NEWS ROSTER SCHEDULE RESULTS PHOTOS LINKS ALUMNI HISTORY GEAR INFO
 

NEWS

   
 
   
10/22/2013

1s BLUE          2s ORANGE          3s WHITE

HOOSIER FALL CLASSIC TOURNAMENT
University of Indiana

Saturday, October 26, 2013

10/16/2013

HAWKEYE CO-ED INVITATIONAL - OCTOBER 19

This weekend, the ILLINOIS BLUE will be traveling to the University of Iowa in Iowa City to play in the 3rd Annual Hawkeye Co-Ed Invitational Tournament.  On Saturday, 24 teams will compete including 12 men's teams and 12 women's teams.  It should be a competitive and fun tournament for all.

10/8/2013

October 12, 2013
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Buckeye Fall Kick-Off

 

9/10/2013
ANNUAL FUNDRAISER Click to Order at   JANORSPORTS  

Support the 2013-2014 Illinois Men's Volleyball program by purchasing IMVB Gear.  This year a website has been setup to make it easier to get your Illinois Men's Volleyball apparel.

It is important to write down an Organization Rep (someone from one of the teams) in order to receive your clothing.  Without a name, we won't be able to fully track your order. If you do not know a team member, you are can still purchase by writing Jim Connolly in as your Organizational Rep (send him an email at connol13@gmail.com forwarding your confirmation of purchase email).

DEADLINE for ordering is October 1st. Thanks for your support!

9/1/2013

TRYOUTS ...  
Tryouts are Tuesday and Thursday September 3 and 5 from 7-10pm in ARC Gym 2. Last names A-K are from 7-8:30pm. Last names L-Z are from 8:30-10pm.  There is a $10 tryout fee

 
8/23/2013

QUAD DAY - STOP BY OUR BOOTH! 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25TH  - STARTS AT 12:00 NOON 
 

After another successful season last year, the ILLINOIS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL team continues their high national standings by relying on its talented members.  The 2012-2013 Season concluded with the nationals as the ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s won the Division III Championship and now reign as DIII 1st Place Champions, while the ILLINOIS BLUE 1s took Gold, 5th Place honors in Division I.  Established over 25 years ago, the Club consists of three different teams of varying skill levels which compete in Midwestern and National Tournaments.  Though losing many talented players from last year's teams, the returning players are looking forward to continuing the Club's winning ways.

As always, we are looking for new talent, so incoming freshman and returning classmates - we want you to come and tryout for the team.  Come out to Quad Day and sign up for tryouts, the club has a number of open positions.  Click for UIUC 2013 Quad Day General Information.  Keep watching this website for tryout information.

 

RECAP OF 2012-2013.  ILLINOIS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL TEAM consistently ranks at the top of their divisions in the Big Ten, Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), and the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) (formerly the National Intercollegiate Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).  [Last Year's Results]   [Cumulative Results].

Results from last season 2012-2013 include:

  • 2013 NCVF NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - Division I, National 5th Place
    ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s - Division III, Gold, 1st Place Champions

  • 2013 BIG 10 TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - 1st Place Champions

  • 2013 MIVA TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - Division I, Gold, 1st Place Champions
    ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s - Division II, Gold, 1st Place Champions

  • 2013 UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - 1st Place Champions

  • 2013 HOOSIER-ILLINI TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - 1st Place Champions

  • RETURNING NATIONAL ALL-AMERICANS
    Ray Birtcher, 2012
    Jason Dolinski, 2013
    Keith Podalak, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013

Thanks to all our graduating seniors, good luck in the real world.  You and your talents will be missed!
 1s - BLUE 2s - ORANGE 3s - WHITE
Steve Carrington
Keith Podalak
Philipp Rosendahl
Mike Segneri
Jim Voy
Ernie Choi
Mike Galgan
Mark Lewan
Nick Riley
Sam Thimmig
Judd VanAntwerp
Ryan Krage
Steven Romanelli
 
 

 

2013-2014
SEASON BEGINS

   
8/22/2013

NCVF Championships -
2014 Location Announced

Reno, Nevada
April 3rd-5th, 2014

4/2/2013

2012-2013 NCVF COLLEGIATE
CLUB VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
DALLAS, TEXAS
APRIL 4-6

The ILLINOIS BLUE & ILLINOIS ORANGE teams join 375+ college teams in competition at the 2013 Collegiate Club Volleyball National Championships.
GO ILLINI !

Additional Info

     
3/30/2013

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL

Cancer Awareness on the road to TEXAS

April 4-6

 

Information to be posted soon

3/24/2013

CHAMPIONS - Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association

 

ILLINOIS BLUE 1s - MIVA D1 CHAMPIONS

ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s - MIVA D2 CHAMPIONS

 

For the first time since the 2008-2009 season, both Illini teams claimed their respective MIVA Championships. The ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS ORANGE teams finished first place in their divisions. Entering the tournament, Illinois Blue was ranked 2nd behind UW-Oshkosh.  After pool play on Saturday, ILLINOIS BLUE had a successful day on Sunday, in which they faced Michigan State, Lakeland, and UW-Oshkosh in the Championship match.  ILLINOIS ORANGE also finished successfully against Michigan-B, Purdue-B, Indiana-B, and Illinois State-2 in their Championship match.  Great job guys!

 

CHAMPIONS - MIVA D1   CHAMPIONS - MIVA D2
 

ILLINOIS BLUE - 1s

 

 ILLINOIS ORANGE - 2s

3/23/2013

BIG 10 AWARDS ANNOUNCED

 

Congratulations to these fellow Illini players for Big 10 Honors:

Keith Podalak

All-Conference

All-Tournament

Defensive Player of the Year

Defensive Player of the Tournament

Stephen Carrington

All-Conference

All-Tournament

1st Team

1st Team

Kevin O'Halloran

All-Conference

All-Tournament

1st Team

1st Team

Mike Segneri

All-Tournament

1st Team

Ray Birtcher

All-Conference

All-Tournament

2nd Team

2nd Team

Alex Kahn

All-Tournament

2nd Team

Click to View Past Seasons and Awards

3/22/2013

MIVA CHAMPIONSHIPS

 MARCH 23 & 24

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

IM WEST ATHLETIC FACILITY

393 Chestnut Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

Location Pools Program Schedule Results
3/17/2013

CHAMPIONS

 

 

UNIVERSITY

OF

CENTRAL FLORIDA

 

ORLANDO TOURNAMENT

 

 

March 17, 2013

3/12/2013

ILLINOIS BLUE

in Orlando for

University of Central Florida Tournament

March 17, 2013

GO ILLINI!

03/10/2013

BIG 10

CHAMPIONS

 

2012-2013

2011-2012

2010-2011

2009-2010

2008-2009

2007-2008

2006-2007

2005-2006

 

 

 

03/07/2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

ILLINOIS BLUE

BIG 10 (BTMVA) CHAMPIONSHIPS

Henry Crown Sports Pavilion

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Program Facility Map Schedule
(pg 5 & 6)
Updates
New Info
02/24/2013

ILLINOIS BLUE - Gold, 3rd Place

ILLINOIS ORANGE  - Silver Bracket

 

02/21/2013

2013 HOOSIER ILLINI CLASSIC

February 23-24, 2013 (Saturday & and Sunday)

ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS ORANGE

 

Will travel to Indiana University this weekend to co-host the Twelfth Annual Hoosier Illini Classic, which takes place on both February 23 and February 24th. The tournament consists of 32 teams, 8 of which are in the top 25 in the country.  Play will be held in the HPER Gym.  Tournament structure consists of Pool Play & Challenge Round Saturday, and then Single elimination playoffs on Sunday (based on Saturday's pool play results).  ILLINOIS won the tournament three times, in 2003, 2008, and 2010.  It's time for another  Hoosier-Illini Classic Championship.  Go Illini!

Info Map Pools Schedule Scores Results
2/10/13

 BTMVA ROUND ROBIN at PURDUE UNIVERSITY

2/9 & 2/10/2013 - RESULTS

Playing against some of the finest competition in the Big 10 MIVA grouping, ILLINOIS BLUE lost a single match, making their statistics stand at 8-1.     ILLINOIS BLUE RESULTS    /     MIVA Results

2/8/13

BTMVA ROUND ROBIN at PURDUE UNIVERSITY

 Saturday 2/9/13 and Sunday 2/10/13

This weekend will be a very busy one for ILLINOIS BLUE playing at the France A Cordova Recreational Sports Center at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  The Illini team will play against some of the finest competition in the Big 10 MIVA grouping, including Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, and Wisconsin.   Good Luck ILLINOIS BLUE!

Tournament Info

Game Info

11/26/12

MARQUETTE THROWDOWN - SATURDAY 12/1

Final Pre-Season Tournament

Pool play for 20 teams will start at 9:00a, followed  championship and consolation brackets.  Tournament will be held at the Helfaer Recreation Center.  More information will follow.  [Tournament Information]

11/07/12

HARDWOOD CLASSIC AT MICHIGAN STATE - 11/10 & 11/11

The 23rd annual Hardwood Classic will be held on November 10th & 11th (Saturday/Sunday) at Michigan State's IM Sports West & Demonstration Hall.  The tournament provides the opportunity to expose players to a high level of competition with teams from around the nation making the trip to East Lansing for a weekend of volleyball.  Illinois will be sending a combination team.  GO ILLINI!  [Information]

11/06/12

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA TOURNAMENT - 11/16 & 11/17

The ILLINOIS BLUE traveled to the University of Arizona for U of A's home tournament on 11/16 and 11/17th.  In a widely publicized event, University of Arizona Wildcats highlighted a marquee group from ILLINOIS playing a 5set match in McKale Center on Friday night. The event kicked off at 7:00p with the University of Arizona Women's team playing against Colorado. The men's match followed and the crowd went wild with a great night of volleyball!   [Information

11/04/12

CHAMPIONS

HAWKEYE CO-ED INVITATIONAL

On November 3rd, the Illinois "Animals" devoured all other teams on their way to becoming this year's Hawkeye Champions. 

10/30/12

CHECK OUT THE NEW DESIGNS ON OUR GEAR PAGE

The Annual Illinois Men's Volleyball Club fundraiser is now underway.  This year, we have some sharp new designs for everyone on your list.  Short-sleeved Dri-Fit Shirts ($15), Long-sleeve Shirts ($15), Mesh Shorts ($15), Sweatpants ($25), and 1/4-Zip Sweatshirt ($30).

10/29/12

HAWKEYE CO-ED INVITATIONAL - NOVEMBER 3

This weekend, the ILLINOIS BLUE will be traveling to the University of Iowa to play in the 2nd Annual Hawkeye Co-Ed Invitational Tournament.  On Saturday, 24 teams will compete including 12 men's teams and 12 women's teams.  It should be a competitive and fun tournament for all.    [Click for details]

10/20/12 The University of Arizona Wildcats announces their home tournament over the weekend of November 16th and 17th, which will highlight a marquee group playing a 5set match in McKale Center against ILLINOIS on Friday night. The event will coincide with the University of Arizona Women's team match against Colorado. The women play at 7:00 and the men's match will follow. It should be a great night of volleyball!   [U of A website, 10/20/12
10/21/12

HOOSIER FALL CLASSIC CHAMPIONS

ILLINOIS BLUE - 1s

 

This past weekend, all three IMVB teams participated in the Hoosier Fall Classic.  The ILLINOIS BLUE team brought home the championship. 

 

ILLINOIS ORANGE and ILLINOIS WHITE also participated.  This 1-day tournament provided a lot of experience for the younger players. 

