The dawgs traveled to St. Louis to compete in the National Tournament April 12-14. The team finished 8-2 and won the Division II Silver Bracket. It was an unbelievable experience. The venue was nothing short of spectacular, the matches were intense, and the atmosphere was electric. Here’s a brief recap of each match:
vs UW-Stout (W): 25-8, 25-21 – the dawgs started out the tournament with a strong performance against UW-Stout. A few long serving runs kept the dawgs in the lead throughout the entire match.
vs Bethel U (W): 25-15, 25-19 – the dawgs played another clean match and knocked off Bethel University pretty easily. The dawgs offense proved to be too much for Bethel to handle.
vs SUNY Brockport (L): 22-25, 25-22, 12-15 – the dawgs ended pool play 2-1 after a tough loss to SUNY Brockport. The dawgs rallied late in set 3 but Brockport’s middles were too much for the dawgs to handle in this match.
vs Colorado School of Mines (L): 25-22, 21-25, 13-15 – the dawgs drew a tough opponent in the challenge round. The score was close throughout all three sets but the Miners ultimately prevailed.
vs Northern Ohio (W): 25-12, 25-20 – the dawgs’ next match was against Northern Ohio. After a relatively easy first set, the dawgs had to rally from a 10-2 deficit in set 2. Jackson Nagle and Jakob Jozwiakowski put up a few big blocks to close out the match.
vs Bentley U (W): 25-20, 25-11 – the dawgs then played Bentley for a chance to compete in the silver bracket. After a slow start, the dawgs figured things out and played one of their best matches of the year. Nate Kelch, John Lacheta, and Sam Burton played middle during this match and put down a few kills.
vs Stockton (W): 25-23, 25-14 – the dawgs then played Stockton to determine seeding for silver pool play. The match started out pretty close but the dawgs ultimately prevailed in set 1. Set 2 was controlled by the dawgs from start to finish. Brandon Gansell went on a few long serving runs that gave the dawgs a big lead from the start.
vs UMBC (W): 25-20, 25-23 – the dawgs knocked off UMBC in the silver quarterfinals in a close match. Rob Smith racked up a ton of digs and played one of his best matches of the year. Sam Smith also had a great game from the left pin.
vs SUNY Brockport (W): 18-25, 36-34, 16-14 – no, 36-34 is not a typo. That actually happened. The dawgs pulled off a stunner in the silver semifinals in a rematch against SUNY Brockport. The dawgs got off to a rough start and dropped the first set 18-25. At the beginning, set 2 wasn’t looking very good either but the dawgs fought back to push the match past 25. The dawgs then fought off 11 match points to take their first lead of the set at 35-34 and ultimately won the set 36-34. As the set kept going, more and more people circled around our court. By the time both teams reached 30, the area surrounding the court was completely filled with teams and fans from other schools. Some of the courts around us even stopped to see what was going on. After a long second set, the dawgs prevailed in set 3.
vs UM Duluth (W): 25-15, 25-23 – the dawgs knocked off UM Duluth in the silver championship to end the day 3-0 and the tournament 8-2. The team was exhausted after just playing an intense semifinal match. But, the team found a way to rally and win the last match of the year with a dominating performance.
Along with a plaque for winning the silver bracket, the dawgs brought home a few more awards. Jackson Nagle was named 2nd team All-Conference in the MWPVC after monster performances at the regional and crossover tournaments this semester. The team also won the “Outstanding Achievement” award through Butler’s HRC for all the things the team accomplished this year.
Congratulations to our members that will be taking over our leadership positions next year:
Sam Burton – President
Lukas Harkins – Treasurer
Trevor Tokarek – Vice President
Nate “Randall” Kelch – Secretary
Thank you seniors
Thank you to our 3 seniors (4 if you count Condon) for everything they’ve done over the past 4 years.
Jakob Jozwiakowski might be the smartest kid at Butler and will be going to IU School of Medicine next year. He claims that Organic Chemistry is easy and having a test the next day is not a valid excuse to miss practice. While he claims to be a middle at heart and put on a tremendous showing at spring sports as an opposite, Jaws has been the team’s setter for the past three years. He runs the offense well and is easily the best blocker out of all the setters in the conference. He always knew what to say and was a great leader for our team. We’ll miss Jaws a lot next year but we know he’s moving on to bigger and better things.
Chris Coulter is also pretty smart. Next fall will be the first time in 4 years that he won’t be eating at Atherton Union as he’ll be attending Marquette’s Dental School in a few months. Chris was a huge asset for our team the past few years. He’s served as the team’s Vice President and helped out with a lot of behind the scenes work. His versatility on the court allowed us to use him at both pins and his defense was outstanding. While none of us can figure out his approach, Chris always found a way to get a good swing on every ball. We’ll miss Chris and wish him all the best in his bright future.
Rob Smith isn’t quite as smart but he’s still going to grad school. He’ll be completing Butler’s MPA program next year and he’s keeping us in the dark as to whether or not he’ll play again next year. Bob has been the team’s libero for the past 3.5 years (still salty about you going abroad last spring) and has been a big part of the team’s success. His serve receive and defense are excellent and he would probably be the greatest outside hitter this world has ever seen if he was 6′ 2” (he’s 5′ 7” with shoes on). Everyone believes he got snubbed from the All-Conference team and should probably be given an award just for putting up with me for so long.
The dawgs finished 32-16 and broke many of our club’s records along the way. Huge thank you goes out to all our players for sticking with it all year, our parents for all the tournaments (Nate Kelch’s mom has been to more tournaments this year than Nate himself), and the HRC staff for all their help along the way. We’re looking forward to starting another great season in the fall! Be sure to check our social media accounts for updates about the 2018-2019 season!
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