Men’s volleyball competes in the first-ever home game

Andrew Zienty

The Titan men’s volleyball team during their winning set.
Photos: Katie Fata

Although Illinois Wesleyan is off to a rocky start of 0-4, they do have some positives. Even with their loss, they were able to make team history and win their first-ever set and also hosted their first-ever game against North Central on Feb.17.

We have a great group of young men that are starting this program and I can’t wait to see everything they accomplish together this year,” head coach Brandon Mueller said.

Illinois Wesleyan won their first set 25-22 but ended up losing the game 3-1.

Playing in our first match just two weeks ago, and being an all first-year team I thought we did a lot of things really well,” Mueller said.

The team was led in kills and aces by first-year Michael Eastman with 12 and 1 respectively, led by first-year Ethan Scott in blocks with 5, assists by first-year Bradley Benson with 10 and digs from first-year KJ Johnson with 7.

 

First-year Michael Eastman serving the only ace for IWU against North Central.

With all of the obstacles thrown at us this year, especially as a first-year team it hasn’t been easy but it will be a time to remember,” first-year Michael Eastman said.

“The first group of guys brought in by Coach Mueller are a great group to start this program. I know that from how we have handled ourselves during these frustrating times and I believe that great things are to come in the future,” first-year Michael Eastman said.

Though they lost the game, spirits stayed high on and off the court. The players cheered each other on after every play and kept each other laughing throughout the game. When they weren’t playing, several team members danced to the songs playing during time-outs and joked with the other team’s players. 

With a conference record of 0-3, they still have eleven conference games left for the season to take a turn for the better and for some success.

“Our team just needs to grow our bond a lot. We are all freshmen, so we are all pretty close as a team, but on the court, we just need to keep establishing a connection with each other to be able to play at a fast and consistent pace,” first-year Dominic Bennett said. 

“Being all freshmen, we’re all new to this, so we are all learning together what we have to do to compete, play, and ultimately score and win points in matches,” Bennett said.

The team will host North Park on Feb.21 and then take on Rockford at Rockford on Feb.22.                       

The team congratulated each other after every play.
Photo: Katie Fata