Several Pirates moving on

Several Pirates moving on

COSTA MESA -- After a very successful two-year run with the Orange Coast College men's volleyball program, several Pirate standouts will be taking their athletic and academic careers to the four-year level, according to OCC head coach Travis Turner.

The Pirate trio of Colby Elder, Zane Moothart and Will Donald will be heading to Michigan to play at Aquinas College, a first-year, NAIA program that's coached by for OCC alum Rick Schroeder.

"Coach Schroeder is great fit for Will," Turner said. "They were very similar as players as middles at OCC.  Both were hard nosed and relentless on the court. I am certain Colby will do for Aquinas what he did for OCC -- lead the team and win. Zane will be a huge asset to Aquinas. His versatility will allow him to get to the court at several positions."

Elder, who finished the season with 578 assists, was named the Orange Empire Conference's Most Valuable Player, leading Coast to a 20-3 overall record and a trip to the California Community College Athletic Association Men's Volleyball State Championship finals. 

Donald, who was named the OEC's Defensive Player of the Year, notched 102 kills and led the team with 89 total blocks.

Moothart finished third on the team with 113 kills to go along with 44 digs, 36 blocks and six aces.

Wyatt Henson, one of OCC's top weapons last year, has earned a full scholarship to attend NAIA national runner-up Benedictine (AZ) University. Henson, who was a second-team, All-OEC selection, finished with 182 kills (second-most on the team) and added 56 digs and 51 blocks. "Wyatt's ability to play every position and his positive energy will make him an immediate factor at one of the top NAIA programs in the country," Turner said. 

In addition to those moves, former Pirate Matt Johnson (team-best 143 digs, second-team All-OEC) will be walking on at Long Beach State, while freshman GK Kailiwai (30 blocks, 28 kills in just 20 sets played) will be walking on at USC.

Also, Vince Rodriguez, an assistant coach for the Pirates last year, will be heading to England, where he will play for Nottingham University as he obtains his Master's degree in philosophy. "Vince played a huge role in recruiting and opponent game prep," Turner said. "We will have huge shoes to fill on the staff with his departure."