Ben Johnson sets the Jersey Boys for one last “kill”

The Villager Voice interviews Tim Flanagan, Ryan Thenell, Justin Novoa and Aidan O’Brien about the men’s indoor volleyball season
Ben Johnson sets the Jersey Boys for one last kill

In this episode of The Villager Voice, host Ben Johnson (aka “Bottlecap”) sits down with men’s volleyball standouts Tim Flanagan, Ryan Thenell, Justin Novoa, and Aidan O’Brien to discuss their season and individual journeys leading to impressive careers at Stevenson.

This year alone, junior outside hitter Flanagan received recognition as an All-American Honorable Mention, AVCA All-Region team, All-MAC first team and a multiple-time Offensive Player of the Week. Other highlights:

  • Flanagan (aka “Bloodhound”) the junior from Chester, New Jersey, hit .319 on 413 kills. He finished the season with 932 swings. He also contributed 27 aces from the service line.
  • Novoa (aka “Scab”) a setter from Union, New Jersey, surpassed 2,000 career assists and made the All-MAC second team. He added 9 kills and 5 aces to his 882 assists on the 2024 season.
  • Senior middle hitter O’Brien (aka “Tarantula”) led the conference in solo blocks (34), earning him multiple Defensive Player of the Week nods. He finished the season with 154 kills and a .303 hitting percentage. He’s not from New Jersey, but his home in the Philadelphia area is close enough for honorary “Jersey Boy” designation.
  • Junior opposite hitter Thenell (aka “Turkey”), from West Milford, N.J., was an All-MAC selection in 2023 and was integral in helping the Mustangs battle their way from an 0-3 start to the conference tournament. He finished with 184 kills and 24 service aces.

Led by first-year head coach Jason Gardner, the Mustangs finished 15-12 on the regular season, 5-3 in the Middle Atlantic Conference. Stevenson went 13-3 during a crucial stretch from Feb. 14 through March 20 before finishing the season with a heart-breaking five-set loss to Arcadia in the MAC tournament at the Owings Mills Gymnasium on the Stevenson campus.

Flanagan and Thennell will be back in the fall for the men’s beach volleyball season, and then they’ll head indoors for their senior seasons as Stevenson Mustangs.

Jeff Browne · Ben Johnson interviews Stevenson’s “Jersey Boys”
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About the Contributor
Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson, Sports Digital Reporter
Ben is a senior communication studies major with a history minor. He is from Hanover, Pennsylvania. After college he hopes to pursue a career in journalism or sports journalism. Ben enjoys covering sports and is the sports digital reporter for the Villager.
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