Men’s club volleyball’s home tournament featured four teams comprised of SIUE players. At the end of the day, Missouri Baptist University prevailed in the bracket final against SIUE’s A-team.
The tournament featured two pools. Pool one was made up of SIUE’s A-team, Ball State University and SIUE’s Alumni A-team. Pool two was comprised of SIUE’s B-team, SIUC, Missouri Baptist and SIUE’s Alumni B-team. All teams moved forward into bracket play.
SIUE A rose to the top of pool one, defeating Ball State 25-15, 25-21, 15-10. They went on to overcome Alumni A 25-12, 25-16, 15-10.
“I think it’s just our chemistry,” captain of SIUE’s A-team and senior outside Joe Brammeier said of the team’s win against the Alumni A-team. “We’ve been playing together for almost a year now and just getting to know each other and what our weaknesses are. We can pick each other up and just stay positive throughout the game.”
SIUE A took a bye into bracket play to face SIUE’s B-team in the semifinal round.
In pool two, Missouri Baptist came out on top after a tight 25-16, 27-25 win against SIUE’s B-team.
SIUE’s B-team fell to the bottom of their pool after a close loss to Carbondale, going 24-26 in both sets. They also faced a narrow loss to the SIUE Alumni B-team, 25-23, 25-22.
“We struggled today. We gave [Carbondale] a lot of free points, missed some of the serves, just the little things. We thought we blocked them pretty well, but overall there’s a lot of areas we can improve in,” sophomore middle Ryan Hembrough said after the SIUE B-team’s pool play defeat against Carbondale.
Alumni B took third place in their pool after two wins and one 25-23, 25-13 loss to Missouri Baptist.
Nick Niemerg graduated in 2015 with a masters in public administration and is the current Assistant Director of Alumni Relations on campus. He said it was awesome to be able to come back to play with SIUE.
“It’s really cool to see our club team grow so much, because when I started it was only seven or eight guys, and now they’re able to field two full teams. It’s awesome,” Niemerg said. “We came here to have fun and support the club team here. They’ve been very gracious to us to let us come and crash their practice and work with us to get our skills back up to par because some of us haven’t touched in a few years, as evidenced by the loss.”
A bye into the bracket placed SIUE’s A-team up against the B-team in the semifinals after the B-team took revenge on Carbondale for a first-round win. In the end, the A-team took the lead for a 25-17, 25-21 win.
Missouri Baptist took advantage of Ball State in the semifinals, going for three sets. The final scores came out 25-21, 10-25, 15-9 in favor of Missouri Baptist.
This meant SIUE A would play Missouri Baptist for first place. While SIUE kept within range during the first set, they slowed their pace in the second, and Missouri Baptist left the Student Fitness Center champions after a 25-19, 25-10 win.
Men’s club volleyball will move onto their next tournament March 9-10 at Western Illinois University, and the team looks forward to competing at the Midwest Plains Volleyball Conference April 6-7 in Shawnee, Kansas.