Men’s win count spikes before tourney

 

UMHB is a powerhouse when it comes to sports, and the new men’s volleyball team is looking to be nothing less when the season officially starts in the spring.

 

Although the team just officially began tournament play this year, they have already recruited 17 players that range from freshmen to seniors.

 

Junior business management major Aaron Jackson was appointed captain of the team.

Nano Conception, takes a swing after a set by captain Aaron Jackson. Katelyn Holm/The Bells

Nano Conception, takes a swing after a set by captain Aaron Jackson. Katelyn Holm/The Bells

 

“It has always been a great passion of mine and I’ve always wanted to play volleyball as a collegiate sport …” Jackson said. “Once I found out there was a big passion for volleyball here at UMHB as far as guys, I felt like we definitely needed to get something started here.”

 

As captain, Jackson says his job is to motivate his team, make sure they show up to practice, hold them accountable and make sure they take initiative to do what is expected.

 

Since Texas does not have NCAA men’s volleyball, the Southern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association was created, thus letting this group of guys start something new on campus.

 

The men have been travelling to different schools this semester to participate in tournaments before their season starts in Jan.

 

Nursing major and assistant coach Elleny Ohendalski says the guys have greatly improved since the beginning of the semester.

 

“They’re playing good at the tournaments … they just seem shy on the court … but they are improving,” she said.

 

The team is preparing to host their own tournament in December, inviting other schools in the division to Crusader turf for some matches. Fans are encouraged to come out and see the guys play.

 

The group practices at 5:30 a.m., where they learn how to set, serve, rotate, do drills and communicate on the court.

 

Though this is a new thing at UMHB, Jackson says he can really see the passion and growth in his teammates.

 

Along with improving their skills, the guys have found friendships in each other, learning how to connect and play as a team both on and off the court.

 

“As a captain, it is my job to oversee the team under the coach … I try to keep my boys motivated because they’re my teammates … I care more about my team than myself … because without them, I am nothing,” Jackson said. “It takes a team to do everything on the court and I can’t beat six other guys by myself.”

 

The first ever Crusader Classic will kick off Dec. 6 in Mayborn.

Author: Jordan Yarbrough

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