Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 27, 2019

Volleyball Hosts Manchester Invitational 

Mackenzie Kopplin


The PERC was alive with the sound of squeaking shoes, whistles blowing and the smell of fresh popcorn from the concessions stand as MU hosted a volleyball invitational on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21.

The competition included Ancilla College, Anderson University, Indiana University Northwest, Governors State University and Terra State Community College, as Manchester played four games.

The volleyball team has had a strenuous season thus far. With an overall record of 5-7, Manchester has had its ups and downs, however, hopes are high for good performances in upcoming conference play. “Something we need to continue working on is our efficiency in attacking while being aggressive enough to put pressure on our opponents,” said head coach Ivan Matos. The Spartans struggled converting in crunch time situations over the course of the past weekend.

Coming off a loss against Kalamazoo (KZOO def. MU 2522, 20-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-12) the Spartans were challenged greatly at the Manchester Invitational. Winning two out of four games, Manchester split the weekend with a .500 record. The Spartans defeated both Terra State Community College and Ancilla College. Manchester’s scores for the weekend were the following: MU def. TSCC 25-23, 25-21, 25-23; GSU def. MU 25-18, 25-23, 25-23; MU def AC 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19; IUNW def. MU 22-25, 25-10, 25-16, 2526. These scores all show great potential for the Spartans, but the team must turn the corner and play fresh again today when they travel to Franklin College to kick off HCAC play.

Currently sitting in seventh place in the HCAC conference, the Spartans hope to string together wins as conference play begins. “Moving into conference play, I foresee it being a definite challenge and no opponent will be an easy task,” Matos said. “In order for us to be successful we will need to stay focused throughout matches that will probably go the distance, and everyone has to execute in pressure moments.”

In previous years, the Spartans have been a team to be reckoned with, but with new players comes new challenges. The Spartans have a handful of upperclassmen on the team, but their roster is fully loaded with first-year talent and nerves. “I believe our freshman class is doing a good job adjusting to the speed and intensity of the game at the college level, but I would have to reiterate that they need to continue working on being more efficient in attacking,” Matos said.

“Some of our strengths this season are the fact that we are continually getting better as a team,” Matos continued. “I believe everyone has gained a lot of knowledge from situational training in practices and video sessions.” The team is working hard to improve their record day in and day out.

The team used their experience this weekend to learn more about themselves. “This weekend was a great opportunity to show how hard we trained the week prior,”said junior Lexi Collins. “We saw a lot of different level of skill from different schools which gave us a great opportunity to mix things up and challenge us. “We need to work on confidence,” Collins continued. “We have great skill but we also have young players on the court. When we work together it’s dangerous what we can do. We are super excited for conference to prove a lot of people wrong.”