• Zach Sturgill

Men's vball has 12 players, renewed attitude

The Olivet men’s volleyball team enters the 2017 season with poise and determination to play well on the court.

This is their second year playing competitively in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League (MCVL) under the NCAA. The inaugural season in 2016 finished with the Comets winning its only game at home against the Adrian Bulldogs near the end of the year.

Eight players were on the team, all coming into the season with little to no experience in high school volleyball. This was the first ever NCAA men’s volleyball team in Michigan.

With one year in the books for Coach Casey Hilts, he looks forward to the upcoming season. “Every program needs to have a first-year learning curve and ours is behind us. As a result, we start out at a much higher place than last year with four returning starters back.”

A 12-man roster will be playing under Hilts in 2017, eight of whom are freshmen. One of the only returning players from the inaugural 2016 season, Jeremiah Cowham, had this to say about last year’s development period: “Most of the players have never played volleyball before, or if they did, that was their second year. Last year taught us a lot about keeping our heads high and playing through tough situations.”

Cowham also said, “The way we played showed how much we can grow and improve, and I think this year we will be a team to fear.”

Hilts had this to say about his new players: “The athletic and volleyball IQ of our freshmen, added to our returning starters, should make this a fun team to watch.” Before games start, the junior right-side hitter also talked about team bonding: “We are all pretty close, and I feel like the team is more like a family. We always eat lunch and dinner with each other…no matter what happens in practice