Stevenson men’s volleyball suffered some tough losses at the beginning of their season, but new head coach Aldis Berzins and his team seem to have hit full stride coming into March.
Currently the Mustangs are 8-1 overall, 4-2 in the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) and ranked fourth in the CVC. Most recently, the team had a nine-game home win streak going before a hard loss to Stevens Tech.
“The men’s team late success is due to their hard work on the court, in the weight room and their strong team dynamic,” said Berzins.
The Mustangs have some key conference games moving forward including Eastern Mennonite University, Juniata College, Marymount University, and Thiel College. The Mustangs have already played all four teams, beating Juniata and Thiel, but losing to Marymount and Eastern Mennonite. The Mustangs will be tested once again as they will play each team at least one more time.
“Going up against such strong opponents, every team needs strong leaders. The men all lead in their own way,” said Berzins. Jason Gardner, sophomore opposite, said the main leaders on the court are Nate Ellis and Kyle Johnson, both seniors.
“Not only has the team worked hard for their success, but they are also a very tight-knit group,” said Alex Klunk, junior middle hitter. “Chemistry has never been an issue for the team,” said Klunk. “It’s just like every year we are a close team,” he explained.
Gardner said it’s the reason he decided to come to Stevenson, because the alumni have created such a great, welcoming culture. “The team is always together, win or lose, and that is why they have become such a successful team,” said Gardner.
Through the hard games in the beginning of the season, the team looks to keep the momentum going and finish the season on a strong note. Gardner said the goal is to make the NCAA Championship as they did last year, and it takes hard work and effort to get there.