Volleyball Title Chase Begins

Top-ranked team strives to reclaim NJCAA national crown


Josh Zytkiewicz

Sophomores Andrea Bauer (right) and Taylor Genthe block during the WolfPack Almuni game on Aug. 12.

Bailey Ayres, Sports Editor

After ending last year with a third place finish at the NJCAA Division III National Championship, the Madison College volleyball team begins its season ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA preseason poll.

In addition to their national tournament success a year ago, the WolfPack also won the N4C conference and Region IV title.
The team aspires to do even better this season.

Coach Toby Parker said returning players are motivated from how the season ended last year.

“(The players) have significant a chip on their shoulders from last years loss in the final four,” said Parker. “Each year, as we finish seasons, we have bench marks that are set. These last three, four years, we have not just achieved, but surpassed. I would say it is no easy task for anybody, especially when you talking about a two year program, not a four.

“So, I think that we set the bar rather high during the off-season,” Parker said. “That was not necessarily done by the coaching staff. Like I said, these five kids who are returning from last year’s team who lost in Rochester in the Final Four, they are not really happy about it.”

Last year’s team entered the national tournament on a roll. It won 24-straight matches before suffering a 3-2 loss in the national tournament semifinals. It was a match that Madison College led, 2-1, before losing the last two games.

That loss seems to have fueled the team’s efforts in the offseason.

“The offseason was productive,” Parker said. The summer workouts have included all returning players and incoming freshman.  During these workouts players get to know one another, and this allows the team to hit the ground running once the season begins.

Parker credits the returning players with helping the incoming freshmen adjust to the demands of the team.

The WolfPack play their first home match of the season on Thursday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. against Elgin Community College. Then on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28 the team travels to Wisconsin Dells for the is the Battle for the Dells Tournament.