10/19/12

HOOSIER FALL CLASSIC
 Saturday, October 20, 2012
Tournament Info
Travel Info

10/14/12

 

CHAMPIONS OF ILLINI-16

 

 

ILLINOIS BLUE

 

 

Results     (Click for Illini-16 Results)

 

10/11/12

University of Arizona

November 16-17

Travel plans are underway for the 1s ILLINOIS BLUE to participate in the
University of Arizona  Men's Volleyball Tournament.
 More information will be available soon.

10/10/12

ANNUAL HOME TOURNAMENT - THE ILLINI-16

To be held this coming weekend - Saturday, October 13th

Come out to the ARC and support the Illinois Men's Volleyball Club.  We will be playing in our only home games of the semester and would love for you to come check out our play.  Watch all the teams in action as Illinois plays against some of the top teams in the Midwest, including College of DuPage, Illinois State, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue, and the Morton Mustangs.  Past Illinois players will also get to throw on Illinois jerseys as the tournament also welcomes two Alumni teams.    (Click for Illini-16 Schedule)

9/7/12

TRYOUTS to be held at the

ARC (201 East Peabody Drive)

Tuesday (9/11) AND Thursday (9/13)

Setters are encouraged to come the entire time. 

Come 15 minutes early to warm up, stretch, and check in

See you there!

Tuesday, September 11th

    Lastnames A-K at 7:00p -  8:30p

    Lastnames L-Z  at 8:30p -10:00p

Thursday, September 13th

    Lastnames A-K at 7:00p -  8:30p

    Lastnames L-Z  at 8:30p -10:00p

8/29/12

ANNUAL HOME TOURNAMENT - THE ILLINI-16

To be held Saturday, October 13th

Check this website for updates.

Come out to the ARC and support the Illinois Men's Volleyball Club.  We will be playing in our only home games of the semester and would love for you to come check out our play.  Watch all the teams in action as Illinois plays against some of the top teams in the Midwest, including College of DuPage, Illinois State, Indiana, Iowa, Mizzou, Ohio State, Purdue, UIC, USAV, and Wisconsin.  Past Illinois players will also get to throw on Illinois jerseys as the tournament also welcomes our Alumni players.

8/24/2012

QUAD DAY - STOP BY OUR BOOTH! 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26TH  - STARTS AT 12:00 NOON 
 

After another successful season last year, ILLINOIS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL is still looking to continue its run toward a National Championship.  Established over 25 years ago, the Club consists of three different teams of varying skill levels which compete in Midwestern and National Tournaments.  Though losing many talented players from last year's teams, the returning players are looking forward to continuing the Club's winning ways.

As always, we are looking for new talent, so incoming freshman and returning classmates - we want you to come and tryout for the team.  Come out to Quad Day and sign up for tryouts, the club has a number of open positions.  Tryouts will begin TU 9/11 (7-10p) and continue TH 9/13 (7-10p) at the ARC (201 East Peabody Drive).  Keep watching this website.

 

ILLINOIS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL consistently rank at the top of their divisions in the Big Ten, Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), and the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) (formerly the National Intercollegiate Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).  [Last Year's Results]   [Cumulative Results].

Results from last season 2010-2011 include:

  • 2011 NCVF NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - Division I, National 3rd Place
    ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s - Division III, Gold, 5th Place, 2009 Champions

  • 2011 BIG 10 TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - Champions

  • 2011 MIVA TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - Division I, 3rd Place

  • 2011 LAS VEGAS OPEN TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - Champions

  • RETURNING NATIONAL ALL-AMERICANS
    Ray Birtcher, 2012
    Steve Carrington, 2012
    Keith Podalak, 2009, 2010, 2012
    Mike Segneri, 2012
    Jim Voy, 2011

 

 

2012-2013
SEASON BEGINS

   
4/11/12

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

Thanks to all our graduating seniors, good luck in the real world.  You will be dearly missed.
 1s - BLUE 2s - ORANGE 3s - WHITE
Andrew Gulik
Ryan Schuette
Craig Podalak
Eric Sipos
Bryan Skwirut
Oscar Grajeda
Eric Handrich

 
Erik Geffner-Mihlsten
Craig Roper
 

4/11/2012

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

 

2012 NCVF COLLEGIATE CLUB VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS - APRIL 5-7
The ILLINOIS BLUE & ILLINOIS ORANGE competed against 360 teams for the National Championship.
**TOURNAMENT INFORMATION**                                                 
**2011-12 NATIONAL PROGRAM**

 

ILLINOIS BLUE       - DI, Gold, 3rd Place

ILLINOIS ORANGE  - DIII, Gold, 5th Place

Congratulations to our National All-Tournament Players

1st Team - Ray Birtcher and Mike Segneri

2nd Team - Keith Podalak
Honorable Mention - Steve Carrington

3/25/2012

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

MIVA CHAMPIONSHIPS (3/24 & 3/25 at Northern Illinois)           [Website]

ILLINOIS BLUE       - D1, Gold, 3rd Place

ILLINOIS ORANGE  - D2, Gold, 3rd Place

3/18/2012

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

CHAMPIONS!!        [LAS VEGAS OPEN]

    All-Tournament MVP - Mike Segneri

    All-Tournament Team - Steve Carrington

    All-Tournament Team - Jim Connolly

3/11/2012

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

The ILLINOIS BLUE team won the Big 10 Championship this past weekend at OSU.
Congratulations to the fellow men for Big 10 Honors:
Big 10 - All-Conference

Jonathan Bolek

Matt Condon

 

Big 10 - All-Tournament

Ray Birtcher

Andrew Gulik

Keith Podalak

1st Team

1st Team

1st Team

2/22/2012

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

2012 HOOSIER-ILLINI CLASSIC - Champaign

2/18/2012 & 2/19/2012   -  

All teams placed in the Gold!    

ILLINOIS BLUE - 1s - Gold, 2nd Place

ILLINOIS ORANGE - 2s & ILLINOIS WHITE - 3s - Gold Bracket

2/12/2012

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

BTMVA ROUND ROBIN RESULTS

Saturday 2/11/12 and Sunday 2/12/12

MIVA Results

Illinois Blue Results

11/25/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

 

ILLINOIS BLUE - CHAMPIONS OF LEWIS TOURNAMENT

 

 

 

The ILLINOIS BLUE Team wins

the Lewis Flyers Tournament.

 

Details to follow.

 

11/06/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

ILLINOIS BLUE - CHAMPIONS OF NIU FALL TOURNAMENT

 

 

 

 

 

Details to follow.

10/30/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

ILLINOIS BLUE TAKE 3RD AT HAWKEYE CO-ED INVITATIONAL

Details to follow. 

10/24/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

 

ANNUAL FUNDRAISER Click to Order at   JANORSPORTS  

Support the 2011-2012 Illinois Men's Volleyball program by purchasing IMVB Spirit Wear.  This year a website has been setup to make it easier to get your sharp Illinois Men's Volleyball apparel.

It is important to write down an Organization Rep (someone from one of the teams) in order to receive your clothing.  Without a name, we won't be able to fully track your order. If you do not know someone, you are still more than welcome to buy.  Please write Oscar Grajeda in as the Organizational Rep in the check out page and send him an email at grajeda1@illinois.edu forwarding your confirmation of purchase email.

Deadline for ordering is October 28th. Thanks for your support!

10/23/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

ILLINOIS BLUE - CHAMPIONS OF ILLINI-16!  

 

 

 

 

 

Details to follow. 

 

10/14/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

ANNUAL HOME TOURNAMENT - THE ILLINI-16

To be held this coming weekend - Saturday, October 22nd

Come out to the ARC and support the Illinois Men's Volleyball Club.  We will be playing in our only home games of the semester and would love for you to come check out our play.  Watch all the teams in action as Illinois plays against some of the top teams in the Midwest, including College of DuPage, Illinois State, Indiana, Iowa, Mizzou, Ohio State, Purdue, UIC, USAV, and Wisconsin.  Past Illinois players will also get to throw on Illinois jerseys as the tournament also welcomes two Alumni teams.  Keep watching ...  (Click for Illini-16 Schedule)

10/14/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

 

MIZZOU TOURNAMENT RESULTS

A rocky start proved to be the story for the ILLINOIS MEN'S ORANGE at Mizzou. The Orange squad went 0-4 in the day only picking up two sets against Indiana B and Mizzou B.  Starting off against two great teams, Indiana A and Missouri Baptist A, the Illini started off strong keeping both teams on their toes. Strong blocking and hitting from sophomore MB Brett Gunderson kept the team alive in all matches.

The Illini saw their best match against Indiana B.  Down in the second set, sophomore Setter Chris Ojermark rallied the ORANGE back to take the lead at 21-18.  The orange squad went on to close the second set, 27-25, due to great defense from freshman Libero Mike Ficaro and serving from junior OH Sam Thimmig. The third set was a thrill with each team rallying off points. Indiana went on a 5-1 run and at the halfway mark, the Thimmig rallied the team back with his serve to tie the set at 8-8.  Both teams fought until the end with Indiana B finally taking the set 18-20.

The ORANGE squad is now working to improve for the October 22nd Illini-16 home tournament.

09/30/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

2011-2012 TRYOUTS HELD

Tryouts for the Club have finished.  After Quad Day, many students came to tryouts.  There were two long days of tryouts while the teams were being decided.  As always, the talent of all three teams continues to improve and we will once again be able to compete with the nation's best.

08/30/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

TRYOUTS to be held at the

ARC (201 East Peabody Drive)

Tuesday (9/6) AND Thursday (9/8)

Setters are encouraged to come the entire time. 

Come 15 minutes early to warm up, stretch, and check in

See you there!

Tuesday, September 6th

    Lastnames A-M at 7:00p -  8:30p

    Lastnames N-Z  at 8:30p -10:00p

Thursday, September 8th

    Lastnames A-M at 7:00p -  8:30p

    Lastnames N-Z  at 8:30p -10:00p

08/16/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

 


QUAD DAY

SUNDAY, AUGUST 21ST  - 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. 
 

 

After another successful season last year, ILLINOIS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL is still looking to continue its run toward a National Championship.  Established 25 years ago, the Club consists of three different teams of varying skill levels which compete in Midwestern and National Tournaments.  Though losing many talented players from last year's teams, the returning players are looking forward to continuing the Club's winning ways.

As always, we are looking for new talent, so incoming freshman and returning classmates - we want you to come and tryout for the team.  Come out to Quad Day and sign up for tryouts, the club has a number of open positions.  Tryouts will begin TU 9/6 (7-10p) and continue TH 9/8 (7-10p) at the ARC (201 East Peabody Drive).  Keep watching this website.

ILLINOIS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL consistently rank at the top of their divisions in the Big Ten, Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), and the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) (formerly the National Intercollegiate Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).  (Last Year's Results)   (Cumulative Results).

Results from last season 2010-2011 include:

  • 2011 NCVF NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - Division I, 5th Place
    ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s - Division III, 3rd Place, 2009 Champions

  • 2011 BIG 10 TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - Champions

  • 2011 MIVA TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - Division I, 3rd Place
    ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s - Division II, Champions

  • 2011 LAS VEGAS OPEN TOURNAMENT
    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s
    - 5th Place

  • RETURNING NATIONAL ALL-AMERICANS
    Craig Podalak, 2008
    Keith Podalak, 2009, 2010
    Jim Voy, 2011

 

 

2011-2012
SEASON BEGINS

   

08/16/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

2011 NCVF NATIONAL RESULTS - HOUSTON, TX (4/7-4/9)

ILLINOIS BLUE . . . The Illinois BLUE team went into Nationals after a semi-final loss to UW-Oshkosh at MIVAs.  The Blue entered Nationals as the 7th ranked team overall.  Having one of the hardest opening pools in the tournament the Blue had their work cut out for them.  UCLA was Illinois Blue's first opponent.  A very exciting 3 games were played with the Blue losing 14-16 in the third game.  With an opening loss Illinois Blue had to step it up in the next two games to advance.  A surprisingly tough match against Miami-OH was taken the 3 games with the BLUE winning 15-13 in the third game.  Next the Blue took on CSU-Fresno, who was the #1 team out west for most of the season.  After winning the first game 25-18, Illinois Blue lost the second game 21-25.  The third game again was a battle with Illinois BLUE coming out on top 16-14.

