Dallas, TX. The MSU Men’s and Women’s Club Volleyball teams rolled into Dallas to participate in the 2013 NCVF National Championships during the first week of April and made quite a mark.
After an up and down season, the Spartan’s top men’s team, MSU Green, went 5-1 at the 2013 MIVA Championships, earning their way into the top flight of men’s teams at the NCVF event. Green entered the tournament seeded 37th of 48 teams, and fought their way to a very respectable19th place finish overall with wins over Stanford (NCVC), Air Force (MWVC), Iowa (MIVA-BTMVA), Dayton (MIVA-GMVC), UW-Whitewater (WVC) and EIVA Club Champion, James Madison. MSU Green advanced to the Semi-Finals of the Silver Division before dropping their final match to a very competitive Virginia Tech (EIVA) team.
After the last match of the season, Head Coach Sante Perrelli said, “I am proud of the club this year – Green fought through a great deal of adversity and learned to be persistent while bringing their own brand of excitement to the court. I am especially pleased that our seniors had a chance to showcase their talent and peaked at just the right time.” Perrelli added that “we are all very grateful for the work and dedication of Eric Lazowski this year. Eric’s discipline and knowledge of the game were key factors in helping our club maintain competitive excellence this year.” Lazowski, a member of the 1995 MSU Green Team and USAV elite coach, travelled from Grand Rapids throughout the year to help coach practices and competitions and run clinics.
MSU White entered the tournament ranked 18th in Men’s Division III, and advanced to the Gold flight, eventually tying for 5th place overall. The 5th place finish was the highest showing of any MSU White team in the history of the club. MSU White’s performance was highlighted by wins over Southern California (SCVC), Texas (SIVA), San Jose State (NCVC), and UCSBB (SCVC). White dropped a hard fought match to UC Berkeley B (NCVC) in the first round of the Men’s Division III Gold Bracket. Brent Money (SR, Libero) and Juan Manfredi (GR, Outside) were honored as NCVF Division III All-Americans based on their steady and truly exceptional play. White Team’s fantastic finish is a testament to the hard work and determination of both the team and their first year Head Coach Gina Lang.
This was a special year for the club in many ways. The men hosted two tournaments in the fall and the 2013 MIVA Championship Tournament. The women hosted 2 events, including an NCVF Seeding Tournament. Nearly 100 teams drawing over 1,000, plus family members and fans travelled to East Lansing this year to participate and attend MSU club-sponsored events. In addition, MSU entered a precedent setting third team into the MIVA this season. MSU Posse, comprised of many beginning players, participated in practice and play throughout the year, completing over 20 years of consecutive organization as the clubs entry level squad.
As for the Club’s leadership, Coach Perrelli said “the E-Board leadership this semester was exceptional, led by Mike Gemkow (JR). He stepped in with strong peer support from Ross Klein (SR), Matt Vander Meer (SR), Anthony Jurayj (SR), Bradley White (SO) and Matt Petry (SO), and did a tremendous job under some very challenging circumstances.” Gemkow and the E-Board worked with women’s Club President Camille Lefevre and their leadership to send over 50 student athletes to Dallas for the NCVF event. Cheering and supportive parents, fans and friends of the MSU clubs joined the teams in Dallas to form one of the largest club delegations in the 360 team field.
Green Team’s graduating seniors this year include four-year club member and Team Captain, Matt Vander Meer (Opposite, 4 year All-BTMVA honoree), Sam Lee (Setter, 2013 BTMVA Sportsman of the year, 2 year club member and assistant to former MSU player Matt Lewandowski, the current coach of Women’s White Team), Andrew Horne (2013 Middle Blocker, 2013 All-BTMVA, 2 year club member), defensive spitfire Sonny Lei (Libero), and Anthony Jurayj (Outside, 4 year club member).
Although a number of key MSU players graduate this year, the club will return a strong corps of capable and hungry Spartans next year. Many will be training and playing beach volleyball this summer before returning for the 2013-2014 campaign. The 2014 season will be the 25th anniversary of the club’s 1989 MIVA Championship and will draw alumni, family and friends to East Lansing throughout the year.
Go Green Go White, Go State