By Sarah Tinoco
October 16, 2013
Dominican University’s inaugural men’s volleyball team is gearing up to show the Continental Volleyball Conference what a promising team they will be at the start of the season, which is now less than three months away.
The team is comprised of 18 freshmen, coincidentally all from Illinois. All of the players have played together before, either on club or high school teams.
“This group of young men played for some of the top clubs in the Midwest and in the country,” Head Coach Daniel Ames said. “The bond and the chemistry that they have has to do with their personalities of being friendly and outgoing people.”
In addition to the great chemistry between the players, the team is comprised of talent from various skill levels, ranging from players who played for a few years in high school to those who have played at the competitive club level for years.
“The biggest challenge we will have is we have all freshmen on our roster, and other teams we are playing against will have upperclassmen that have played the college game and been working out for the four years,” Coach Ames said.
While this will be a challenge, the team is still looking to take this as an advantage, not a disadvantage.
“There are not many college athletes that get to have the experience of being on a team of all freshmen,” Robbie Mead, player from west suburban Darien, said. “This experience will allow us as a team to grow and develop through the upcoming years. We will be average the first couple of years because it will take time to develop high school players to college athletes.”
“I’m fairly confident that even as an all freshmen team, we will do really well due to the potential and talent of our players on our team,” Vuk Jakovljevic of Gurnee said.
While practice is starting at the end of October, the players already have their expectations set for the team as being a strong men’s volleyball team for Dominican.
“There is a lot of pressure placed on us being the inaugural men’s volleyball team because we have to set the precedent for the following teams to come,” Jakovlijevic added.
Nevertheless, the players are excited to begin a new university legacy.
“Being an inaugural team is a unique experience that I wouldn’t be able to experience anywhere else,” Mason Solbrig of suburban Lake Villa said.