With the early tournament struggles, Illinois BLUE took 3rd in their opening pool.  This means they were placed in the #1 Challenge Pool the next day and had to step it up, and step up is what they did.  Illinois Blue first faced Ohio State and came out swinging.  Great plays were made all around especially a great setting play by MB Mike Walsh (highlight of the tournament) and Illinois Blue won 25-20 & 25-22.  Next Illinois Blue had to go up against Virginia Tech who upset the #1 overall seed Northern Arizona..  The Blue completely shut down the Hokies offense.  Senior OHs Karl Miller and Henry Gottleib could not be stopped by Virginia Tech's block.  Great serving and blocking by Senior MB Kyle Bettenhausen, Senior MB Mike Walsh, and freshman MB Ray Birtcher took Virginia Tech completely out of their rhythm and the BLUE prevailed easily 25-14, 25-16, taking first place in their Challenge Pool becoming the new #1 overall seed.

With the beginning of the third and final day of the tournament Illinois BLUE came in pumped and ready to make a run at the national championship.  Their first opponent in the Gold Bracket was UW-Milwaukee.  Illinois Blue kept their winning ways by continuing to block and pass everything UW-Milwaukee threw at them easily winning 25-14, 25-21.  In the final eight Illinois Blue faced Illinois State, who was on a tear being the Cinderella of the tournament after coming in as one of the last ranked teams overall.  The crowd was packed, many of whom were cheering for another upset by Illinois State.  Illinois Blue faced Illinois State previously at the MIVA tournament and handled them quite easily, but this was Nationals and anything could happen.  With a quick few blocks to start the match Illinois State quickly had a lead and the Blue had to come back.  With key hitting from freshman RS Jim Connolly and great setting and serving from sophomore Michael Segneri, Illinois Blue came back and was up 21-17. However, Illinois State went on another run and won the first game 22-25.  The second game was do-or-die for Illinois Blue, however they really never got into their rhythm they had the previous day.  Illinois State took an early two point lead in the match and the Blue trailed throughout.  Great defense was played by Karl Miller and Henry Gottleib throughout the entire second game, while libero Craig Podalak played his career best throughout the whole national tournament.  Toward the end of the game Illinois BLUE had to make a quick run, but they just didn't have it in them, losing the second game 23-25.

This was a devastating loss however everyone on the BLUE played great throughout the tournament and season.  Congratulations to Kyle Bettenhausen for being named to the 2nd Team All American.

Special thanks goes out to Johannah Bangert who came into the second semester and coached the Blue helping them specifically in blocking and overall team management.

Thanks to all our graduating seniors, good luck in the real world.  You will be dearly missed.

 1s - BLUE 2s - ORANGE 3s - WHITE
Michael Ashida
Kyle Bettenhausen
Henry Gottlieb
Karl Miller
Craig Podalak
Joshua Scaletta
Mike Walsh
Stephen Anderson
Chris Jacobson
Sam Wheeler
 
Taylor Hughes
Brian Shea
Alex Tkaczuk
Jens Wehner
 
 

04/11/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

ILLINOIS ORANGE . . . Coming off a perfect 14-0 record at the MIVA DII Championship tournament, the Orange Illini went into the NCVF National Tournament confident. The tournament brought disappointment yet a great deal of success. In the first day of the tournament, the squad saw three new teams in USC-B, Texas A&M-B, and the University of Chicago. Continuing their success, the Illini continued on a perfect 18-0 record up until a scrappy Texas A&M-B squad broke the two set streak, taking the Orange into a three set match. After a disappointing 25-22 loss in the second set, the ORANGE Squad came back with a reassuring 15-8 win over the Aggies.

After placing 1st in pool play, the Illini were granted a first round bye in the second day of competition.  After the challenge round concluded, the ORANGE squad met instate foes, Illinois State-B in their first match of the day.  Coming in hot, the Redbirds proved to be a challenge to the Illini. Battling the entire match, the Illini took the first set with a 25-23 win over the Redbirds.  Not going down without a fight the ISU-B team yet again responded and came back strong.  The second set thriller saw strong play from Stephen Anderson and Jim Voy in the front row and Kyle Breibarth in the back row.  Going into extra points, the Orange took the second set 28-26 to continue a 22-1 winning streak.  The ORANGE then extended that winning streak after taking a commanding 25-15, 25-16 win over Utah Valley for a 24-1 set record.  

The third and final day of competition brought a huge success yet a disappointment all in one.  After taking the second seed in bracket play, the Illini would face rivals and the defending national champions in the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.  Recreating the rematch of last years championship match drew a crowd of about 40 people.  The ORANGE squad saw strong play from Chris Jacboson who seemed to kill every ball he touched.  Strong serves also made the difference in the match.  After taking a 25-18 win in the first set the Illini came into the second set and took a commanding 9-1 lead with strong front row play from Chris Jacobson and Stephen Anderson.  The match saw its biggest lead with an impressive 14-4 advantage.  Oshkosh's defense began to improve and along with it, so did their offense.  After a 20-16 comeback, the Illini took the match for a 25-21 win and a 26-1 streak.  Heading into the semi-finals, the Illini saw a strong squad in Arizona who, from the start, proved to be a challenge to the Orange squad.  After a 25-15 win over the Illini, the momentum began to shift into Arizona's side and without looking back defeated the ORANGE squad in a 25-16 win to break the winning streak and give the Illini their first match loss and give the Illini a final 26-3 (13-1) record. Overall, the loss gave the Illini a 3rd Place Finish in the tournament, with Arizona taking 1st and Indiana-B placing 2nd.

The ORANGE squad however did receive All-Tournament honors with Middle Blocker, Jim Voy who was  voted into the All-Tournament Team.  Congrats Jim Voy! 

03/28/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

ILLINOIS ORANGE MIVA DII CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE! EIGHT STRAIGHT!

The Illinois Orange team worked to get back on top after an embarrassing performance at the Hoosier-Illini Classic, and they succeeded!  The Illini squad went a perfect 7-0, and more impressively went without dropping a set with a perfect 14-0 record in the MIVA DII 2011 Championship Tournament.  Even more impressive, the Orange kept their opponents under 20 points in five of their eight total sets in pool play. Steam rolling through Wisconsin-B, Illinois State-B and Earlham, the Illini saw their toughest opponents in a relentless Michigan State-B team.  Taking first place in pool play, the Illini got a 1st Round Bye in the playoffs where they would face Wisconsin-B yet again.  The Orange squad kept the momentum rolling into the semi-finals match against a strong Ohio State-B team. OSU-B was the only B team to defeat the Orange squad all year, earlier in the semester.  It was the strong serving from Nick Riley, Chris Jacobson, Sam Thimmig, and Kyle Breibarth that made the difference in the match. Along with strong serves, the blocking from Jim Voy and Steve Anderson kept the OSU offense frustrated. Kyle Breibarth not only served tough, but had a great weekend in defense and serve-receive helping push the offensive attack.  The Orange took the match in a quick 2 game sweep setting up an Illinois Orange vs. MSU-B rematch in the championship game.

Coming in strong, the Orange did quick work in the first set with an easy 25-14 victory over the Spartans.  The relentless attitude of the MSU-B squad showed in the opening of the second set, which resulted in a 7-2 run.  Strong kills by Chris Jacobson and Steve Anderson brought the Illini back to the lead where points were traded back and forth.  It was the strong serves and blocks that made the difference in the set giving the Orange their eighth straight MIVA DII Championship with a final 25-21 win.  We hope to carry the momentum into the NCVF National Tournament in Houston April 7-9.

03/13/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

The ILLINOIS BLUE team won the Big 10 Championship this past weekend at ARC.  The men rolled through Michigan and Minnesota in pool play before ousting #16 ranked Michigan State (25-17, 25-18) in the quarters.  In the semifinals, #2 nationally-ranked Indiana stood in the way.  The Illini squeezed by the Hoosiers 21-25, 32-30, 16-14, with the help of great rightside play from Ryan "Stingray" Schuette and Jim "NJ the PR" Connolly.  Great outside play from Steven Carrington and Karl Miller also contributed to the hard fought win.  This set up a finals showdown with #12 Ohio State.  The Buckeyes were no match as the BLUE  dominated (25-16, 25-16) to take the crown.
Congratulations to the fellow men for Big 10 Honors:

Big 10 - All-Conference

Kyle Bettenhausen

Henry Gottlieb

1st Team

1st Team

Big 10 - All-Tournament

Steven Carrington

Craig Podalak

Karl Miller

Mike Walsh

Michael Ashida

MVP

Defensive MVP

1st Team

1st Team

Honorable Mention

03/14/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

HOOSIER-ILLINI CLASSIC - ORANGE RESULTS

The ILLINOIS ORANGE team saw a disappointing showing at the 2011 Hoosier-Illini Classic.  "Going to Three" seemed to be the motto for the Orange squad in pool play on the first day of the tournament.  The Illini took all three opponents, Northern Illinois, Missouri, and Baldwin-Wallace, to three sets with only one victory in the morning against Baldwin-Wallace.  Of the three matches, the first of the morning, against Northern Illinois was one of the most thrilling to watch.  Going down 17-25 in the first set jump started Nick Riley's tough serve to push the Illini on a 7-2 run.  Carrying onto the momentum, Matt Wilkins and Jim Voy came up with big kills and blocks at key moments in the match.  The ORANGE team forced the match into 3 sets with a 25-22 win in the second.  The energy carried into the opening of the third set with an early 5-1 lead.  After an NIU timeout, the Huskies came back strong to tie it up.  Trading point after point, both teams battled with strong defense until NIU took the match and beat the Illini with a disappointing 13-15 loss.

The ILLINOIS ORANGE, however, ended up competing for the Silver Bracket championship.  Up to that point the Illini faced tough teams in Texas A&M, Ohio Northern, and Indiana-B.  Facing up against Mizzou, again, in the championship match, the Illini were never able to get into rhythm which forced another disappointing 22-25, 17-25 match loss.  Overall, Nick Riley's setting showed sparks of what the team's hitters, in Matt Wilkins, Steve Drent, Chris Jacobson, Jim Voy, and Mark Lewan can do.  Oscar Grajeda, Sam Thimmig, and Kyle Breibarth had a great weekend in serve receive and defense when splitting up the libero position.  Brian Mulvihill also had an excellent day in defense and key back row attacks.  The ORANGE team is looking forward and preparing for the MIVA Championships which will take place at Ohio State on March 26.  

03/12/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

UNVEILING OF THE 2010-2011 POSTER . . .

Thanks to our generous sponsors! (Click for Sponsor Info )

• AthletiCoFollett's Bookstore Hawthorn Suites Hilton Garden Inn Kam'sT.I.S. Campus Books

03/10/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

COMING TO CHAMPAIGN - MARCH  12th!!

The Illinois Blue team is now preparing for the Big Ten Championships that are being held in Champaign this coming weekend.  Come out and support the Illinois Men’s Volleyball team this weekend to propel them to a 6th consecutive Big Ten Championship.  Pools are now posted.  Click here.

