With its foot firmly planted on the girls side, the volleyball club Munciana is re-introducing its boys program.
And it’s starting off with more than a bang by introducing a boys clinic this Saturday put on by some of the most notable coaches in the men’s collegiate sport.
The name Munciana is both well-known and well-respected throughout the girls volleyball world. The club was started in 1974 by Steve Shondell — the current Muncie Burris of Indiana girls high school volleyball coach and former long-time Ball State coach — and has enjoyed all types of success since.
The club earned its first national championship in 1983 as its 13s boys team captured the USAV title in Knoxville, Tennessee. Munciana also participated at the first girls USA Volleyball Junior Olympics at UCLA in 1983. Most however, know the club for its recent accomplishments, such as taking home the 15s Open gold medal at AAUs this past summer in Orlando.
Among them is former men’s USA national team and Pepperdine coach Marv Dunphy, who led the Waves to four national titles and the USA to the 1988 Olympic gold medal in Seoul, South Korea.
When: October 12, 10am-noon; 1pm-4pm (10u-18u)
Where: Munciana Facility (Yorktown, Indiana)
- Mark Pavlik, Penn State: Pavlik has spent a quarter-century leading the Penn State men’s program, which includes the 2008 NCAA championship.
- Kevin Burch, Ohio State: Burch was named the head coach of the Buckeyes for this coming season after spending the past four years as the assistant coach, including the school’s back-to-back NCAA championships in 2016-17.
- David Hunt, Pepperdine: Hunt is entering his third season as head coach of the Waves after taking over for Dunphy at the end of the 2017 season. Hunt was also an assistant coach on the Women’s National Team that captured an Olympic bronze in 2016.
- Charlie Sullivan, Springfield College: Sullivan is set to begin his 22nd season with Springfield College, which brought home the NCAA Division 3 title in 2018. In 2015, Sullivan was selected as a recipient for USA Volleyball’s All-Time Great Coach Award.
- Dan Friend, Lewis University: Friend has been a head collegiate coach for 23 years, including the past 16 at Lewis, which finished runner-up to Loyola-Chicago in 2015. The program has appeared in the AVCA Top 25 rankings for 149 consecutive weeks dating back to 2011.
- Joel Walton, Ball State: In 19 seasons with Walton as coach, Ball State has reached the NCAA Tournament 15 times.
- Kevin Russell, Wabash College: Russell’s coaching career started in 1984 as an assistant for the Rhode Island women’s team. Wabash was recently approved for men’s collegiate volleyball and named Russell its first coach.
- Kyle Shondell, Indiana Tech: Shondell was named coach for Indiana Tech’s upcoming inaugural season.
- Wes Lyon, Munciana: Lyon has long-time roots at Munciana, as he was in charge of the club in 1984.
- Mike Lingenfelter, Munciana: Lingenfelter joined Lyon as co-director of the club in 2007 and is regarded as one of the top 18 Open coaches in the country for girls.
Parent Info Session: The Junior Volleyball Recruiting Association (JRVA) is conducting a parent recruiting info session during the clinic. Among those on the executive board conducting the seminar is Munciana recruiting coordinator Patty Costlow and former Penn State and Texas assistant coach Salima Rockwell.
How It Came To Be: The college coaches involved credited Munciana recruiting coordinator Patty Costlow for making the clinic possible. “The organization around it has been extraordinary,” Sullivan said.
“Patty did all the work,” Hunt said. “I know Marv was in. It was about finding a free weekend to do it. Patty recruited everyone else.”
“The best way to create some awareness is putting on a high-level event that will draw kids,” Lyon said.
The Goal: It’s simple, really. To get more boys to play the sport. “I know from a personal standpoint I’m looking forward to educating young men and boys about the opportunities that are out there, beyond the skill-level stuff,” Friend said. “There’s going to be a question and answer session for the parents. There’s going to be different experiences that cover a wide spectrum of information, even for the coaches.”
The Benefit: With the opportunities to play in college growing on the men’s side, it’s likely we’ll see more high-level clinics of this caliber popping up elsewhere. “It’s a testament to if someone is willing to put in the work to make it happen, then there are lots of people at our level who want to help out as well,” Hunt said. “I hope it encourages people that want to get boys volleyball going that from top to bottom if they are willing they have the support.”
Next-Level Opportunities: The number of colleges offering men’s volleyball is growing. Currently, there are 23 schools in Division I with men’s teams, 22 in Division II, 107 in Division III, and 36 NAIA programs.