Bulldogs volleyball looks to build off 2018

The Truman State University volleyball team is coming off a season where it finished in the middle of the GLVC and made the GLVC tournament. The team looks to have even more success in 2019. 

In the recently released GLVC preseason poll the Bulldogs are picked to finish seventh of 16 teams in the conference. The team garnered 145 votes. Lewis University barely edged out Rockhurst University at the top of the poll receiving 216 votes compared to Rockhursts’ 204. 

The team started the 2018 season with upset wins over Florida Southern University and Arkansas Tech University in the Peggy Martin Challenge in Warrensburg, Missouri. The Bulldogs continued their hot start into the next tournament where they won four straight matches in the Westminster Invitational. 

With the early season tournament finished, the Bulldogs moved into GLVC play. They started slowly with two losses to Lewis University and the University of Indianapolis, however, they bounced back quickly with eight consecutive wins in the GLVC. Altogether the team finished 10-8 in conference, which was good enough for eighth place and a bid to the GLVC tournament. The Bulldogs were quickly eliminated, losing to Lewis in the first round. 

Head volleyball coach Ben Briney is entering his 11th season as coach of the Bulldogs. He has a career record of 221-145 with Truman. 

This year, the Bulldogs look to build off their successes of last season. This will be helped by the amount of senior leadership on the team. The Bulldogs go into 2019 with six seniors.

“Our goal every year is to trust the process and get better every practice so that come the end of the year we are in a position to compete for a championship, both GLVC, and nationally,” Briney said. “We played at Lindenwood last year, so really the only new gym we will be in will be SBU,” Briney said. “The bigger challenge this year is that we are playing a single round robin schedule, so we have to be ready to play every night this year in the GLVC because there are only 15 conference matches.”  

“The big impact comes in the fact that all the seniors are helping the freshmen come learn what they need to learn,” Briney said. “We are a bit ahead of the curve from where you might normally be with seven new players because of the leadership the seniors have been showing to help the new players along.”

Truman volleyball begins on the road in Fort Lauderdale Sept. 6. Their first home game is Oct. 4 against Indianapolis.