Way-Too-Early 2019 VM Men’s Top 20 (#16-20): Barton Kicks Off the List

  0 Derek Johnson | July 02nd, 2018 | College - Men's Indoor, Conference Carolinas, EIVA, MIVA, News, Rankings

With the start of July, we are about six months out from the start of the 2019 Men’s DI-II Volleyball season. That will be the opportunity for Long Beach State to defend their National Championship after downing UCLA in 2018. We should see plenty of those two teams along with their two leagues competing once again. With that being said, it’s time for VolleyMob’s Way-Too-Early 2018 Preseason Top 25.

Since these rankings are early and we don’t necessarily have the full picture in terms of recruiting and transfers still to come, most of this is based on experience and starters returning. As we move closer to the winter, we will update our rankings as needed. Until then, we will release five teams at a time this week, leading to the culmination of #1-5 on Thursday. To get things started we give you teams #16-20 below:


  • 2018 Finish/Rank: MIVA Semifinals, #11 in final VM Top 20
  • 2018 Record: 18-12 (10-4, 3rd MIVA)
  • Starters That Can Return for 2018: 4 + Libero
  • Key Returners: S Jake Romano (2018 MIVA Second-Team), OH Ben Chinnici (2018 MIVA Freshman Team)
  • Key Losses: MB Matt Walsh (2018 AVCA All-America HM), OH Mitch Weiler (2018 MIVA Second-Team)
  • Bottom Line: The Cardinals had a strong finish to the season in MIVA play after an up-and-down non-conference. That could push them into 2019, though they’ll have to figure out the loss of their top two attackers and best player in Walsh.


  • 2018 Finish/Rank: EIVA Semifinals, #18 in final VM Top 20
  • 2018 Record: 17-12 (13-1, 1st EIVA)
  • Starters That Can Return for 2018: 4
  • Key Returners: RS Hayden Wagner (2018 AVCA All-America HM), OH Kyle Barnes (2018 EIVA First-Team), MB Jack Reese (2018 EIVA Second-Team)
  • Key Losses: S Brian Negron (2018 AVCA All-America HM, EIVA POTY), OH Christian Malias (2018 EIVA Second-Team), L Johnny Gomez (2018 EIVA Second-Team)
  • Bottom Line: The Patriots are tough to judge when comparing to the other EIVA teams, because they bring back more starters than Harvard and Penn State, but lose the league’s top player in Negron along with other key pieces. What they have coming back, combined with moving off of a 13-1 EIVA season leaves them as the top ranked team in the conference.


  • 2018 Finish/Rank: EIVA Championship, #19 in final VM Top 20
  • 2018 Record: 12-16 (7-7, 4th EIVA)
  • Starters That Can Return for 2018: 4 + Libero
  • Key Returners: RS George Huhmann (2018 AVCA All-America HM)
  • Key Losses: MB Junior Oboh (2018 EIVA Second-Team)
  • Bottom Line: Princeton made a jump at the end of last season and ended the year hot, as although they lost in the EIVA Championship they upended George Mason in the EIVA semifinals. They do lose Oboh, who has been a key contributor for years, but bring back Huhmann and the most returning starters (including the libero) of the 2018 EIVA Tournament participants.


  • 2018 Finish/Rank: EIVA Semifinals, #20 in final VM Top 20
  • 2018 Record: 15-11 (10-4, T-2nd EIVA)
  • Starters That Can Return for 2018: 3 + Libero
  • Key Returners: OH Matthew McLaren (2018 EIVA First-Team), RS Calvin Mende (2018 EIVA First-Team)
  • Key Losses: MB Kevin Gear (2018 EIVA Second-Team)
  • Bottom Line: The Nittany Lions should benefit from a full season of Calvin Mende if he can be more healthy for 2019, but questions remain for a Penn State team that left something to be desired last year and loses three starters.


  • 2018 Finish/Rank: Conf. Carolinas Championship, RV in final VM Top 25
  • 2018 Record: 21-8 (15-1, T-1st Conf. Carolinas)
  • Starters That Can Return for 2018: 6 + Libero
  • Key Returners: RS Angelos Mandilaris (2018 Conf. Carolinas First-Team), OH Aleksa Brkovic (2018 Conf. Carolinas First-Team), OH Vasilis Mandilaris (2018 Conf. Carolinas Second-Team), S Oscar Fiorentino (2018 Conf. Carolinas Second-Team)
  • Key Losses: None with award recognition 
  • Bottom Line: Barton couldn’t win their second straight Conference Carolinas postseason title, falling just short to King in 2018. They look ready to avenge that in 2019 with all starters on par to be back, which would not just make them the clear-cut league favorite, but give them the best chance of any Conference Carolinas team to win the league’s first NCAA Tournament match.

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