Making Winning a Habit

Long Island men’s volleyball collects its fourth conference title in six years
Golden Eagles Long Island logo
By Andrew Capitelli
St. Joseph's mens volleyball team celebrating
For the Long Island Campus men’s volleyball team, winning has been a tradition since day one.

“Not that I’m not humble or grateful, but it’s four out of six full seasons that we’ve won,” said head coach Bill Kropp after another Skyline Conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance in April.

“Winning the conference, making the NCAA Tournament, being in the national rankings – it legitimizes our program,” he added. “We’re not just another activity on campus, but a program with the goal of being the best in the country every year.”

The team won its first NCAA Tournament match last season, dismissing No. 6 Southern Virginia in the first round of the bracket. Despite losing to No. 4 Stevens in the second round, the Golden Eagles finished 12th in the final 2022 AVCA national rankings and received votes in the 2023 preseason poll.

St. Joseph's mens volleyball player spiking the ball over the net
Kropp’s men went a perfect 14-0 in Skyline play during the 2023 regular season and boasted a 22-9 overall record. Seven of the nine losses came against top-10 programs, including a 3-1 loss to No. 6 Messiah in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I was happy with how the season turned out,” Kropp added. “There were some matches I think we could have won, but my boys worked hard and came together as a group.”

Junior setter Clint Johnson – the second player in program history to garner AVCA All-Region accolades – is hungry for more.

“I think this season was a success even though we didn’t achieve all we hoped to,” he said. “I think many guys, including myself, realize what we need to do next year to go further in the NCAA Tournament.

“I can only imagine how great it would feel to win two games and play in a national semifinal,” he added.