Clarissa Kraayenbrink – Sports Edito
Men’s volleyball is beginning its third season of varsity competition this week. Under the direction of head coach Chad Hanson, this year’s goals have been raised since last season.
Hanson is looking forward to this season and seeing how his players have progressed since last season, as well as how the new freshman class mixes in with the veterans. He says his players know what’s needed after last season and what the competition around the conference is like
“I love seeing that growing spirit and team unity,” Hanson said
The team is looking forward to executing new offensive and defensive systems this season, along with a new style and tempo that Hanson believes will work well for his team. He expects this season to bring depth that the team has not been able to have before. The team will have to compete night in and night out while still staying fresh on the court and building team unity and camaraderie off the court.
“I don’t know what we’ll get record-wise, but I just hope that we continue to grow and develop and just keep giving it our all,” said outside hitter Ben Tiemersma
The men’s volleyball team plays in a hybrid conference that combines the American Midwest Conference, the Great Plains Athletic Conference and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Out of all those teams, this conference has three teams ranked in the nation’s top-5. Briar Cliff and Morningside join Dordt to represent the GPAC in this conference. Dordt kicked off its season against Morningside this week and will face Lindenwood-Belleville on Friday, both in the De Witt gymnasium
The mentality of the players is to put God first, the team second and the sport third. Hanson says he looks forward to seeing how his players can grow physically, mentally and spiritually over the course of the season. The team hangs out in the offseason and Tiemersma credits getting to know his teammates is just as important as improving in the sport
Hanson is confident that the team can get a conference win this season and post more than one match win overall. However, it’s the most competition the team has faced yet. As Dordt keeps getting better, so do other teams
“It’s a hefty match,” Hanson said. “We play each [conference] team twice, so we need to assert ourselves in the conference overall.
Both Hanson and Tiemersma have positive outlooks for season ahead. The program is still young and getting built up, but this might just be the best season Dordt men’s volleyball has seen yet.