03/02/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

ILLINI-HOOSIER TOURNEY ENDS SHORT FOR THE BLUE

Last weekend, the ILLINOIS BLUE Team competed in the Hoosier-Illini tournament, which again proved to be as challenging as always. The Blue team started out pool play against Florida and began the tournament off to a great start. Next against Texas A&M the BLUE team switched it up and played Upperclassman and Underclassman lineups.  Michael Segneri's phenomenal play during this match can easily be described as the "Play of the Year" for Illinois.  In the last game in pool play, BLUE came out and crushed Ohio Northern to set up a Challenge match against Northern Illinois. The long day of play accounted for an exciting match against the Huskies.

On the second day, ILLINOIS BLUE began playoffs with strong play against UIC. In the next round, Blue squared off with Michigan State and started out the same way. In the second game, Illinois Blue had a large deficit to come back from. Jim Connolly came into the game and made some huge serves and kills to put Illinois through to the next round against Indiana. The semifinal game against Indiana proved to be a challenge. After defeating Indiana a few weeks prior, Indiana came for revenge. With a home crowd behind them Indiana jumped off to a fast start in both matches and it proved to be too much for a Blue comeback. While our outside hitters, Karl Miller, Henry Gottlieb, and Eric Sipos propelled us through the tournament, it was the great serve-receive by Keith Podalak, Craig Podalak, and Pat Soukup, along with our defense behind the block that proved to be Blue’s strength.  BLUE is back on the practice court working on controlling the style of play throughout an entire match.

02/24/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

Click for Tournament information

02/20/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

ORANGE SAILS THROUGH MIVA PLAYDATE!

After a shaky playdate at Indiana, the ILLINOIS ORANGE squad looked to improve play at Michigan State. Getting past Purdue-B and Wittenberg in the morning, was only the set up for the most entertaining match of the semester.  An undefeated Michigan State team fought the ILLINOIS ORANGE squad in a three set battle.  Both teams fought the entire way trading point after point.  In the first set, ORANGE dropped a 20-18 lead after strong serves and defense challenged the Illini to conclude in a 23-25 upset. The Illini came back strong in the second set with setter Nick Riley and rightside Matt Wilkins connecting all set long, proving to be an unstoppable challenge and helping with the 25-20 win.  The third set was close until strong serves from Brian Skwirut led the Orange squad to a 15-10 victory. The momentum carried onto the rest of the day with sweeping victories over Michigan-B and Illinois-State-B. ILLINOIS ORANGE looks to carry the momentum into the Hoosier Illini tournament February 26-27.

02/07/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

BLUE COMPLETES BIG 10 ROUND ROBIN WITHOUT DROPPING A MATCH!

The ILLINOIS BLUE Team has been working hard to get back on track after a less than stellar performance last semester.  The Big 10 Round Robin was the first chance to show everyone that Illinois is still the elite team of the Conference.  On February 5th, BLUE's goal was to win the Big 10 pre-season tournament, without losing a single match -- and this goal was met!  After cruising past Michigan, ILLINOIS BLUE  faced off against Wisconsin, a hot team that we knew we would have to play our best to win.  After splitting the first 2 sets 25-20, it came down to crunch time, but the Illini took the third game 15-13.  Then BLUE faced Michigan State, Purdue, and played a tough match against Minnesota to cap off the first day.

On Day 2, ILLINOIS BLUE built upon the momentum of Day 1, cruising past Indiana in one of the best volleyball matches played all year.  With huge blocks from Kyle Bettenhausen and Mike Walsh, BLUE was able to take control and sail through the first set.  The second set was much closer, but the team was able to edge out with a 30-28 win.  After a match against Northwestern, the Illini faced another tough match-up against rival Iowa.  BLUE won in 3 sets, with the help of freshman Jim Connolly’s aces and crunch time kills at the end of the 2nd and 3rd sets.  The last match was against Ohio State, last year’s national champion. ILLINOIS BLUE won this match 25-20, 25-20, completing the perfect 9-0- tournament record.

A shout-out to all ILLINOIS BLUE players for winning this tournament.  Everyone played exceptionally well, stepping up at crucial times when needed. Un-penetrable blocks from Kyle Bettenhausen, Mike Walsh, and Ray Birtcher; awesome defense from liberos Craig Podalak and Pat Soukup; unstoppable serves from setters Michael Ashida and Michael Segneri; and awesome team chemistry all contributed to the victory.

On February 26 and 27, ILLINOIS BLUE will face another tough test at the Hoosier-Illini tournament,  joined by the ILLINOIS ORANGE team in Division 2 competition.

02/04/2011

 

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

ILLINOIS BLUE  COMPETES IN BIG TEN ROUND ROBIN

This weekend will be a very busy one for ILLINOIS BLUE.  In Iowa, they will play against some of the finest competition in the Big 10 MIVA grouping, including Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, and Wisconsin.   Good Luck ILLINOIS BLUE !

Click for Schedule

02/01/2011

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

2s -  1ST MIVA PLAYDATE AT INDIANA

Since winning the Butler tournament back in November, the ILLINOIS ORANGE team had not competed.  On January 29, the Orange squad got their first look at conference competition in their first MIVA play day.  The team stormed past their first four opponents which included: Earlham, Ferris State, Wisconsin-B, and Wittenberg.  Being one of four undefeated teams at that point, ILLINOIS ORANGE faced off against a competitive, undefeated Ohio State-B team.  All 3 sets were close and points were traded off till the very end.  Illinois saw success in the first set taking it 25-23.  Ohio State came back strong with a 25-22 victory over the Illini.  With strong blocks from sophomore MB Jim Voy and freshman RS Matt Wilkins, the ILLINOIS ORANGE  squad took an 8-5 lead in the third set.  Ohio State's strong serving took them on a 6-0 run making it 8-11 with the Illini unable to respond.  Ohio State took the match with a 15-10 victory.  The ILLINOIS ORANGE squad looks to rebound in their next play day which takes place on February 19.

01/29/2011

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

2s PLAY 1ST MIVA PLAYDATE AT INDIANA

Good Luck this weekend!

11/12/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak 

MICHIGAN STATE 21st ANNUAL SPARTAN TOURNAMENT

A combined team will be representing Illinois at the "Back To The Hardwood" Classic Tournament at Michigan State this weekend.  Held on both Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14, 2010.  Many teams, including 28 Men's Division 1 teams and 28 Men's Division 2 teams will be represented here, providing some of the best competition in the Midwest.  Go Illini!

11/11/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

HAWKEYE-ILLINI TOURNAMENT RESULTS - NOVEMBER 6

The ILLINOIS BLUE came up short this past weekend losing in the Quarterfinals to Wisconsin at the Hawkeye-Illini Classic in Iowa City, Iowa. The Illini won all matches until that point and came in 5th in this final preseason tournament.

11/11/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

1st ANNUAL BUTLER TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS

The ILLINOIS ORANGE won their first tournament of the year. It was the strong play, especially on the offense attack, that helped the team go 12-1 on the day.  The Team started out the day against Butler's A team.  After dropping the first and only set of the day, the Illini were able to recover beating the butler team in three straight sets. The ILLINOIS ORANGE then continued on to beat Ohio State C, Butler B, and Ohio State C once again in the semis. Facing off against Butler A in the championship match, the Illini won the first match 25-12. It was freshman OH Steve Drent and setter Chris Ojermark's connection that made the difference in the first set. Butler came back strong in the second set forcing the Illini to an early timeout.  The team rebounded and beat Butler in dramatic fashion, winning the 1st Annual Butler Invite 36-34.  The tournament revealed the strong depth of the ILLINOIS ORANGE Team, especially with our freshman L/DS Kyle Breitbarth, who also had a great day defensively.

11/07/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

HAWKEYE-ILLINI TOURNAMENT RESULTS - NOVEMBER 6

The ILLINOIS BLUE came up short this past weekend losing in the Quarterfinals to Wisconsin at the Hawkeye-Illini Classic in Iowa City, Iowa. The Illini won all matches until that point and came in 5th in this final preseason tournament.

11/03/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

1st ANNUAL BUTLER TOURNAMENT

The University of Illinois will be well represented on Saturday, November 6, at the 1st Annual Butler Tournament.  Play will begin at 9 a.m. at the Health and Recreation Center located at  530 W. 49th Street in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Good luck ILLINOIS ORANGE and ILLINOIS WHITE.

11/03/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

HAWKEYE-ILLINI TOURNAMENT - NOVEMBER 6

In the Hawkeye-Illini Tournament this weekend, the ILLINOIS BLUE will begin pool play at 9 a.m on Saturday against Northern University and continue at 11 a.m. against the College of Dupage.  Following these games at 2 p.m., the ILLINOIS BLUE will face St. Ambrose, a NAIA team. 

10/28/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

CHECK OUT THE NEW DESIGNS ON OUR GEAR PAGE 

The Annual Illinois Men's Volleyball Club fundraiser is now underway.  This year, we have some sharp new designs for everyone on your list.  Short-sleeve Shirts ($10), Long-sleeve Shirts ($15), and by popular demand Sweatpants ($20).

10/28/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

LOYOLA INVITATIONAL RESULTS - 3RD PLACE, GOLD

 

The Illinois Men's Volleyball Club squad made a lot of noise this past weekend at the Loyola Invitational in Chicago.   Strong play by all members allowed ILLINOIS BLUE to defeat St. Xavier, Lindenwood, and Oshkosh.  The Illini team fell to Loyola in the semi-finals.  This is the highest finish for the ILLINOIS BLUE in this tournament!

10/17/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

LOYOLA INVITATIONAL - OCTOBER 23, 2010 

The Illinois men's club volleyball squad is looking to make some noise against the stacked field this weekend at the Loyola Invitational in Chicago.  The highly competitive tournament will provide the toughest challenge yet for the Illini, who are coming off a loss at home against Mizzou.  ILLINOIS BLUE will be joining other collegiate club teams in our battle against some of the best varsity teams and USAV (United States of America Volleyball) teams.  The key to success will be consistent play from all throughout the entire day.

10/11/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

ANNUAL HOME TOURNAMENT - This coming weekend - Saturday, October 16th 

Come out to the ARC and support the Illinois Men's Volleyball Club.  We will be playing in our only home games of the semester and would love for you to come check out our play.  Watch all the teams in action as Illinois looks to defend their title for the fourth consecutive year against some of the top teams in the Midwest, including College of DuPage, Illinois State, Indiana, Iowa, Mizzou, Ohio State, Purdue, UIC, USAV, and Wisconsin.  Past Illinois players will also get to throw on Illinois jerseys as the tournament also welcomes two Alumni teams.  The tournament will be held in Gym 1 at the ARC, starting at 8:30 am.

ILLINOIS BLUE - 1s ILLINOIS ORANGE - 2s ILLINOIS WHITE - 3s

Gold and silver

Playoffs begin

around 2:30p.

  9:30a vs. Purdue   8:30a vs. Illinois State   8:30a vs. College of Dupage
11:30a vs. Iowa B 11:30a vs. Missouri 11:30a vs. Ohio State
  1:30p vs. Alumni A 12:30p vs. Alumni B 12:30p vs. Wisconsin

10/10/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

 

HOOSIER FALL CLASSIC CHAMPIONS

ILLINOIS BLUE - 1s

This past weekend, IMVB participated in the Hoosier Fall Classic.  Competition from all over the Midwest showed up and Illinois proved once again why it's one of the best clubs in the country. After cruising through pool play,  ILLINOIS BLUE began playoffs. The squad made it all the way to the championship and played against Indiana A.  After a hard-fought 3 games, the ILLINOIS BLUE team brought home the championship.  This tournament provided a lot of experience for the younger players.  Sophomore Steve Carrington and freshman Jim Connolly played excellently throughout the entire tournament.

