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MVC Alumni Player Testimonials

Testimonials

This section will be dedicated to the MVC alumni who choose to write about their experiences as players and how it impacted their lives both on and off the court.  We will update new testimonials every few days leading into the 2018-19 tryouts so stay tuned! 

Luke Turner - Waukesha West - Grand Canyon University


Luke with Olympic Gold Medalist Reid Priddy!

If you aspire to play volleyball at the next level, this is the place for you. Milwaukee Volleyball Club has been preparing young men for the challenges of college volleyball for 25+ years now and they know what it takes to be successful. These coaches care about you and will push you to be your best. I came to this club as a lanky un-athletic middle. I left as an outside hitter with multiple Division 1 offers. I owe that to the coaching and exposure I received here at Milwaukee Volleyball Club. There are a small number of Collegiate Men's Volleyball Programs in the country and MVC is on every coach's recruiting radar because of the success they have of turning out College Level Athletes.

Luke Turner:

Waukesha West High (2012-2014)
Multiple All-State Selections
Classic 8 Player of the Year

Milwaukee Volleyball Club (2012-2014)
SCVA Spring Classic 3rd Place Finish
USAV Nationals 5th Place Finish

Grand Canyon University NCAA Division 1 (2014-2018)
MIVA Conference Championship Appearance (2016-17)
Ranked in AVCA Top 15 Every Poll (2017-18)

Nolan Rueter - Burlington HS - McKendree University

My Time with MVC...

Growing up, volleyball was my everything. After being forced into a gym to watch my older sister play club starting when I was around 8, I decided that I too wanted to play. Being from Burlington, I didn’t have that many options to play with guys growing up so I grew up playing the game with girls until I was old enough to join a club team. After playing club for a while and realizing that I loved the sport, I decided that I wanted to peruse my dream of playing volleyball in college. I truly believe my switch to MVC made those dreams possible. Coaches like Jim Plaisted and Jake Nowak pushed me to be the best that I could be, bringing in club alums like JW Kieckhefer from IPFW to share their knowledge of the game and help me get better. The competitive nature of MVC pushes athletes to be the best they can be which translates into more competitive high school volleyball in the state of Wisconsin. As a result of the great coaching, I was fortunate enough to receive a great scholarship to McKendree University and play for the one and only Nicolette Sanlin.           

Looking back, my time at MVC means so much more to me than just great volleyball. I still talk to old teammates and I would look forward to being across the net from them whenever I could at the collegiate level. I still text and snap some of the guys that I played with and we keep up with each others lives and teams. MVC taught me that with hard work and the right guidance, some of your biggest dreams can come true. I truly cherished my time, friendships and relationships formed at MVC that I am sure will last a lifetime. 

Nolan Rueter

Cullen Liberski - Germantown HS - Marian University


Cullen was named Defensive Player of the Year in his conference at Marian University!

           After discovering volleyball at the late age of 15, I immediately fell in love with the game. So after high school season, I decided to try out for club. Sure there was Milwaukee Volleyball club, but there also was West Allis Lightning, Southwest Volleyball Club, and Spike Milwaukee. From the moment I made it to the MVC tryout, I noticed that there was a different atmosphere in the gym. The coaches were fully engaged, the competition was high, and everyone wanted a spot. After discovering I made my first ever MVC team at the age of 15, I never looked back.

            I played with some of the greatest volleyball players I have ever known, and still play with some of those friends/teammates today. I learned how to be a better teammate, volleyball player, and friend to the kids at MVC. I played on a team for MVC from 15s year through 18s year. Each season, I had some of the same players from the previous year and always had that to look forward to because we were the biggest goofballs ever. We played hard, practiced hard, and had even more fun off of the court.

            MVC builds bonds between the players and coaches, but deeper friendships between the players. You aren’t just teammates for the year, rather friends for years to come. I still talk to teammates from my 15s year of club, which is now 8 years later. I don’t just mean talk with them, but hangout, and take trips with these people. MVC brings together a community curious about volleyball; those that want to grow their volleyball IQ, as well as teamwork skills.

            Some of the greatest coaches I have had the pleasure of working with came from the MVC staff. My 18s year of club I had the privilege of being coached by Jake Nowak and Brad Kuehl. I learned so much from them; from the mechanics, to the high level volleyball IQ thinking, and the teamwork aspect, I was fed the brand of volleyball that was going to succeed. Sure, it was hard work, and I was pushed to my limits. However, that is what every athlete should strive to have in their life. My coaches cared for me during volleyball and outside. I still keep in touch with these coaches today, and am in constant contact.

            If there is any volleyball out there considering playing club this next season, MVC is the place you want to be. The amount of highly skilled coaches and players is astounding, and allows for an everlasting experience for every volleyball player. If I had the opportunity to play again, there’s no doubt in my mind I would, and you bet I would play for MVC. I will never forget all the coaches that helped me along the way in this program, and am forever grateful for the experience I was given. Thank you MVC.

Blake Leeson - Homestead HS - Ohio State University


2-Time National Champion Blake Leeson

Ohio State Men Volleyball 15’-19’     Milwaukee Volleyball Club 14-15’

  Playing club for MVC during my time in high school was truly an incredible experience. To be honest, I believe I would not have been as successful in my college program had it not been for my time spent with Milwaukee Volleyball, my teammates in the club and specifically my head coach Jake Nowak. I didn’t have the typical ride with volleyball that many of my teammates had. I picked up the sport of volleyball extremely late and MVC gave me an opportunity to come learn a new game at a very high level.

