Lewis from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign his sophomore year to join the Flyers volleyball team. In just three years, Weiskircher totaled 383 kills and 215 digs, making him a threat in both the front and back row. Weiskircher was recognized as an Academic All-MIVA selection during his final season.

“I spent my last season not only trying to do my best for the team, but I also had it in the back of my head that I personally needed to get better in order to be ready for international volleyball,” Weiskircher said.

Playing alongside Weisk-ircher, Schmiegelt was the team’s starting middle blocker who played in a total of 114 games during his time at Lewis.

He averaged an astounding hitting percentage of .402 after totaling 580 kills. He also added 425 blocks in his four years of play, averaging 1.09 blocks per set.

In his final year, Schmiegelt received several accolades, including Honorable Mention All-MIVA, Academic All- MIVA and being named to the All-MIVA Tournament Team.

Schmiegelt and Weiskircher are not the only two Lewis players who are playing overseas. Three more of head coach Dan Friend’s former players are playing volleyball professionally; Scott Fifer, Greg Petty and Bobby Walsh.

Petty is competing with the Rennes Volley 35 out of France, while both Fifer and Walsh are playing in Finland for their respective teams.

“Lewis men’s volleyball is one of the top programs in the country,” said Weiskircher. “Coach does everything in his power to make sure that we pursue our dreams and he helps us to accomplish them.”

The men’s volleyball program has found success in the MIVA, in the NCAA and now with their players who are involved in international volleyball.