Club volleyball team gaining momentum

Mark Pawlak

Volleyball took center stage last Saturday as the ISU Men’s Volleyball Club held a tournament at the Forker Building.

The Iowa State Invite had 10 teams from the Midwest competing in action-packed matches.

Participating in the tournament were Illinois State, Iowa, Kansas, Mankato State, Minnesota, Winona State, two teams from Graceland and two Cyclone entries.

The day-long tourney ran as a round robin format followed by a six team, single elimination championship.

Iowa State I fell to the Graceland JV team in the semifinals, after winning five of eight games in the round robin.

According to junior middle blocker Mike Wessel, “We played good and bad. We definitely can pick up our play a little bit, but Graceland’s varsity team won nationals last year, so they’re a really good team again, but all and all, it’s a pretty good tournament.”

Iowa State II finished at 3-5 and didn’t qualify for the final tournament.

The men’s volleyball club started in the mid-1980s and is part of the university’s Sport Club Council.

The club includes 40 members on three teams. The players’ playing experiences differ from a lot to a little.

“(The club) is for everybody. It’s mainly for advanced players, but there’s some novice players too. Some people that never really played before come on the third team and practice with them,” Wessel said.

All three teams enter in national competitions, with the first team going to most of the matches.

The Cyclones play in collegiate and USA Volleyball tournaments. In USA Volleyball, they play in the highest skill level, A1. The national tournament is held in mid-April in Maryland. “We’ve been to nationals the last seven years or so.”

Junior Don Gromala, a center on the team, became interested in the club as he was playing at the rec.

“I played volleyball in high school in Illinois. I just ran into a couple of guys at the rec center playing and told me about tryouts. I’ve had a lot of fun. It’s been my life here besides school, so it’s definitely worth the time.”