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Top Men's College Players Headed to WUGs

By B.J. Evans | June 04, 2015, 9:47 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 4, 2015) – Top men’s volleyball players from seven different universities will come together to compete for the United States at the World University Games (WUG) on July 4-12 in Gwangju, South Korea.

David Kniffin, head coach for the men’s program at UC Irvine, will serve as the WUG team head coach with assistance from David Heller (Mount Olive) and Joel Walton (Ball State).

“This group of student-athletes represents a wonderful cross-section of universities at the Division I-II level,” Kniffin said.


NCAA Championship semifinalist UC Irvine leads the way with three players on the team, including setter Michael Saeta, outside hitter Kyle Russell and middle blocker Jason Agopian.

NCAA Championship runner-up Lewis added two players to roster: outside hitter Greg Petty and middle blocker Bobby Walsh. Stanford also put two players on the team:  middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw and libero Kyle Dagostino as did Southern California (USC): setter Michael Mullahey and outside hitter Alex Slaught.

Other players on the team are outside hitter Cody Kessel (Princeton), outside hitter Jack Wilson (George Mason) and outside hitter Jalen Penrose (Penn State).

Kessel, Petty and Walsh were all 2015 AVCA second-team All-Americans.

Player (College, Position, Hometown, Height, Birth year)
Cody Kessel (Princeton, OH, Colorado Springs, Colo., 6-5, 1991)
Jack Wilson (George Mason, OH, Midlothian, Va., 6-6, 1993)
Kevin Rakestraw (Stanford, MB, Newport Beach, Calif., 7-0, 1995)
Kyle Dagostino (Stanford, L, Tampa, Fla., 5-9, 1995)
Jalen Penrose (Penn State, OH, Cambridge, Mass., 6-7, 1994)
Greg Petty (Lewis, OH, Downers Grove, Ill., 6-6, 1993)
Michael Saeta (UC Irvine, S, South Pasadena, Calif., 6-5, 1994)
Michael Mullahey (USC, S, Manhattan Beach, Calif., 6-5, 1994)
Bobby Walsh (Lewis, MB, Chicago, Ill., 6-9, 1994)
Kyle Russell (UC Irvine, OH, Loomis, Calif., 6-9, 1993)
Jason Agopian (UC Irvine, MB, Antioch, Calif., 6-7, 1993)
Alex Slaught (USC, OH, La Canada, Calif., 6-4, 1994)

Head Coach David Kniffin (University of California at Irvine)
Assistant Coach David Heller (University of Mount Olive)
Assistant Coach Joel Walton (Ball State University)