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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

Club Spotlight: UWL Men’s Club Volleyball

Photo retrieved by Jacob Stevens.

The University of La Crosse Men’s Club Volleyball Team is among the sports clubs offered by the UWL Rec Sports Department. The club competes in the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference (WVC) and is the reigning Division II (DII) National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) National Champion. 

The club is split into two groups, referred to as the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams. Tryouts for both teams occur during the third week of the fall semester, initiating a season that lasts nearly the entire academic year, ending in late April with the National Tournament.

The team is always looking for new players and wants to be seen as a fun way for UWL students to continue playing volleyball at the collegiate level. “Anybody can show up, everybody is welcome to join,” said Club Treasurer and ‘B’ Team Captain, Jacob Stevens 

The club does not want to shy away from potential players just because of the level of commitment either. “It’s a great medium of fun and competitiveness,” said Stevens. “We practice only twice a week so it’s relatively low commitment.” 

The club typically plays in single-day tournaments on the weekends. While almost all of their matches are played in tournaments, occasionally the club will play matches against WVC conference opponents.  

The team is comprised of a group of 22 guys who have a passion for the sport and get along well with each other. “It feels like a big family,” said ‘A’ team captain Joseph Mahan. “Everybody comes together, and everybody wants to win.” 

“If you wanted to go play official NCAA volleyball the time commitment is infinitely more than club,” said Mahan. He believes the low time commitment of the club is a benefit, and balancing academics while competing at a higher level is tough. “Here you only sacrifice a few weekends per semester and still get to play against good competition.” 

Although the Eagles competed against larger programs from ‘Power-Five’ schools such as UW-Madison and Louisiana State University, the team still found success. “We were the only Division III-sized school competing last year at nationals,” said Stevens. The ‘A’ team won the NCVF DII National Title last year, and the ‘B’ team was not far behind, taking 5th place in the NCVF DIII. 

Club ‘A’ teams representing a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (DI) school play in NCVF Division I, and any ‘A’ clubs representing a DII or DIII school play in NCVF DII. ‘B’ teams from each school regardless of division play in NCVF Division III. 

In recent history, the ‘A’ team has been a strong contender for the NCVF DII National Title, and for the past two years has met the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds in the Championship Final. Both teams have ranked as the top two teams in the NCVF DII for the past few years and are once again favorites to have the third consecutive finals rematch this year. 

Mahan is confident the team will pull off another national title, “I personally think that we’re an even better team than last year, I think we’re prepared for anything to be thrown at us.” The Eagles ‘A’ team is ranked atop the WVC standings and the NCVF DII power rankings, boasting a 12-1 record this season, and have only lost three out of 31 sets played. 

The team’s remaining schedule for the 2023-2024 season includes a tournament for both teams on March 30, in Eau Claire, two matches on March 31, against UW-Platteville and Luther College at Luther College and the WVC Conference Tournament at the Sting Volleyball Center in Milwaukee on April 5, and April 6. 

To conclude their season, the Eagles follow up the WVC Conference Tournament with another appearance in this year’s NCVF National Tournament in Kansas City, which will take place from April 18-20. 

The season concludes with the NCVF National Tournament in Kansas City scheduled from April 18-20. For those interested in joining, information about the UWL Men’s Volleyball Club is available on Instagram, via the club’s MyOrgs page or by contacting [email protected]. 

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About the Contributor
John Gaynor
John Gaynor, Sports Reporter
Year at UWL: Freshman
PGPs: He/Him
Hometown: Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Major: Marketing
Minor: N/A
Other Campus Involvement: Running Club, Track & Field Team
Future Plans after Graduation: Work in the aviation industry
Favorite Activity in La Crosse: Walking near the river
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