Club volleyball has fine finish at nationals


Left to right for the guys: Luke Martinson, Dayon McCall, Tyler Roob, Joe McKearn, George Bowman, Zac Hettwer, Connor Andrews, Owen Van galen, Jacob Hartshorn, Nathan Jones, Bottom two guys left to right: Ryan Peschl, Alex Bodven.

Brian Gale, Assistant Editor of Arts and Recreation

The UW-Whitewater men’s club volleyball team headed to Phoenix, Arizona recently to compete in the Division II Collegiate Club Volleyball Championship. Going into the tournament Whitewater had a record of 12-10 and a history of success at the national level. 

The Warhawk’s strengths going into the tournament would be their leadership and experience. They are led by “super duper senior” Luke Martinson.  

“We have a really mature group of guys as well as guys who have been playing volleyball in Wisconsin and for Whitewater for years now,” says player Dj McCall. “The biggest thing was chemistry. I don’t think you’d find a team that was having as much fun as we were.”

Whitewater would play in pool F in the round robin start to the tournament. The other three teams joining Whitewater in their group was Colorado School of Mines, Army and the University of San Diego. If successful Whitewater would end up finishing the group at 2-1, placing second in the group. They would then face Missouri University of Science and Technology in the challenge round where they would win in straight sets. 

The next part of the tournament was another group round robin – this time with only two other teams. California State University-Saint Marcos, as well as the highest ranked team in the tournament Creighton. They would drop the game to Saint Marcos, but beat Creighton in three sets finishing that group at 1-1, and giving them a spot in the gold bracket where they would have a shot to make it to the championship.

They would then face a more familiar school in UW-Lacrosse. But that was where Whitewater’s tournament would come to an end, losing in three sets. Lacrosse would end up moving onto the championship.

A major part of the tournament for Whitewater was the experience itself and playing in a different environment against different teams they normally wouldn’t play.

“Everybody’s new to the gym, everyone is playing on the same court. Same lighting. Nobody’s used to it more than another person. Playing teams that you’ve never seen before, talent that you’ve never seen. Every game we played was against people with no scouting report. We didn’t know anything. So you just out there playing and you have to learn,” says McCall. 

Whitewater would end up finishing 9th in the tournament. Platteville would finish in 22nd place. 

Other Wisconsin teams, Eau Claire and Lacrosse would finish first and second.