College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Crossword
This Week’s Free Crossword
This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Crossword
This Week’s Free Crossword

The Chaparral Structure: Saying Goodbye to the COD Men’s Volleyball Sophomores

With COD’s second-ever men’s volleyball season coming to a close, sophomores who helped start the journey reflect on their time as Chaparrals.
Chaparral+Mens+Volleyball+acknowledged+their+sophomores+on+March+19+against+the+Aurora+University+junior+varsity+Spartans.+The+sophomores+recognized+include+Blake+Huberty%2C+Phurin+Kosumapinun%2C+Erik+Perez%2C+Stanley+Guziec%2C+Sam+Akouri%2C+Mike+Fenley+Bo+Parker%2C+Osiel+Cruz%2C+Vincent+Arias%2C+John+Valencia+and+Kai+Shores-Navata.+
Rachel Wagner
Chaparral Men’s Volleyball acknowledged their sophomores on March 19 against the Aurora University junior varsity Spartans. The sophomores recognized include Blake Huberty, Phurin Kosumapinun, Erik Perez, Stanley Guziec, Sam Akouri, Mike Fenley Bo Parker, Osiel Cruz, Vincent Arias, John Valencia and Kai Shores-Navata.

In their last home game of the season before nationals, the College of DuPage men’s volleyball team honored their sophomores. With this group of players moving on, the Chaparrals are saying goodbye to the final members of their inaugural team.

“I really appreciate the sophomores having helped start the program,” head volleyball coach Tolis Koskinaris said. “They’ve gotten it moving in the right direction. I appreciate them [getting] through these last two years, and going through all of the growing pains of starting a new program. They’ve always shown up, they’ve always been here, and they’ve been very accepting of it; in that aspect, they’ve been wonderful.”

Sophomore setter Phurin Kosumapinun came to COD from Bangkok, Thailand for the opportunity to play junior collegiate men’s volleyball. In his time here, he’s played 28 matches and led the team in assists, block assists and service aces during the 2023 season. He also ranked 1st in the nation with 485 assists and 4th with 29 service aces. This season, Kosumapinun is 15th in the nation with 152 assists, and he has no regrets in choosing Chaparral men’s volleyball.

“Moving here was probably one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made,” Kosumapinun said. “I moved here without my family. I moved here alone. I committed [to COD] once I found out they were starting a men’s [volleyball] program. I came here over the summer [of 2021], played in the club tournament and [Koskinaris] liked what I had. My time here has been great. It’s been a great opportunity, and I want to say thank you to COD.”

Sophomore left side Mike Fenley appeared in 37 matches for the Chaparrals. He led the team in kills and points during the 2023 season. With a .300 hitting percentage this season, Fenley currently ranks 8th in the nation. He also averaged 2.6 kills per set to rank 14th in the nation. He explained how Koskinaris’s coaching style has made an impact on him, and how it’s shaped his future volleyball career.

“I really love how [Koskinaris] coaches this program,” Fenley said. “It’s hard for him as well when we lose games we shouldn’t be losing. I’m going to miss him. I’m definitely going to miss all of [my teammates]. I still plan on continuing to play volleyball after this; I’ve just got to figure out which college.”

Sophomore left side Erik Perez was excited about the potential start-up of a men’s volleyball club team before COD received grant funding from the NJCAA to create an official team. In his time with the Chaparrals, he’s played in 39 games. He recorded 95 digs, 80 kills and 19 service aces through both seasons, and looks to continue his volleyball career as both a player and youth coach.

“It’s not something I’ve felt super deep; it’s just another step in life,” Perez said. “I’m proud of being part of this program. I’ve been committed [since] it was a club idea, but then there was COVID and all of that fun stuff. I’m proud of being able to stick all the way through year two, and I’m ready to move on.”

Sophomore John Valencia played the entirety of his freshman season as a libero, but he found himself in different positions on the court in his second year. With more experience coming into his sophomore season, Valencia made his defensive specialist debut for COD. In 37 games, he made 284 digs, 50 assists and 23 service aces. Valencia also ranked 3rd in the nation with 211 digs during the 2023 season. He plans on continuing his collegiate volleyball career, and credits his time at COD for his growth.

“I’d like to thank the program for allowing me to open myself up,” Valencia said. “I was a completely different player in high school. [COD] gave me the space to fully branch out, test my limits and push to be my best. It’s been incredibly life changing, and I’m not sure if I would’ve been talking to [four-year] colleges if I wasn’t so sure of myself and my abilities. That wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t given the space to grow and spread my wings.”

Sophomore outside hitter Blake Huberty played 29 matches in his time with the Chaparrals. Between both seasons, he recorded 193 kills, 40 total blocks (nine solo, 31 assisted) and 10 service aces. His parting words with Chaparral volleyball came in the form of advice for incoming players.

“Do better than we did,” Huberty said. “At the end of the day, I want [the program] to be better every single year. We couldn’t win the national championship last year; so we want to win it this second year. If we don’t do it, we want them to win it the third year. I cherished every moment, I loved everything about [my time here], and I think it’s a great thing.”

To learn more about COD’s men’s volleyball program, visit gochapsgo.com.

More to Discover