The UMHB men’s volleyball team was established in 2013 under the leadership of now President Aaron Jackson. The team is a made of up a group of ambitious young men, who strive to be leaders on and off of the court.
The club spends time practicing and building a bond that will help them compete effectively as participants in the National Collegiate Volleyball Foundation.
Over the past few years the team has grown tremendously with a total of 18 players and talk of establishing a JV team. This year alone, there are six freshman on the team.
Freshman communications major Chaz Upton plays outside hitter. He has only played for a little over a month, but said his teammates created an inviting atmosphere.
“The team has welcomed and encouraged me from the beginning, and with each practice everyone tends to loosen up a little more,” Upton said.
He also explained that the teams preseason record of 2-5-1 may seem low but a lot of players are young and new to the level of competition.
The regular season will officially begin in Spring and the team promises the wait will be worth it due to hard work and the help of newly recruited coach, Ryan Webb. The former USA Volleyball player brings his experience and skill into his coaching and has created excitement among the players.
Senior right side hitter Deshone Jones is especially excited by Webb’s coaching style.
“Coach Webb challenges us physically, mentally, and even spiritually,” Jones said. “He encourages us to accept our mistakes but to always become better at the end of the day.”
Competing at the Division I level helps challenge the guys to reach new heights and be the best of the best. By surrounding themselves with the hardest hitting and top scoring players, they are forcing themselves to become better and compete harder in the face of opposition.
The toughest competitors this season will be Texas A&M and Baylor according to Jones. The team has greatly improved since the first game, and although they still have some growing and learning to do, the UMHB men’s volleyball team is well on their way.
The team will continue preseason play Oct. 17 at the UNT Mean Green Classic and Oct. 18 at Saint Edwards in Austin.