 

ILLINOIS ORANGE - 2s

After a roller coaster of a weekend, the ILLINOIS ORANGE team went 2-2 on the weekend.  Placing 5th overall, the team is committing to working on the mental aspect of the game.  After an easy 2-0 sweep of Butler, the ORANGE team saw some trouble with the Illinois State Team winning the third and decisive set, 21-19.  Keeping up with a defensively impressive Indiana A team, the team fell in two straight sets.  In the first set, the team kept an impressive 6-4 lead with great serving from Junior and Outside Hitter Bryan Skwirut.  After being tied 14-14 the team fell mentally committing five straight hitting errors and was not able to recover.  Winning second in pool play and moving into the first round of the playoffs, the team still couldn't get past the Indiana loss and it showed in an upset loss against Miami of Ohio.  Overall, freshman Defensive Specialist Kyle Breibarth, freshman Setter Chris Ojermark, sophomore Middle Blocker Jim Voy, freshman Right Side Matt Wilkins and captains and juniors Outside Hitter Sam Thimmig and Libero Oscar Grajeda had a great weekend with consistent play all weekend long.

 

ILLINOIS WHITE - 3s

We started off slowly with a predominantly rookie team. We lost in two games to Illinois State A, then lost in two to Ball State A. We had an hour break off, and seemed to settle down quite a bit as we took Indiana Cream to three, but lost. We went into the Silver Bracket and beat Purdue B's in two quick games, then beat Butler in another two games, which put us in the championship. We fell just short meeting Ball State A's again in the silver bracket championship.

09/15/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

 

2010-2011 TRYOUTS HELD

 

Tryouts for the Club have finished.  After Quad Day, many students came to tryouts.  There were two long days of tryouts while the teams were being decided.  The talent of all three teams this year is looking stronger than ever before and all will be able to compete with the nation's best once again.

09/02/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

 

TRYOUTS

Tryouts for this year IMVB Club teams will be held on Tuesday, September 7th and Thursday, September 9th at the ARC - Gym 2.

The first tryouts will be held on Tuesday, September 7th.  If your LAST name begins with the letters A-M, tryouts are from 9-10:30pm.  If your LAST name begins with the letters N-Z, tryouts will be from 10:30-Midnight. 

Please show up about 20 minutes before your tryout is supposed to start so - You can be given a tryout number; You are able to warm-up; and You can receive the maximum amount of available tryout time.  There will be a $10 insurance fee to tryout. 

We will be making first cuts after this tryout, and will have a collective second tryout on Thursday, September 9th from 7-10 pm. 

Good luck to everyone!

07/27/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

 

QUAD DAY - AUGUST 22ND - 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

After a successful season last year, ILLINOIS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL is looking to continue its run towards a National Championship.  Established 25 years ago, the Club consists of three different teams of varying skill levels which compete in Midwestern and National Tournaments.  Though losing many talented players from last year's teams, the returning players are looking forward to continuing the Club's winning ways.

As always, we are looking for new talent, so incoming freshman and returning classmates - we want you to come and tryout for the team.  Come out to Quad Day and sign up for tryouts, the club has a number of open positions.  Tryouts will be in early September.  More information will be available later.  Keep watching this website.

ILLINOIS MEN'S VOLLEYBALL consistently rank at the top of their divisions in the Big Ten, Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), and the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) (formerly the National Intercollegiate Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).  (Last Year's Results)   (Cumulative Results).

Results from last season 2009-2010 include:

  • 2010 NCVF NATIONAL TOURNAMENT

    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s - Division I, 5th Place

    ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s - Division III, 2nd Place, 2009 Champions

  • 2010 MIVA TOURNAMENT

    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s - Division I, 3rd Place

    ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s - Division II, Champions

  • 2010 LAS VEGAS OPEN TOURNAMENT

    ILLINOIS BLUE 1s - 3rd Place

    ILLINOIS ORANGE 2s - 5th Place

  • RETURNING NATIONAL ALL-AMERICAN PLAYERS

    Kyle Bettenhausen

    Craig Podalak

    Keith Podalak

    Josh Scaletta

 

 

2010-2011
SEASON BEGINS

   

04/04/2010

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

  

2010 NCVF NATIONAL RESULTS - LOUISVILLE, KY (4/1-4/3)

The ILLINOIS BLUE team entered the tournament as the DI third seed overall after placing 1st at the Big 10 Championships, while the ILLINOIS ORANGE team entered the tournament as the DIII first seed overall after placing 1st at the MIVA Division II Championships.

On Thursday, the tournament began as both teams dominated pool play.  ILLINOIS BLUE defeated University of Connecticut, Ball State, and UCFL. ILLINOIS ORANGE defeated Minnesota B and James Madison B.  Friday’s action concluded with both teams advancing to their Gold Brackets respectively.  The ILLINOIS BLUE team advanced for the 12th consecutive year by defeating Indiana and UC Davis.  The ILLINOIS ORANGE also advanced by defeating Michigan State and Cal Poly.

On Saturday, the ILLINOIS ORANGE defeated both Illinois State and VA Tech to advance into the Championship Game.  The team fell a little flat in the season's fourth meeting against UW-Oshkosh II.  After losing the 1st game the team came out strong.  Late in the game, a swing in momentum occurred when one official overruled the original call reversing the score to 23-21 in favor of Oshkosh.  The team was unable to regroup and lost the Championship game 25-23, preventing their claim on a second consecutive Division III national title.  The ILLINOIS ORANGE team finished 2nd place in DIII national competition.  For the first time in history, spectators were able to witness the game via live webcast.

Also on Saturday, ILLINOIS BLUE began the day in a strong defeat of UW-Oshkosh and finished 5th place in national competition after succumbing to James Madison in a close 3-game match. 

Both teams were recognized with All-American honors.  ILLINOIS BLUE DI member, Kevin Deeke, received honors for his fifth consecutive year.  ILLINOIS ORANGE DIII All-American First Team honors were claimed by senior OPP Brendan Ori as well as by sophomore Libero Keith Podalak for his second consecutive year.

As another year ends, all three Illinois teams made the University proud with their stellar performance. Best of luck to our outgoing players.  Thanks for helping to make the Illinois Club one of the deepest and most successful in the history of both IMVB and National Club Volleyball.  You will all be missed!!

 1s - BLUE 2s - ORANGE 3s - WHITE
Doug Burchett
Emmett Culligan
Kevin Deeke
Sam Eisenberg
Mike Konrad
Craig Podalak
Joe Toth
Kevin Carroll
Stephan Hanowsky
Scott Henning
David Joyce
Brendan Ori
Kurt Royer
 
Dan Fey
Brian Shea
Pat Whelan
 

03/29/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

 

NEWLY ELECTED OFFICERS FOR 2010-2011

President - Henry Gottlieb

Vice President - Josh Scaletta

Secretary - Karl Miller

Treasurer - Kyle Bettenhausen

03/29/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

MIVA - DIVISION II CHAMPIONS!

In Division II competition, the ILLINOIS ORANGE extended their string to 7 consecutive championships as they downed the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh-2 team in two sets.  A total of 33 Teams participated in this year's championship tournament. 

 

And now the ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS ORANGE are on to Louisville as the inaugural National Collegiate Volleyball Championships continue the 25-year history of the collegiate club volleyball national championship.

03/29/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

BIG TEN CHAMPIONS!

Michigan State University - The  ILLINOIS BLUE won their 5th consecutive Big Ten Championship Title this past weekend by defeating Michigan State University in the Championship game in 2 sets. The Illini did not drop one set all tournament. The Illini were able to use a number of different lineups and saw key contributions from all 15 players throughout the day. For the tournament, Senior MB Sam Eisenberg had an incredible tournament both offensively and defensively and was pretty much unstoppable during the day.

The Illini also had a number of people receive recognition: Kevin Deeke was named MVP of the tournament, Joe Toth received Defensive Player of the Year, Sam Eisenberg was named first team All Big Ten, and Doug Burchett received second team All Big Ten.

Both the ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS ORANGE Squads resume play on Friday as they travel to Las Vegas this weekend.

03/27/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

MIVA CHAMPIONSHIPS

The ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS ORANGE teams will be competing in the 2010 MIVA Championships to be held at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday and Sunday, March 27-28, 2010.
2010 MIVA Pools
2010 MIVA Saturday Grid Schedule
Map of University of Oshkosh

03/25/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

LAS VEGAS RESULTS

 Both the ILLINOIS BLUE and the ILLINOIS ORANGE competed in the Las Vegas Open tournament this last weekend which featured 40 of the top the teams in the country. The Blue finished 3rd place overall, after falling to Utah Valley in the semi-finals in a close 3 set match. The Blue defeated California in 2 sets to win the the 3rd place match. Both Senior Libero Joe Toth and Junior Middle Kyle Bettenhausen had a great weekend for the Blue and were named to the All-Tournament team.

The Orange faced some tough west coach competition and finished 5th place overall, after losing to Utah Valley in the quarterfinal match. Senior Rightside Brendan Ori and Senior Outside Dave Joyce were named to the All-Tournament team.

The
ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS ORANGE will continue their busy travel schedule by first traveling to Wisconsin-Oshkosh this weekend to participate in the annual MIVA Club Championships, which features some of the top talent in the country. Following this weekend, the teams will travel to Louisville for the NCVF Nationals Championships.

03/15/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

BLUE AND ORANGE TEAMS TO PLAY IN LAS VEGAS OPEN

The ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS ORANGE teams will be traveling to Las Vegas to represent our university in the 9th Annual Las Vegas Open.  On March 19-20, they will be part of one of the largest NCFV sanctioned tournaments which this year includes 40 of the top men's and 40 of the top women's teams in the nation.  Good luck to both teams - let's bring home the Gold!   Click for Tournament Info.

03/15/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

BIG TEN CHAMPIONS!

Michigan State University - The  ILLINOIS BLUE won their 5th consecutive Big Ten Championship Title this past weekend by defeating Michigan State University in the Championship game in 2 sets. The Illini did not drop one set all tournament. The Illini were able to use a number of different lineups and saw key contributions from all 15 players throughout the day. For the tournament, Senior MB Sam Eisenberg had an incredible tournament both offensively and defensively and was pretty much unstoppable during the day.

The Illini also had a number of people receive recognition: Kevin Deeke was named MVP of the tournament, Joe Toth received Defensive Player of the Year, Sam Eisenberg was named first team All Big Ten, and Doug Burchett received second team All Big Ten.

Both the ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS ORANGE Squads resume play on Friday as they travel to Las Vegas this weekend.

03/08/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

 

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

The ILLINOIS BLUE heads to Michigan State University this Saturday to take part in the BTMVA championship tournament.  This year marks the 20th year anniversary of the Big Ten Men's Volleyball Championships hosted by Michigan State University.  The Big Ten is arguably one of the strongest conferences in the nation featuring #1 Illinois, #3 Ohio State, #15 Michigan State, and  #17 Indiana.

