The men’s club volleyball team began last spring and has continued to expand. The team has already began their season by travelling across Texas competing in tournaments and matches from Waco to San Marcos to College Station. The team competes in the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation which governs collegiate volleyball clubs all over the United States. The men are working hard to compete in the NCVF National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri, April 9-11.
This year’s Cru roster consists of 15 students of all ages, ranging from freshmen to seniors.
Aaron Jackson helped develop the club team. He is a junior double major in business management and marketing who currently serves as the team’s captain.
“My favorite part about being on the men’s volleyball team is being able to play college volleyball at the division-1 national collegiate volleyball federation level. It has always been a dream of mine to play volleyball in college, so now I get the opportunity to do so and building memories with these awesome guys,” he said.
Jackson grew up watching his sister play which sparked his interest in the sport.
“During my junior year in high school, I started playing and going to open gyms, trying to learn as much as possible. That brought me to love the sport and want to play at a collegiate level,” he said.
The team’s current coaches are Elleny Ohendalski and Ally Bermea. Ohendalski, a freshman nursing major, found out about the team last semester from last semester’s head coach.
“I joined the team this past fall, Katelyn Holm, who was the head coach at the time, asked me to practice one day. Then I just continued with it throughout the semester. Now she has graduated, and I am still staying at the position of assistant coach.”
Junior exercise sport science major Andrew Flores and junior finance and management double major Drew Davies enjoy being a part of the squad.
“It started up in the spring semester, 2014. I have been a part of it since it started. My favorite part of being on the team is just being able to play the game that I grew to love with friends,” Flores said.
“My favorite part of volleyball would have to be the sense of community. We take volleyball pretty seriously and practice four times a week, sometimes at five in the morning. It’s just a really good feeling when the whole team is helping you get to where you need to be and that I get the opportunity to help other members reach their full potential as well,” Davies said.
Freshman business management major Arriano Concepcion found out about the team and couldn’t wait to be a part of UMHB’s volleyball history.
His favorite parts are “the ability to play against division-1 schools as a division-3 school. When I’m gone, I can look back and see how big volleyball becomes at UMHB. I’ll think to myself, we started that,” he said.
This past weekend the Cru travelled to Arlington, Texas, where they competed against many different schools across the region. Some of these teams included: the University of Texas-Arlington, Oklahoma University, University of Texas-Austin, and University of North Texas.
The team encourages students to get involved with the volleyball club. A scrimmage against LeTourneau University is being arranged this spring. An alumni game is also scheduled to allow more Crusaders the volleyball experience.
Tryouts for next year’s squad will open in the next couple of weeks. For more information about the men’s club volleyball team, please go to studentorgs.umhb.edu/umhb-mens-volleyball or contact Team Captain Aaron Jackson at 254-415-9167.