Aviano’s Xavier Fox and Nikko Monson watch the ball head back to the Black Forest Academy side after a successful block Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022 at the boys European championships in Aviano.

Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes

Aviano’s Xavier Fox and Nikko Monson watch the ball head back to the Black Forest Academy side after a successful block Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022 at the boys European championships in Aviano. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes ()

Private schools have dominated DODEA’s European boys volleyball scene in recent years.

American Overseas School of Rome won in 2019 and 2021 and returned to the final in 2022, only to fall to Black Forest Academy.

The sport has grown, too. Traditionally played by schools south of the Alps, Lakenheath and Hohenfels joined last year, and Vilseck adds itself to the list this fall.

More could be on the way as Ramstein and SHAPE field intramural squads in order to demonstrate the ability to sustain varsity programs.

Here’s a look at teams looking to make some noise in Vicenza, Italy, on Oct. 26-28, based off responses from coaches:


The Saints went undefeated during the regular season, only to peter out to a fifth-place finish during the European tournament.

They will be hard-pressed to repeat that record in 2022. Aviano brings back just three in seniors Trevor Drummond and Carl Greene and junior Xavier Fox.

Rounding out the team are juniors Cristiano Peterson, Jules LaSalle and Brandon Souza, sophomore Kaleb Nunez, and freshmen Michael Nix, Micah Guerrero, Jacob Godfrey and Alejandro Gonzales.


The Lancers struggled in limited regular-season opportunities during their first campaign as a varsity squad, but coach Dennis Ullery chalked up that to the strength of the London teams they played.

Lakenheath did pick up its first win of the season during the tournament, which could prove beneficial heading into Year 2.

A majority of the squad is back and has been playing the sport throughout the offseason. This has Ullery expecting this fall to go much better.

Coming back are libero Cristian Chavira, middle blocker Kyle Marlett, outside hitter Rylen Pontemayor, setter Aiden Vaquero and defensive specialist Jovan Paucar. New to the team are Marco Leone and freshman Luke Christensen.


The Wildcats took their lumps in 2022 due to a young squad.

More than half the team is back for 2023, and Naples is hoping lessons learned will lead to success this season.

All-star senior hitter Davion Bowie and sophomore libero Steven Irvine Jr. lead the way. Also returning are senior setter Joaquin Villescas and senior hitter A.J. Lopez.

Freshman setter Teyfen Jones is a newcomer to watch.


The Admirals have plenty of reasons to be excited this fall.

They return three senior starters from last season’s fourth-place finishers – one year after going winless – with outside hitter Tyler DeMeritt, setter Christian Weaver and opposite hitter Brian Lieba. Defensive specialist Stephen Camacho also brings back some experience.

Rota received some additions over the offseason. Libero Christian Smith arrived from Japan and will be inserted into the starting lineup. Defensive specialist Leo Torres transferred from Sigonella, and two senior middle blockers, Jackson Warkentien and Marco Garcia, round out the squad.


The Jaguars enter 2023 in rebuild mode. They lost most of last year’s third-place finishers to graduation and PCS.

Five return this year, but just two have experience. Mikolaj Czernielewski and Deshawn Wallace will be key to the team’s success.


The Cougars are hoping to take a step forward this year after going 9-4 in 2022.

To do so, they will need standout performances from three of their returners. Libero and setter Triston Miletich recorded 14 aces during the regular season, while outside hitter and setter Nicholas Morton amassed 46 kills. Middle blocker Isaac Dube stood tall for 16 blocks.

New to the team are Benedict Morton, Kaito Goodfellow, Colin Frazee, Zachary Alderson, Karl Kukk, Philip Cirilo and Dylan Horrigan.


Welcome to DODEA boys volleyball, Falcons. After a club season, Vilseck enters varsity play this fall.

A core group of four from that experimental squad will make up a key part of this new venture. Libero Jayden-Tyler Cruz, middle blocker Rohail Jan, setter Isaiah Gilmore and defensive specialist Remmy Espitia bring some experience.

Joining them are senior Barkale Johnson, juniors Americo Contreras and Malachai Halterman, sophomores Ray Holmes-Brown and Mark-August Lee, and freshmen Zuri Bollinger, David Findley, Adrian Maldonado, Drake Neville, Diego Garcia and Caleb Choffey.

author picture
Matt is a sports reporter for Stars and Stripes based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. A son of two career Air Force aircraft maintenance technicians, he previously worked at newspapers in northeast Ohio for 10 years and is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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