The Illini have claimed the championship title for the last four years in a row, and are looking to win their ninth title overall. The Blue first take on Wisconsin and Purdue in pool play, with the winner of the pool moving on to the quarterfinal match.  Click for a full look at the schedule

03/01/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

 

 

BLUE TEAM WINS HOOSIER ILLINI CLASSIC

Indiana University - The ILLINOIS BLUE team had a successful weekend at the Ninth annual Hoosier Illini Classic, capturing its third title for the club in nine years. The first day consisted of pool play and two cross over matches.  On Sunday, the Blue defeated #3 Ohio State in the championship game 25-17, 26-24. Prior the finals, the Illini took on a strong #1 Virginia Tech squad and had an impressive comeback to win the match in 3.  For the tournament, the Blue saw impressive performances by a number of Illini.  Junior MBs Kyle Bettenhausen and Mike Walsh had a great weekend, and were at times unstoppable offensively.  However, it was the play of Freshman Steve Carrington that really stood out for the Blue. Having played few minutes on Saturday and the first two matches on Sunday, Carrington came in off the bench against Virginia Tech and provided a much needed spark. For the semifinal and championship matches, he had some major kills and was the spark the team needed.

The ILLINOIS ORANGE team also had a great weekend, taking on "A" squads from around the country.  The Orange team beat #2 Lakeland and College of DuPage in pool play on Saturday, which put them in the 16 team gold bracket. The Orange easily handled #21 Grand Valley State in their first match, which put them in an all-ILLINI quarterfinal.  After winning the first game 38-36, the Orange put up a strong fight, but lost the match in 3 games.  For the Orange, David Joyce was a solid offensive force at Outside all weekend.  Keith Podalak had an impressive weekend at Libero, while freshman Setter Mike Segneri was steady at the setting position as he took over the starting spot for injured Josh Scaletta.  

The ILLINOIS BLUE resume play this coming weekend in a home exhibition match against Indiana University. Play will take place at the ARC at 7:00 pm.

02/23/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

HOOSIER-ILLINI CLASSIC

The ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS ORANGE will travel to Indiana University this weekend to co-host the Ninth Annual Hoosier Illini Classic, which takes place on both Feb 27 and Feb 28th. The tournament consists of 32 teams, 8 of which are in the top 25 in the country.

Tournament structure consists of Pool Play & Challenge Round Saturday, and then Single elimination playoffs on Sunday (based on Saturday's pool play results). 

The Blue have won the tournament twice, winning in 2003 and 2008.

02/22/2010

Posted by:

Steve Hanowsky

 

ORANGE DOMINATES MIVA PLAYDATE

ILLINOIS ORANGE went undefeated this past weekend in their second MIVA D2 Playdate at Michigan State. Led by Josh Scaletta's great setting, the Illini offense was connecting on all cylinders. They hope to build upon their success at Indiana this upcoming weekend where they get to see how they stack up against some of the best teams in the country.

02/15/2010

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

BLUE COMPETES IN BIG TEN ROUND ROBIN

Purdue University - The #4 ILLINOIS BLUE team competed in the annual Big Ten Round Robin tournament this past weekend, which consisted of playing against 9 Big Ten teams in the two-day span. On Saturday, the Illini competed against Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, and Michigan. The team used a variety of lineups and finished the day 5-0, and only dropped one set to a tough Indiana squad.

On Sunday, the Illini faced Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan State, and Ohio State. They won the first 3 matches, including dominating performances against Michigan State and Minnesota. The Illini fell to Ohio State in 3 sets in the final match of the tournament, with a final record of 8-1.

Junior MB Mike Walsh had an impressive all around weekend, and definitely provided a major spark at key moments both offensively and defensively. Both senior Libero Craig Podalak and freshman Pat Soukup also had a great weekend as they switched off back and forth at Libero, which provided the Illini some great depth at the position, as senior Libero Joe Toth was injured.

11/22/2009

Posted by:

Steve Hanowsky

ILLINOIS ORANGE WINS NOTRE DAME TOURNAMENT!  

 

 

ILLINOIS ORANGE began by defeating both  Grand Valley State and Ball State.  After a re-shuffle of the pools, Orange defeated Grand Valley State again!  Still on a winning streak, the team continued to overpower Michigan State.  The final match was against Notre Dame Gold with home court advantage.  The Orange team played with enduring intensity to win the championship!  Eric Sipos had a very good tournament.  Great play by the entire team.

 

 

11/22/2009

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

ILLINOIS BLUE WINS ILLINI-16!  

ALL ILLINOIS SQUADS PLACE HIGH!

 

ILLINOIS BLUE began the tournament ranked as the #2 overall seed.  The Blue squad had an easy time handling Indiana B (even though it was early) and then beat the Alumni B in 3 games after letting the second game slip away from them.  Lastly in pool play the Blue took on Wisconsin and put them away to advance to the Gold Bracket.  After a long break, the Blue squad was revived and put away Iowa State A and Ohio State to advance to the Championship Match.  The Illinois Blue Squad was matched up once again against the Alumni B team - but for the title this time.  The Blue squad came out fired up and won the first game, however faltered in the second game.  The third game was close and brought a lot of intensity with some great plays from both teams.  In the end, the Illinois Blue Squad won the match and the title of 2009 Champions of the Illini-16 Invite.  The Blue squad was led by outsides senior Emmett Culligan and junior Karl Miller.  Junior middle Mike Walsh really stepped up during the playoffs, playing "out of his mind" by getting some huge blocks and putting just about every ball he touched to the ground.  Junior setter Mike Ashida also played great all day.  With the absence of setter Doug Burchett, Ashida had to play the whole day without rest, and he really connected well with the hitters.  The Blue will be going to Wisconsin the weekend of November 21st during Thanksgiving Break.

ILLINOIS ORANGE began the day in Pool 1.  The Orange team had a great start to the tournament by beating the #1 overall seed in Indiana.  Led by Keith Podalak’s stellar defense and a well-balanced offense, the Orange came out of their pool in first place.  However after a long break, the Orange stumbled against Ohio State in their opening round playoff match in the Gold Bracket.

ILLINOIS WHITE started out the day by playing COD, where they had a rough time; however, they came back the next match to beat the high seeded Illinois State A squad.  After losing a long, tough match to Purdue in 3, the White entered the Silver Bracket as the top seed.  Defeating UIC and Indiana B, the White tied with Indiana A for the Silver Championship because all the gym time was run out and they could not play the match.  Oscar Grajeda led the team in digs and was a dominant force in serve receive.  Dan Fey led the team in kills while Karl Nerger displayed an immense amount of intensity that sparked the White squad.

10/18/2009

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

ILLINOIS BLUE WINS HAWKEYE- ILLINI

xxxFor the third consecutive year, the ILLINOIS BLUE squad won the annual Hawkeye Illini Tournament held at the University of Iowa. In pool play, the Illini beat Northern Illinois and Iowa B, and then lost a close 3 game match to St. Ambrose. The Illini bounced back quickly in playoffs and defeated Iowa A in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals against Clarke College, the Illini used a balanced attack from junior outside hitter's Karl Miller and Henry Gottlieb and defeated Clarke in 2 sets.  In the Championship match, the Blue faced Mizzou.  After losing game one, the Illini gained control with strong serving from Right Side Kevin Deeke.  Junior Middle Blocker Mike Walsh also provided a spark in the second set with strong blocking and a few slide kills.  In the third set, the Illini had control from the beginning.  An ace from Senior DS Craig Podalak at 14-11 gave the Blue the victory.

The Illinois Blue will travel to Loyola in two weeks.

10/10/2009

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

DISAPPOINTING WEEKEND IN INDIANA

The Hoosier Fall Classic was held this past weekend.  All three teams went into the weekend going for gold, but all fell just short.  After stellar pool play, all three teams made it into the gold bracket.  The ILLINOIS BLUE and ILLINOIS WHITE teams were matched up against each other in the first round.  The White team gave the Blue squad a run for its money, but the Blue came out on top.  The Blue and ILLINOIS ORANGE teams were then in the semis, but both lost to Indiana and Illinois State respectively.  It was the first tournament of the year and a good learning experience for all three teams.

09/15/2009

Posted by:

Craig Podalak

2009-2010 TRYOUTS HELD

Tryouts for the Club have finished.  After Quad Day, many students came to tryouts.  There were three grueling days of tryouts while the teams were being decided.  The talent of all three teams this year is looking stronger than ever before and all will be able to compete with the nation's best once again.

 

 

2009-2010
SEASON BEGINS

   

04/13/2009

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

ILLINOIS ORANGE CLAIM TITLE - DIII NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

For the first time in the program's history, the Illini came home as National Champions. The Orange team won the Division 3 Championship Match, as they rolled Cal Berkeley in two games. The Illini did not drop a single game through the entire tournament.

For the Blue team, the Illini did not walk away as National Champions, as they lost in a close match against Wisconsin Oshkosh. The Blue had a slow start in Game 1 and lost 23-25.  In Game 2, they came back from a six-point deficit and won 25-23. Game 3 saw several lead changes, and after a controversial net call at 13-13, the Illini lost Game 3 13-15.

DIII All-Americans
Mark Tkaczuk (MVP)
Josh Scaletta (All-Tournament Setter)
Keith Podalak (All-Tournament Libero)

D1 All-Americans
Kevin Deeke
Miles Kilgallon
Doug Burchett
Kyle Bettenhausen

04/05/2009

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

2009 NIRSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Illinois Blue and Orange travel to Kansas City Missouri on April 8th to compete in the National Championship Tournament. The tournament takes place April 9-11.

Outlook for the Blue:
The Blue team is riding on a sixteen match win streak, which included winning the Big Ten Championship, the Las Vegas Open and the MIVA Championship. The lllini, which reached the National Championship Game last year, are looking to become the first team in the program's history to win a National Championship.

Part of the recent success has been the addition of Sophomore Karl Miller into the starting lineup who, replacing an injured Emmett Culligan, has become an offensive threat out of both the front and back rows.

Outlook for the Orange:
The Illini Orange will compete in the 3rd division at Nationals. The Orange recently won their MIVA D2 Championship. The Orange are also looking to come home as national champions, as the 3 game semi-final match a year ago. Freshmen Keith Podalak has been a steady defensive force. Outside Andrew Gulik has stepped up as an offensive option for the Orange.

03/9/2009

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

ILLINOIS CLAIM MIVA CHAMPIONSHIPS

For the third straight year, both Illini teams claimed the MIVA championships. The Blue and Orange teams did not drop a single match this weekend. The Blue had a successful day on Sunday, in which they faced Illinois State, Marquette, Osh Kosh, and Lakeland in the Championship match.  The Orange bounced back from Vegas and won their 5th straight MIVA championship.

11/26/2008

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

ILLINI CAPTURE TWO CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES!

 

The Illinois Blue went home as champions of the Hawkeye Illini tournament. This marks the Blue's third title at this tournament over the last four years. The Blue did not drop a single set and were able to use a variety of lineups. Kevin Deeke had a phenomenal tournament, while Liberos Pat Condron and Joe Toth had a great day as well.

 

In Ohio, the Illini Orange and White played at the Dayton Classic. The Orange went home victorious, and the White lost in the first of playoffs. Davis Joyce played a huge role in the Illini win-stepping in as setter because of player injuries.

 

All three teams will compete next on home court advantage at the Illini-16 tournament on November 8th!

11/24/2008

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

BLUE FINISHES FALL SEASON STRONG


The Blue team finished its fall season at Loyola this past weekend. The Illini won their pool play pretty easily and were able to use a few different line ups. Henry Gottlieb, came off the bench and fired up the Illini in a tough match against a USA men's team.


The Illini faced another tough USA men's team in the quarterfinals. Strong blocking at the net was the key in the match. The Blue quickly switched gears and played almost right away in the semi-finals against a Lewis University Varsity squad. The Illini came out strong in game one with a balanced attack and strong serving. After winning game one 30-28, Lewis fired back with strong serving and a tough middle attack. Lewis won game 2 30-24.


