What’s to come for men’s volleyball?
By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter
The men’s volleyball team has been nothing short of spectacular the past four years, finishing in second place in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s National Men’s Volleyball Championship in 2012. This year, they’re showing no signs of slowing down. Though the squad is fielding one of its youngest teams in recent history, they enter their season well-prepared, united, and mentally tough.
Coach Brad Hudson has lofty ambitions for his group: “I know that I have high expectations. I don’t think they realize how much potential they really have. We have seven new players and with that comes many ups and downs. But once they get some games out of the way they will see their true potential.”
With returning fifth year player Andrew Robson, who is predicted to be a huge contributor this year, and fourth year First Team All-Star Andrew McWilliam, the team has some quality veteran experience. Coach Hudson believes that they will be crucial role models for the young team.
Along with the two veterans comes a deadly force: the team’s voice and motivator playing the middle position, Nicholas Bridle. Bridle can be heard in the hallways during practice with his high energy level, constantly trying to motivate his fellow players. “I believe that you need to challenge yourself and your teammates every day. I like to talk; that is how I express myself. Seeing my teammates excelling on the court, in the weight room, and even in the classroom is good news to me. It all deserves a fist bump! Everyone has their own way of motivating their team, mine just sticks out because I’m loud. Both Andy’s lead by example. It’s a different type of motivation.” Bridle then grins, acknowledging the need for another fist bump.
When asked about the team dynamic, there is a definite consensus: the relationship between the veteran players and the rookies is consistently growing. Everyone is learning their role and taking accountability for their actions.
First year outside hitter, George Thompson, speaks on the team chemistry: “There are a lot of fresh faces on the team with no college experience, but because we have older and mature players we don’t really have any problems. Young or not, the team is filled with crazy athletic guys who work harder than any team I’ve ever been on.”
The Royals are determined to use their diversity to their advantage. The young players will introduce new things to the veterans and the veterans will reciprocate. The team’s goal—one that is certainly achievable—is nothing less than a trip to Nationals. With the season starting in less than a month, the men are ready to maintain their streak of success.