After a long summer break away from practice and tournaments, the Truman State men’s club volleyball team is back at it following tryouts last week. With many returning players and some new freshmen, the club team is looking to have an even more successful year than last season.
The team is coming off a very successful year with wins against club teams from schools including the University of Nebraska, Kansas University, Creighton University, Villanova University and the University of Missouri — which finished third nationally in Div. I. Truman’s team, which is in the Midwest Plains Conference, finished first in its conference last year and finished in the top 25 nationally with a team composed mostly of underclassmen. During competition, teams are not split up by the division of their school. Instead, matchups change on any given day. An NCAA Div. III school could be matched up against a Div. I school at any tournament it competes in.
Senior George Nelson, sophomore and team vice president Scott Halbert, and alumnus Mike Push coach Truman’s team. Push says he takes practices very seriously. He played club volleyball when he was a student, and several players said they appreciate having him coach them.
Halbert says Push’s experience can lead to some tough practices. He said the club is fortunate to have Push and play at such a competitive level.
Players are also talking about the team’s strong group of returners. Sophomore Kyler Thompson says the team has eight people from last season who are playing this year, and five new members.
“The team this year is going to be better than last year,” Thompson says. “We have gotten a couple of tall freshmen that know what they’re doing, along with graduate student Dan Condra returning for another year, who is one of the best players in the conference. With two captains and a head coach always willing to work with each player, it’s not hard to develop very competitive players.”
This season, the club will travel to the University of Missouri, St. Louis University and Iowa State University for tournaments. Players also will head to the national tournament at the University of Louisville during early April. The team will have its first set of games at St. Louis University Oct. 3.
For more on Truman’s club volleyball team, pick up a copy of the Index or read online on Issuu here.