GVSU club goes 2-2 in weekend tournament

Nick DeMaagd

Competition in a sport is often just as important as learning, and Grand Valley State’s men’s Division II club volleyball team has had a bit of both this season.

In light of the fact that GVSU came into its home tournament over the weekend with an 0-5 record, the men have made significant progress so far this season. With a roster chock full of new players – and often laden with injuries until recently – the Lakers have shown they have what it takes to compete.

To kick off its season, GVSU gained a mass of new players, which put the squad at a disadvantage compared to other schools. Of those seven new players, three are part of the starting rotation, playing up front in the Laker lineup. 

Finding a groove has proved challenging for the young-blooded group, but leadership from the more-experienced members has helped the squad develop some synergy lately.

Senior setter Brian Gold, media relations chair for the club, said the team has improved developmentally – and things have started to click.

“We have a committed group of guys who want to play and do well,” Gold said. “This weekend showed our potential to beat some good teams.”

The team finished 2-2 on the weekend, but the losses to Central Michigan and Michigan State’s “white” squad were relatively close and the pair of wins came against strong teams.

GVSU put away Olivet College (25-19, 19-25, 15-12) and gritted out its most impressive win against the University of Michigan’s “B” team (20-25, 25-23, 15-9). After falling behind 0-7 in the second game, the Lakers rallied back to even the series and take the Wolverines down in the final game.

“I really think we broke through a wall this past weekend,” said senior libero Mitch Corona, who serves as co-president of the club. “Just recently, we’ve come together even more and we’re on the edge of taking it to the next level.”

GVSU approaches the end of its regular season with the goal of making it to nationals within reach.

The last major event is the league championship in late March. If the Lakers finish strong, they will have a chance to become the first “B” team to join GVSU’s “A” team at nationals.

“We’ll be matched against some teams that are good at our skill level,” said coach Kevin Becker. “We have the potential to do really well as long as we stick with it and continue to improve.”