By: Jacob Greene
Simpson University Men’s volleyball ended the season 7-5, making the playoffs. The team also had one of the biggest wins in the last few years.
Simpson University Men’s Volleyball faced many challenges this season. Back-up setter, David Raffaelli shared his thoughts on the season,
“We had a lot of people that were coming in, I think like we had 6 or 7 returners, and the rest were new guys. So, it was kind of a mix of experience versus people that have never played in college before.”
The mix of experiences created a team that was scrambled together. Despite the lack of experience, the team was able to get a big win midway through the season. Passer,
Quinn Wright says that
“Us beating Merced was definitely our highlight of the season. We just really did well with the changes that happened throughout the season, I think we faced them really well. We moved forward in a really good way and won a lot of games coming together as a team.”
Wright says that one challenge during the year was,
“Some of our trips we took, we just couldn't get runs together to win games. Late in games especially.”
There were two challenges that stand out over the course of the season according to Raffaelli:
“We did have a coaching change about halfway through the season. I would also argue that our starting outside, Jordan Mills getting hurt was another bug issue because we only had three players practicing as front row-outsides. We really didnt have a lot of depth at that position.”
When you have so many changes happen in one season it is hard to adjust and play consistently. Wright experienced the coaching difference firsthand. Being a passer, he would be sub-in off the bench.
“It was pretty different; it was just a culture shock for everybody. Especially for me being first year, I just didn’t think that was something that happened.”
On a road trip to Arizona, the team played the No. 2 ranked Ottowa, and Benedictine University. But the third team they played, Park-Gilbert, beat them in 3 sets. A team that Simpson had previously beat at home in 3 sets.
Raffaelli shared how the veterans on the team handled the challenges and losses throughout the season.
“I think for us on the bench, we were mostly amped to play in a game because we wanted to fix something on the court that we were seeing. But at the same time the returners handled the weekend of losses pretty well and they bounced back and got a few more wins back home.”
The men’s volleyball team had an early, first-round exit in the play-offs, despite having an impressive season. They rose above the challenges that came at them and faced them head on. Congratulations on a great season!