Lewis started game 3 quickly with a 3-0 lead. Trailing 8-4, the Illini responded back and eventually took the lead 12-9. Senior Kevin Deeke responded after some errors in game 2 with key kills in game 3. After a back and forth match, in which the Illini had a match point, the Blue fell to Lewis 16-18.


The tournament was the last for the semester, in which the Blue had one of the strongest first semester's ever. Highlights included three tournament championships, and only two matches lost.

11/23/2008

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

The Illini Blue will begin pool play at 10 a.m on Saturday against St. Ambrose at the Hawkeye Illini tournament. St. Ambrose is a NAIA team, so the Illini are looking to beat a scholarship team for the fourth consecutive year. Following that match, the Illini will face Iowa State at 12, and Missouri at 2.

11/17/08

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

ILLINOIS SWEEPS HARDWOOD TOURNAMENT


Illinois added more hardware to its collection this weekend, as both the Illini Blue and Orange brought home the gold at this weekend's Back to the Hardwood at Michigan State University.

 

The Blue pounded Wisconsin Milwaukee in the Championships, after fighting off Grand Valley State, Ohio State, and JMU in the playoffs. It was the first time in the club's history that the Illini have won this tournament. The Illini used a balanced attack from setter's Mike Ashida and Doug Burchett. Right Side Kevin Deeke led all hitters, while senior Miles Kilgallon also was a threat at the net in both offense and blocking.

 

While the Blue were making some noise, the Orange also had an excellent tournament. The Orange took home home the gold in Division 2, making it the team's 4th consecutive year of winning the tournament. Freshman Libero Keith Podalak had an excellent tournament for the Illini, leading the team in digs.

11/9/2008

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

ILLINOIS ORANGE WINS HOME TOURNAMENT!

The Orange had a successful weekend as they won the Illini-16. It was the Orange's first ever home tournament win. The Illini beat College of Dupage in the finals in a back and forth 3 game match. Outside hitter Joe Doughney had a stellar match, getting kills at key moments late in the match.

The Blue lost to College of Dupage in the semis, in a hard fought close match. The Illini had leads in both games, but were not able to close out the match. Sophomore Karl Miller had a great weekend for the Illini.

The White had a tough day in Pool Play, but managed to bounce back in the Silver Division and ended up losing in the Silver semifinals.

11/4/2008

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

 

Come check out the Illini in action this Saturday, November 8th at the ARC.

 

Pool play Schedule is as follows:
Illinois A (Blue): 8am against Wisconsin B , 10am against Purdue, 1pm against Alumni A
 

Illinois B (Orange): 8 am against UIC, 10 am against Western Michigan, 1 pm against against

Alumni B


Illinois C (White): 9 am against College of Dupage, 10 am against Ohio State, 12pm against Indiana B
 

Gold and Silver Playoffs begin around 3 pm

11/2/2008

Posted by:

Doug Burchett

The annual Illini-16 home tournament will take place this Saturday, November 8th.

It has been a great start to the year for both the Illinois Blue and Orange capturing 3 tournament titles. The Illini Blue look to defend their title for the third consecutive year, but will face some of the top teams in the Midwest. Ohio State, Mizzou, Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana, College of Dupage, Western Michigan, UIC, and Depaul round out the teams looking to upset the Illini on home court.  Past Illinois players will also get to throw on Illinois jerseys one more time. Two Illinois ALUMNI teams will be present at the tournament, and will look to regain their title since 2005.

 

The tournament will be held at the ARC and starts at 8 am. The schedule for all 3 teams will be posted soon.

11/20/2008
Posted by:
Doug Burchett

All three teams will be traveling this weekend. The Blue team will be defending their title at the Hawkeye-Illini tournament at the University of Iowa, while the Orange and White teams will be at the University of Dayton. The Orange teams starts pool play at 9 am against the University of Dayton, and the White teams begins at 10 am against College of Dupage. Good luck to all three teams and Go ILLINI!

10/14/2008

Posted by:
Doug Burchett

CONGRATULATIONS to both the Blue and Orange teams for making it to the championship game of the Hooiser Fall Classic this weekend! The two teams decided to not play a championship match.


This marks the third year out of the last four that the Illini Blue have won this tournament! The blue team used a number of line ups all day long. Strong ball control by all three liberos and a well-balanced attack helped the Illini not drop one set all tournament.

 

The Orange team had a strong showing making it to the championship match for the first time and beating many number one teams. As for the White team, who took a solid second in the Silver division, they took Purdue to a close third set match in pool play.

9/15/2008
Posted by:
Doug Burchett

Welcome to the 2008-2009 season of Illinois Men's Volleyball. This year marks the 25th year of our club. This season once again features three of the top teams in the country. Key Returning players for the Blue team are three time All-American Kevin Deeke, two time All-American Miles Kilgallon, and 2008 Libero of the Year Joe Toth. The Blue team returns ten players this year, and adds new faces at three different positions, including DIII Libero of the Year Craig Podalak.

The Orange and White team also have many returning players, but definitely add some depth with this year's Freshman class. Key returning players for the Orange Team are David Joyce and Josh Scalleta. The 2008 season kicks off at The Hoosier Classic at Indiana University on October 4.

9/25/08

Posted by:

Alex Paull

High expectations for men's volleyball team


Doug Burchett, senior in Media and the captain of the men's club volleyball team, watches his teammate Ryan Schuette, freshman in Engineering, leap into the air before launching a serve during practice on Tuesday night.

 

After a strong season in which the Blue Team, Illinois Club Volleyball's top squad, came within a game of making the National Championship match, they are back to compete again. The heartbreak of defeat from coming so close would typically deflate a team's spirit.

Just don't mention that to anyone on the Illini squad.

With the season kicking off in less than three weeks, expectations have been raised to a new level and anything less than a Championship is unacceptable.

The club had one of the highest turnouts ever at its tryouts Sept. 9.

According to Doug Burchett, president and co-captain of the Blue Team, the team kept roughly 40 of the 86 players who tried out for one of the club's three teams. One newcomer was selected by the Blue Team, which is otherwise composed of all returning club players.

The addition of a freshman to a veteran squad isn't a concern for either of the captains, though.

Miles Kilgallon, a senior staple of the 14-member Blue Team and co-captain, is very excited about this year.

"This is a veteran group of kids who are starting on the same page," Kilgallon said. "Not having to teach the team the basics is a huge relief and will help get the team prepared quicker."

If there is any concern about the team, it lies with regaining the chemistry from last year. Burchett notes the upcoming weeks are a chance for the team to get acclimated again and regain the chemistry as it moves forward.

"After last semester's success, it's just a matter of clicking again and transitioning from summer hiatus back into a competitive mentality," Kilgallon said.

Along with the addition of a freshman, the Blue Team promoted two players from the Orange Team to the mix. Junior Brendan Ori, the club's treasurer, has already noticed the differences from playing on the Orange Team last year to the Blue Team this year.

"The game feels a lot faster and the competition is greater," Ori said. "There is a strong need to step up my game and stay more alert. There is no room to bring the effort level down on the Blue Team."

Ori not only has high expectations for the team but expects more out of the players as individuals for the season.

Henry Gottlieb, the other call-up, is also expected to step up and battle for a spot.

"We're looking for someone to step into the role of the second outside hitter," Burchett said. "We want (Gottlieb) fighting for a position, and see which player really wants it the most."

Ultimately, neither has any concern about playing time and both understand the team-first philosophy, doing whatever is asked of them to win a National Championship.

The first test for the team in its pursuit of the National Championship is the Hoosier Fall Classic, which kicks off Oct. 4. While Burchett acknowledges the tournament does not have much bearing on its season, he hopes the team will learn from it to get ready for the tough schedule that lies ahead come winter.

"The tournament is the team's litmus test to see where we need improvement and what needs more focus in practice to improve for the rest of the season," Kilgallon said. "The goal is to win every tournament, and this is just the first step."

While the team lost in the quarterfinals last season, just one year after winning the tournament, Burchett envisions an all-Illini final this year.

"I like where things are right now," Burchett said. "I feel the team is deeper this year, and I think we can win it."

 

 

2008-2009
SEASON BEGINS

   

5/1/08

Posted by:

Kate Munson 

Club teams reflect on successful year, accomplishments
Noteworthy season shows drive, talent of UI men's volleyball


While they may not have won it all at the NIRSA championships, the Illini did earn plenty of individual accolades. Blue Team members Kevin Deeke and Miles Kilgallon were each named to the D-I first team all-tournament while teammate Joe Toth was named all-tournament libero. In D-III play, Orange Team member Craig Podalak was named the all-tournament libero.

 

Still, second place doesn't sit too well.

 

"To be honest, the end of our season was very disappointing compared to how great the rest of our season was," said Burchett. "I felt that there was no way it could end without the two's being crowned National Champs. Well, we lost to Cal-Berkeley in the semi's in a game that we should have won. We were the best team in our division, and next year we are going to come back and prove it."

 

The White Team may be Illinois' C team, but that doesn't make it any less competitive. In fact, the 2007-2008 season marked a key milestone for the team, as it claimed the first ever tournament victory for the Illinois White at the Bradley Tournament after defeating St. Ambrose in three games.

 

That particular weekend was especially historic for the club, as each team won its own respective tournament on the same weekend for the first time in program history. Combined, they went 20-0 in matches and 40-1 in games.

 

Playing on the White Team is about more than just winning, though.

 

"What I really love about this team is everybody gets along. I've never been on a team with such good team chemistry," said Steve Hanowsky, captain of the White Team.

"I play back row, so I just pass the ball and watch them do their thing, and I've never seen it like that before. It's really fun to watch."

To wrap up the season, the White Team traveled to the University of Chicago to compete in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball Association (MCVA) Championship, where it placed third out of 16 teams after falling to in-state rival Western Illinois.

But the White Team expects to come back even stronger next season, especially with all of its members returning.

"Next year we should be really good, we should be even better," Hanowsky said. "We want to definitely win a lot more next year to show that we can be just as good as anybody else."

One of the overriding themes of the club is its camaraderie and desire to win. The combination is strong, and even though the season may be over, they already have high hopes for next year.

"This has been an unbelievable year in terms of chemistry on and off the court," Burchett said. "When we lost in the championship game, we all huddled up for one last time, and there was no reason to hang our heads because we definitely proved we were the best team in the country this year. I was so proud of our team this year and how much we stuck together."


Men's club volleyball has a strong tradition at Illinois, dating back to 1984. But for all three of the program's teams, this season was especially remarkable.

The Blue Team is the Fighting Illini's "A" team and participates in the most tournaments each year. This season, it won its second consecutive Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) Division I title while riding a 35-match winning streak. The title complemented its Big Ten Men's Volleyball Association (BTMVA) regular season and tournament championship victories.

And plans for next season are even more ambitious.

"This year we really focused on our serving and defense," said Doug Burchett, club vice president and captain of the Blue Team. "I would like to see our team become a better 'out of system' team, which means getting kills when we don't have a perfect pass. Otherwise, our goal is to get back to that championship game and win a National Championship."

In Division II play, the Orange (B) Team clinched the MIVA Championship by defeating rival University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and ended its official MIVA season without losing a single game en route to snagging its fifth consecutive MIVA title. The Orange Team also claimed the BTMVA title for its division, as well as the BTMVA tournament championship.

"Our team's biggest accomplishment was the amount of respect that we earned from all the other programs in the country," Orange Team member Brendan Ori said. "It's not easy fielding one really good team, but Illinois' club team has two legit teams, and the (White Team) is not that far behind. It speaks volumes about the amount of talent that we have and the amount of work that we put in."