            Since I arrived late to the volleyball community, I was a little concerned with becoming acclimated with my new team members, many who had already been playing together for years before. After that one year of playing, I can tell you that MVC is truly like one large family. When I come back home for breaks from college, I typically meet up with former players to play in tournaments or just hang out and catch up. I continue to stay in contact with some coaches, even after five years since being part of the club. I formed memories and relationships that will most definitely last a lifetime. That aspect alone is truly worth the experience of playing with a club such as Milwaukee Volleyball Club.

            Throughout my time at MVC, I would say my biggest take away would be that you don’t have to be the best player in the gym to play at the next level. I know this sounds cliché, but if you show up every day and absorb as much information as you can, while being focused and willing to put in the extra work, then you can accomplish a great deal in a short time. I can tell you that I was not even close to the best player on my team while I played for MVC, but I was surrounded by great players who had common goals. Most of my teammates wanted to go on and play in college. Fortunately, we had a head coach in Jake Nowak that helped us all reach those goals. Everyone who wanted to play in college ended up doing so at their respective levels. I believe that having that support system and our common experience in this club played a substantial role in our success. We truly set a standard for the teams to follow in our footsteps. I hope and believe that younger players are inspired and believe they can accomplish those same goals as well.  They should because it is possible. Milwaukee Volleyball Club is an outstanding club! Joining will provide you with great opportunities to help you accomplish your goals. They have the right people in place to get you to where you want to go! 

Adam Wessel - Brookfield East HS - Ball State University

I played club volleyball at Milwaukee Volleyball Club (MVC) for my 18s year right before college. When thinking back on the year, there are three outstanding aspects of MVC that I will always remember – my teammates, my coaches, and high-level volleyball.

During my time at MVC, there was an unparalleled chemistry and friendship among my teammates. We weren’t just teammates. We were friends both on and off the court. Even though we came from many different high schools, this didn’t seem to matter in the least. I still keep in contact with almost everyone on my team from MVC. I still play with and against many of them in college, and I make it a point to play beach or grass volleyball with the others during the summer. Overall, MVC is home to an awesome family of kind, caring, volleyball-loving people.

My coaches at MVC were fantastic. I am very lucky to have had both Jake Nowak and Brad Kuehl as coaches. Not only do they know how to develop great players at the highest level of club volleyball, but they are also great role models in general. They consistently display sportsmanship at every tournament. Additionally, they helped a ton in the recruiting process. Many players on my team were looking to continue playing volleyball collegiately (including myself), and my coaches at MVC played a huge role in making this a reality. I’ve played for many volleyball clubs; however, MVC is the only club that has emphasized the importance of the mental side of volleyball. I clearly remember my team’s sessions talking about the books we read on sports psychology. Mental training is becoming increasingly popular in collegiate and professional sports, and MVC was definitely ahead of the curve with this. Lastly, the coaches were always very proud of our accomplishments and made it a point to stay in contact after our time at MVC.

At MVC, we played at the highest level of club volleyball. We competed with the best teams in the country, and it showed at Nationals. Practices were intense and fun, especially when alumni of the club who now played collegiately were able to come back and practice against us. In general, my 18s year at MVC prepared me very well to compete collegiately at Ball State University. All in all, I am so glad I chose to play for MVC my 18s year of club.

- Adam Wessel

MVC 18s 2015
Ball State University class of 2019
High School Awards (at Brookfield East High School):

  • 1st team all-conference, 1st team all-state, and Wisconsin state player of the year in 2014
  • 4-year starting libero, team captain 2012-2015)

Collegiate Awards (at Ball State University):

  • All-MIVA honorable mention in 2016
  • Academic all-MIVA 2016-2018
  • MIVA defensive player of the week (Jan. 31 2017)
  • 9th all-time in digs per set at BSU as of 2018

Jonathan Smallpage - Whitefish Bay HS - Marian University

Jonathan played 3 years with MVC from 2014-2016 and was a 1st Team All-State selection in 2015.  He is now playing collegiate volleyball at Marian University and was named 1st Team NACC All Conference in 2018. 

"Choosing to join MVC my 16s year was one of the better decisions I have made in my life. I didn't know it at the time, but this organization would have a lasting impact on my friendships, professionalism, academic performance, and obviously, my success as a volleyball player. Before MVC, I didn't have a clear direction of what I wanted to do with my life. That all changed once MVC gave me an opportunity. They gave me something to be proud of. If somebody would have told my family, friends, and I when I was 16 that I would be an All-State player competing for National Championships, we would have laughed (and we still do sometimes), because I was that bad. 

My first coach at MVC, Kyle Olmstead, pushed me to my absolute limit. He taught me the necessary skills to play volleyball at a high level, but also coached his athletes about life skills. He encouraged us to use what we learn on the court and apply it to our lives outside of volleyball. Things like working as a member of a team, communication, decision making, strategy, leadership, etc. This is something that really stuck with me, and is what I think ultimately made me a better, well-rounded person. As a result, there has not been a single job interview I have ever had in which I have not talked about my volleyball career. I always tell employers that what I learn in the classroom makes me WHAT I am, but the skills I learned on the court make me WHO I am. It sounds sappy, but I mean every word of it. This along with the lifelong friendships I made are what I am most thankful for, having been a part of MVC. 

I cannot think of a more life changing decision than choosing to play for MVC. There is no doubt that I am the person I am today because of them. My confidence, communication skills, and well-being all improved after joining the organization, and I can't thank the coaches at MVC enough for that. I have had the opportunity to play NCAA volleyball while in college, and it has been a crazy cool experience! Without a doubt, if I could go back and do it all again I would in a heart beat."


Jon in action 18s year with Jake Romano of BSU


Jon Smallpage moved to outside hitter at Marian where he has excelled as an all-around player, earning 1st Team NACC last year!