Alumnus wins prestigious volleyball award

September 18, 2017 — by Jeffrey Xu

After seven years of hard work and training, 2017 alumnus Joel Schneidmiller won a national award from the the Boys High School Player of the Year for 2016-17.

“I was really honored and kind of surprised,” Schneidmiller said. “I wasn’t expecting to get it but it was an awesome feeling when I did.”

Having put down 1,202 kills in 198 total matches for the school, Schneidmiller’s stats were off the charts for an athlete his age.

Schneidmiller now plays as the outside hitter for UC Irvine, a D1 volleyball school with multiple NCAA titles. Despite his credentials coming into the program, he knows the transition to this level of play won’t been easy. He has noticed that a higher level of performance is demanded from the players.

“It is a lot more competitive and intense than any volleyball I’ve ever played,” Schneidmiller said.

Schneidmiller has also played with the USA Youth National Team for the past five years, competing this summer in Bahrain. He has played in various locations in the past, including Cuba. Schneidmiller plans to continue playing for USA volleyball, joining the Junior National Team, which is for 17- and 18-year-olds.

Having met his Irvine teammates from open gyms, which he started attending two weeks ago, Schneidmiller believes his team is filled with “great guys and great players.”

Because he has been used to being the dominant figure on the court, the 6-5 Schneidmiller now has to get used to working with players at or above his level.

“It’s going to be hard and a lot of work compared to high school,” he said. “But I think I am pretty prepared to make the transition and I’m really excited to do so.”

Schneidmiller said he plans to continue with competitive volleyball beyond college, even planning on traveling overseas, where he could play in various professional leagues.

“I just have have way more fun playing volleyball than I do anything else,” Schneidmiller said. “I’ve always liked volleyball from a really young age and nothing’s ever changed.”