By Luke Mich, Sports Editor
The Saint Vincent Bearcats men’s volleyball team opened up their regular season shortly after the start of the spring semester. The team began practices immediately following their return to campus this semester and played their first matches, a doubleheader against Wittenberg University, at home on Saturday, Jan. 22.
Junior libero player, Matthew Klasnic, explained that he feels the team is situated better now than in years past.
“We have been able to grow and compete in each game,” Klasnic, business management major, said. “Leading into our conference matchups, I feel we are in a place much better than any year prior and have an opportunity to make an impact within the conference with some key players hitting their stride and the team beginning to get more chemistry together.”
While the matches so far have been tough and grueling for the team, Klasnic has seen progress within the team, including the freshmen.
“Our freshmen have improved tremendously, even when asked to play a different role than what they have experienced in the past. They came onto the team and have made immediate impacts on the floor, in practice and for overall team morale,” Klasnic said.
Despite their improvement, Klasnic also mentioned factors that the team needs to improve on in order to be more successful as the season progresses.
“As a team, we must commit less errors within the course of a game. We have had moments throughout the season where we look like the better team on the court, but our losses have resulted from mistakes on our part,” Klasnic said. “This is something to build on though; it is something we can control and change.”
Earlier in the academic school year, the Saint Vincent athletics department announced a new head coach for the men’s team – Kate McCauley. McCauley, according to Klasnic, continues to make many improvements to the team with her coaching.
“She has been hard on us in the best way a coach can be. She expects the world out of us and that is what we strive to produce. She believes in us, which allows us to play confidently, and her strong volleyball knowledge and effort into learning more for us has given us a chance to really grow as players,” Klasnic said.
The team has played five matches as of Feb. 6, but it is still early in the regular season for the squad, with over 20 matches yet to come.
As these matches approach, Klasnic reported that the team is actively working toward meeting their goals.
“Our goals for this season are to improve and compete each week. To take it one game at a time and reflect on how we can improve from that experience,” Klasnic said.
The team’s next matchup is at home against Carlow University in the Carey Center at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8.