Competing in the National Tournament in Louisville, Ky., Eastern’s men’s club volleyball team once again turned heads.
As the 17th seed, Eastern played in a field comprised of 48 teams from a wide variety of both Division I and Division II schools.
Eastern, part of the Division II bracket, put up a strong performance in tournament play.
This was Eastern’s first appearance at the big dance since 2005, when they entered as a 24th seed and beat Army to make it into the prestigous gold bracket.
On the first day of pool-play competition, Eastern started with matches against Penn State-Altoona and Olivet Nazerene.
The team clinched two wins, giving them a chance to claim first in the pool. However, they came up short against SUNY, who was ranked 7th overall, and had to settle for second.
From there they moved on to play Umass-Lowell and Steven’s Tech. After defeating Lowell, Eastern dropped the next two against Tech to end their season.
Despite these losses, junior captain Alex Sawatzky was still pleased with the team’s overall play throughout the season.
“We had some bright spots like going to the semifinals in the conference championships,” he said. “However, we also had some difficult times; we lost some players around midseason, and we haven’t been as constant as we could have been.”
Sawatzky looks forward to next season and hopes that continued interest in the sport will finally make them an official campus-recognized club.
“We have been in contact with SGA and are trying to get it official,” Sawatzky said.
Sawatzky also said that the team will be losing several key players and will be looking for replacements next year.
The team will enjoy the offseason but will be seeking players to help them return to the 2008 tournament, which will be held in Dallas, Texas.