Bitten by Gators at Nationals
Men’s club team ends season with loss to Florida
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:04
After racing out to four consecutive victories at Nationals, the Santa Clara men’s club volleyball team lost in straight sets to Florida and was unable to sneak into the second round of the tournament.
The Broncos finished the regular season with an overall record of 13-14, but Santa Clara advanced into the gold bracket with the strong start at Nationals. Although eventually knocked out by the Gators, Santa Clara Team President Spencer Chavez was pleased with his squad’s effort.
“At Nationals, we really came together as a team and left nothing on the court,” said Chavez.
Santa Clara managed to shrug off its 4-9 conference record, and put together a run that kept them in contention for the No. 1 spot in the Division IAA bracket.
“Our conference is one of the best in the nation, and since we don’t have any easy games all year during conference play, we were very ready to play tough teams at Nationals,” said Chavez.
By the time the tournament kicked off, Santa Clara was prepared for the challenge that awaited. Maryland, UT San Antonio, Connecticut and Delaware all fell victim to the Broncos before Wisconsin halted their streak.
“When it came down to it during the tournament, everyone mentally went all in,” said Chavez. “We executed everything we worked on during the season really well.”
Throughout the season, the Broncos suffered from injuries that popped up on their roster. The tallest Santa Clara player, Avery Reiss, missed the entire regular season with a torn ligament in his shoulder. Reiss recovered just in time for Nationals, but the injury caught up with him again, pulling him off the court in the game against Florida.
Bad news continued to descend on Santa Clara, who found out Austin Ako would be unavailable for the game due to illness.
“The injuries were hindering because we had to play a middle that normally doesn’t play that position,” said senior right-side hitter Sam Dillard.
Greg Coffelt received the distinction of being named All-Tournament Honorable Mention. With only three players graduating, the team will essentially remain intact for next season.
“The team is overall a much stronger team, and I definitely see us continuing to improve in the next few years, especially due to our new coaching staff and head coach, Joe Fuston,” said Chavez. “I am definitely extremely excited to see how they do over the next couple of seasons.”
Contact Gabe Taylor at email@example.com or (408) 554-4852.