By Krzysztof Kucza
Senior Bez Arslani received two awards in one week as he was named Player of the Week of the Skyline Conference and also the Corvias ECAS Player of the Week during the week of January 16. These awards sprung from the outstanding performance from Arslani after sweeping Kean’s first ever Winter Classic.
“To me the biggest award from this week has to be us going undefeated this weekend to start off the season and also creating a stronger bond between my teammates,” Arslani said after receiving the awards.
The 6’1″ outside hitter averaged 4.27 kills and 2.27 digs over 11 sets over that weekend and when it came to the biggest game of the weekend, the Wayne native stockpiled 22 kills in the Cougars’ 3-2 win over No. 10 Elmira.
“Coming into this match, knowing we were ranked sixth in the nation and also knowing that we lost to this Elmira team twice in the previous year, I had to bring everything I had and leave everything on the court.” said Arslani. “With such a veteran team this year, we had the chemistry and composure to fight through the struggles of this match as a team.”
Volleyball wasn’t something Arslani ever even thought about picking up in his youth. He once told his eventual high school coach that “volleyball is a girls sport”, and that he was going to play baseball. Shortly after saying that, he caved into playing volleyball instead. This decision ultimately started a successful and great path for Arslani, as he not only lead his high school team to a county championship his senior year but additionally earned First Team All Star honors.
This success encouraged him to pursue college athletics and he ended up playing for New Jersey City University in his first two years in college, after he was unsuccessful in getting into Kean University. This didn’t stop the Albanian as he eventually ended up transferring to Kean after his sophomore year.
Since being part of the Kean’s Mens Volleyball team, “Bez Dispenser”, has maintained a 3.6 GPA. This intelligence has crossed over to the volleyball court as he helped the cougars start the season an impressive 6-0.
“Bez is the type of player that can hype you up when you need it and is always there for you. He can provide sparks throughout matches when we need them in vital moments” said current teammate Ed Jedziniak who was named AVCA Division III Men’s National Player of the Week two years back for the first time in school history.
The physical education major has high hopes on continuing his volleyball career. He plans on reaching out to coaches in Europe and playing professionally overseas after he gets his degree.
“As of right now, I am focused on this season and winning a national championship and being the best teammate I can be.” said Arslani. “Statistics are something that are forgotten but the feeling of winning a national championship would stick with the team and me forever.”
Men’s Volleyball Player Spikes Home Honors
By Krzysztof Kucza