Freshman volleyball player right at home at Mason
August 29, 2017 / by John Hollis
Freshman volleyball player Justin Spiegel said it was love at first sight the moment he first set foot on the George Mason University campus, and he wasted no time in letting Patriots coach Jay Hosack know.
Hosack had just begun speaking with Justin and his mother and had yet to even show him the gym when the talented 6-foot-7, 185-pound middle blocker announced his decision to commit to the Patriots.
“The moment I was on campus, I knew it was the right school,” Justin said. “I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”
Justin was also being recruited by Penn State and a number of other schools. He had been on George Mason’s radar, but wasn’t even on an official visit when he stopped by the university bookstore and bought a Mason sweatshirt prior to making his intentions known to his future coach.
The news came as a welcome, but surprising revelation to Hosack, given that the Patriots already list six middle blockers on their roster and had more pressing needs elsewhere to address in recruiting.
“The best recruiting job I ever did,” Hosack jokes now.
Justin, who is among the many new faces to arrive on campus this fall, proved himself an exceptional athlete while in high school in Webster, N.Y., tallying five varsity letters in eight seasons of volleyball (3), basketball (1) and track (1).
He said that continuing his education and athletic career at Mason was an easy decision. Justin hopes to major in cyber security engineering.
“I like being in a new area, a new up-and-coming area,” he said. “I like how it was not New York.”
Athletics run deep in the Spiegel family, as Justin’s father, Paul Spiegel, played collegiate basketball at State University of New York-Cortland and his brother, Connor, is currently a high jumper at the University of Buffalo. It was uncle Quentin Spiegel, a former Honorable Mention All-American volleyball player at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, who first introduced his nephew to the sport.
An excellent student-athlete while in high school, Justin could be poised to add to the family legacy. Middle blockers typically need a little time to become adjusted to the faster college game, but Hosack has already been impressed with what he’s seen in Justin’s eye-hand coordination, footwork and lateral movement. The Mason coach said he expected the freshman to make an impact from Day One.
“He could be a future All-American,” Hosack said. “He’s that good.”