Volleyball goes to nationals

Nolan Swenson, Co-Sports Editor

UW Oshkosh men’s volleyball club sent two teams to represent UWO at the national level at Phoenix, Arizona. Team I was eliminated early in the more competitive bracket, while Team II made it to the semifinals in their copper bracket.

On Saturday, Team I lost to University of Michigan in two sets, 22-25, 21-25. Team II then played UM B in a loss of 23-25, 22-25.

Team I is the more experienced of the two teams, as many members come from years of playing club at the competitive level. They were struck down trying to get into the gold bracket and then were pooled to see if they were going for silver or copper. They did not make it into silver and then were taken out on Saturday.

Team II competed until Saturday when it was taken out in the Division III copper bracket by the University of Michigan’s team.

Team II was trying to gain experience while they were there as most of the players had only been playing for months. Player Calvin Levernz said that he had a lot of fun.

“I never played in high school,” he said. “ I’ve only played bar leagues the past three years and this was my first time playing indoor organized matches. The atmosphere is very open to new people.”

Both teams had great success and growth throughout the year. The previous weekend,Team II had its best weekend when they won silver at the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference in Milwaukee. Team I won gold at that same tournament and took the conference title for the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, which features some of the largest schools in the Midwest.

Throughout the season, Team I had a record of 33-12 and Team II had a record of 3-18, but Levernz sees more to this than just a win-loss.

“We’ve seen a whole lot of growth,” he said. “Especially on the II’s side of things. The I’s fought really hard and may not have seen the success that we wanted in the end, but we grew a lot this year.”

The UWO men’s volleyball club will return again in January 2023, including Levernz, as he found it to be a great time for those both experienced and inexperienced in the sport.

He said: “The guys were great and super helpful and I’ll be back next year. And if I stretch another semester, I’ll be playing a third year in 2024.”