Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Men’s volleyball finishes second season with a win

Augustana men’s volleyball completed their second season as a program following their win against Trine University on Saturday, April 6. Augustana finished their season with a record of 12-15 and a fifth place finish in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League.
Like any new program, the Vikings’ main focus is improving each year, and the Vikings did just that by winning one more game than they did last year and jumping up two places in the conference standings.
The young Augustana team mainly made up of sophomores and first-years finished the season even with their postseason hopes dashed. The Vikings suffered a loss to Mount St. Joseph three sets to one on Friday, April 5, which erased their chances to clinch the programs first conference tournament berth.
However, for first-year Caleb Minnis, the season is still looked at as a success.
“Winning that last game showed that this season was a success. When the last game you played of the season is a win, there is satisfaction in the outcome, as well as eagerness to exceed those past expectations in the upcoming season,” Minnis said.
Minnis, who led the team in serve percentage and was second on the team in blocks, was just one of two first-year starters for the Vikings. He credited his first-year class for some of the growth the team has experienced over the past two seasons.
The growth that the Vikings experienced has often times come from their hardships, according to sophomore Dillan Baum. One of the biggest setbacks the Vikings had to overcome was adjusting to a new coach. Interim Head Coach Joshua Zolecki was an assistant coach for the Vikings before the old coach, Mark Lau, was let go midseason.
The Vikings went 7-6 the rest of season following the take over of Zolecki, and Baum credited the team’s improvement directly from adversity like this.
“Our biggest area of improvement is that through all the difficulties we have been faced with, we have always stuck together and overcame everything. We always continue to adapt and grow,” Baum said.
Adapting and growing seemed to be common themes from the Viking players, and that attitude is something that will be taken into the offseason, according to Minnis.
“As a team that calls itself a family, I feel that we definitely have what it takes to work together, but it is important to take this time where we aren’t together all day to grow in our own way, and refine some of our own personal skills,” Minnis said.
Some of the Vikings other category leaders included kill leader sophomore Jason Szara, block leader first-year Luis Zavala and dig leader sophomore Matthew Schiferl.

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Men’s volleyball finishes second season with a win