Both the Blue and Orange teams concluded the season by travelling to Dallas, where they competed in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Volleyball Championships.

The Blue Team competed in D-I and finished second in the gold bracket, losing to Lakeland College in two close games. Meanwhile, Illinois Orange took third in the D-III gold bracket after losing to eventual second-place finishers, UC Berkeley.

While they may not have won it all at the NIRSA championships, the Illini did earn plenty of individual accolades. Blue Team members Kevin Deeke and Miles Kilgallon were each named to the D-I first team all-tournament while teammate Joe Toth was named all-tournament libero. In D-III play, Orange Team member Craig Podalak was named the all-tournament libero.

Still, second place doesn't sit too well.

"To be honest, the end of our season was very disappointing compared to how great the rest of our season was," said Burchett. "I felt that there was no way it could end without the two's being crowned National Champs. Well, we lost to Cal-Berkeley in the semi's in a game that we should have won. We were the best team in our division, and next year we are going to come back and prove it."

The White Team may be Illinois' C team, but that doesn't make it any less competitive. In fact, the 2007-2008 season marked a key milestone for the team, as it claimed the first ever tournament victory for the Illinois White at the Bradley Tournament after defeating St. Ambrose in three games.

That particular weekend was especially historic for the club, as each team won its own respective tournament on the same weekend for the first time in program history. Combined, they went 20-0 in matches and 40-1 in games.

Playing on the White Team is about more than just winning, though.

"What I really love about this team is everybody gets along. I've never been on a team with such good team chemistry," said Steve Hanowsky, captain of the White Team.

 

"I play back row, so I just pass the ball and watch them do their thing, and I've never seen it like that before. It's really fun to watch."

 

To wrap up the season, the White Team traveled to the University of Chicago to compete in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball Association (MCVA) Championship, where it placed third out of 16 teams after falling to in-state rival Western Illinois.

 

But the White Team expects to come back even stronger next season, especially with all of its members returning.

 

"Next year we should be really good, we should be even better," Hanowsky said. "We want to definitely win a lot more next year to show that we can be just as good as anybody else."

 

One of the overriding themes of the club is its camaraderie and desire to win. The combination is strong, and even though the season may be over, they already have high hopes for next year.

 

"This has been an unbelievable year in terms of chemistry on and off the court," Burchett said. "When we lost in the championship game, we all huddled up for one last time, and there was no reason to hang our heads because we definitely proved we were the best team in the country this year. I was so proud of our team this year and how much we stuck together."

4/15/08

Posted by:

Lee Feder

Illinois men's volleyball: silently victorious over the years

The best and most accomplished sports team associated with the University of Illinois happens to be one of the least known. Illinois men's volleyball, or IMVB, continues to fly under the radar, well, because volleyball is a "girls'" sport, or so said a lady on the airplane back from Dallas on Sunday morning when 20-odd six-footers wearing IMVB clothes scanned the Southwest flight for spare seats.

Admittedly, men's volleyball is, like hockey, a club sport here in Champaign. Actually, it is a club sport at most universities because of the perfect storm of its sparse yet devoted following, Title IX and the relative anonymity of the men's game. Men's volleyball is a truly great sport - one that few ever have the chance to appreciate, and the Illinois club is a truly great program. In fact, stating that IMVB is the best club in the nation would not be a stretch.

While clubs in California and elsewhere in the Midwest have coaches and easy access to practice and tournament space not only at their colleges but also in local convention centers, the Illinois team works closely with the school to maximize its use of scant resources, all without a separate coach or club organizer. Each team member pays dues and works various fundraising events to help pay for the exorbitant cost of travel. Teams cram too many guys into too little space at tournaments that are too far away. Through it all, Illinois wins.

Really, how good are the three teams that compose IMVB? The Blue team finished second this year, preceded by six straight third-place finishes, while the Orange team ended the season at third, preceded by a third and two second-place finishes. The Illinois White team, the one the national organizing body foolishly does not let attend the national championships, regularly beats other schools' only team, finished third in its conference and wins tournaments. Incidentally, the Blue team carried a 35-match winning streak into the national tournament this past weekend - and extended it to 43, going to decisive third games only six times during the streak.

 

The records and accomplishments, though, pale in comparison to the quality of people who compose the club. Every student organization likes to boast that it has the highest-caliber Illini, but as someone who has been active on campus for six years, I will testify that the IMVB Fighting Illini for the 2007-08 season are among the finest men I have ever had the pleasure to know. Those 44 guys and their families make significant monetary, temporal and academic sacrifices to play a game they love and few others appreciate.

 

In 2008-09, the teams should be even stronger, and I hope the UI student body will take advantage of the rare occasions when they play in Champaign. Men's volleyball is a thing of beauty, and those who have never seen it played properly, as the IMVB teams do, should watch the Olympic matches on television this summer before coming out to support the Illini next year.

 

A significant factor in IMVB's success is that the state of Illinois is one of very few to have a developed boys high school volleyball program. That infrastructure, combined with a developed out-of-school club organization, has made Illinois the second-strongest state for men's volleyball. Ultimately, though, the club owes its unparalleled success to, and duly thanks, the 44 students listed below, their families, their friends and significant others, their alumni, Ed Morford, Kristin Duitsman, the University's RSO/SORF system and the club's good friends, Dewey and Linda Jones.

 

Congratulations, everyone, on a fantastic season.

 

Michael Ashida, Kyle Bettenhausen, Doug Burchett, Timmy Carioscio, Kevin Carroll, Mike Cleary, Patrick Condron, Jim Covert, Emmett Culligan, Kevin Deeke, Joe Doughney, Sam Eisenberg, Dan Fey, Henry Gottlieb, Stephan Hanowsky, John Holmstrom, Trey Horvath, Matt Janas, David Joyce, Miles Kilgallon, Mike Konrad, Kevin Martinez, Karl Miller, Matt Morris, Steve Mui, Brendan Ori, Brandon Owen, Craig Podalak, Tom Root, Kurt Royer. Tim Ruberry. Josh Scaletta, Brian Shea, Robert Shintani, Eric Sipos, Steve Tasch, Mark Tkaczuk, Joe Toth, Chris Walstra, Sam Wheeler, Pat Whelan, Randal Zhou and Ben Zintak

 

Lee is a senior in mechanical engineering and the outgoing president of Illinois men's volleyball. He specifically thanks Doug Burchett, Pat Condron and Miles Kilgallon for making this year the greatest ever.                          © Copyright 2008 The Daily Illini

4/7/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

Congratulations to Illinois White -  Record-high Third in the MCVA Conference.

The team cruised through pool play and the first round of the playoffs before facing season-long rival Western Illinois in the semis. Two hard fought games fell on the wrong side for the Illini, closing the most successful season in Illinois White's history.
Congratulations on a phenomenal year!

3/24/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

Chalk up another big tournament victory for Illinois Blue!!

Both Illini Blue and Orange headed west for some fun in the Las Vegas sun and took on the best the West can offer. Both teams passed the test, with Illinois Blue topping UC Davis for the first ever IMVB tournament victory west of the Rockies. The win came in a dominating sweep after tighter victories against powerhouse Arizona A and a solid California-Berkeley.
Illinois Orange also performed admirably, finishing second in its pool before dropping a challenge match to the eventual runner up. In silver, the Illini had a rough first draw against UCF – the Hoosier-Illini runner-up – but took the Florida Mustache Men to three games. Ultimately, the sun wore out the boys in blue on day two of the tournament, with the trip ending in a three game loss to #18 Sacramento State.
Congratulations to both Illinois teams, and onwards to the MIVA conference championships!

3/16/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

Another Big Ten Sweep

May we all extend a hearty congratulations to the University of Illinois for completing another BTMVA sweep! Illinois Blue won its third consecutive Division I championship and dominated the competition, not dropping a single game en route to a tournament-clinching win over Michigan State. Congratulations to the U of I team for its domination of a revitalized BTMVA. Illinois Orange went undefeated in match play, maintaining its hold on the BTMVA Division II title.
IMVB wishes to salute all its athletes, as it feels that every member from the outside through the libero deserves an honor for his hard work and contributions to team success.
For Illinois Blue and Orange, it is now westward to Las Vegas for a transcontinental spring break showdown!

3/2/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

The first ever Illinois Exhibition was an unqualified success! Friends and family came to watch Illinois Blue bounce Purdue and Illinois Orange efficiently defeat Illinois State. As an encore, Blue played Orange, with Blue surviving a tough match.
Special thanks to Purdue and ISU for making the trip out here!

3/1/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

YOU CAN PUT 'EM ON THE BOARD!!!

 

For the first time in Illinois Men's Volleyball history, all three teams won their tournaments on the same weekend, compiling an astounding 20-0 match and 40-1 game record.


The success began with Illinois White's rout of the Bradley tournament, where they stormed through pool play and the Gold bracket to face St. Ambrose JV. After dropping a challenging game 1, the Illini regrouped and annihilated the St. Ambrose squad to claim the first ever Illinois White tournament victory!


In Columbus, Ohio at the MIVA conference championships, the destruction continued. Illinois Orange blitzed teams on day one, outscoring their group opponents 200-114 in four easy matches. In Gold on Sunday, the Illini continue to cruise, stomping on Eastern Michigan while playing without any outsides or middles for the first game. The championship pitted the boys in blue against longtime rival UW Oshkosh-II, who fell in two games to Illinois Orange for the second time this year. Illinois Orange ends the official MIVA season not having dropped a single game.


In Division I and the MIVA championships, Illinois extended their winning streak to 35 matches. After breezing through a difficult group schedule that featured #3 Lakeland, Illinois dismantled teams early in Gold before actually being challenged by the host OSU team in the semifinals and Lakeland again for the crown.


The MIVA titles represent an unprecedented 5th straight DII championship for Illinois Orange and nicely complement their BTMVA title while Illinois Blue ran the streak to 2 straight MIVA DI titles and match their BTMVA tournament and regular season crowns.


Up next for IMVB are the MCVA conference championships (Illinois White) and the NIRSA National Championships. Keep fighting, Illini, and bring home some more hardware!

2/29/2008

Posted by:

Katie Munson

Club volleyball to host tourney

 

Men's volleyball is not something that you will hear a lot about on campus, but for the 40-plus players who practiced Tuesday night at Huff Hall, volleyball is a serious sport.  "It's one of the most competitive club teams we have at the University, and not that many people know about it," said junior Doug Burchett, vice president of the club.

The Illinois Men's Volleyball Club, or IMVB, is a Registered Student Organization and respected across the country as one of the elite collegiate volleyball clubs. IMVB consists of three teams competing in three separate divisions.  "It's a pretty prestigious club team nationally, so we're looking to at least keeping that prestige going," added senior Chris Walstra.

As the IMVB's most competitive squad, the blue team is consistently ranked at the top of the Big Ten, the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, or MIVA, and the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, or NIRSA.  The squad finished third in Division I eight of the last nine years and won the Big Ten Men's Volleyball Association tournament two years in a row, as well as the MIVA in 2007.   This season was also the second consecutive year the team finished as the top squad in regular-season play.

The orange team, which competes in the second division of MIVA and NIRSA, finished in the top three of Division III its last three Nationals and has won the MIVA the last four years. 
The white team competes locally, playing in six to seven tournaments a year.  "We have a lot of really good guys at all three levels," said Burchett. "We're just really competitive, It's not really just a club sport. It's really great competition throughout the entire year."

The IMVB is coming off a very successful weekend at the Hoosier-Illini Classic, which saw the blue team go 8-0 to take the title while the orange team finished in a respectable ninth place.  "Our team is doing pretty well I think," said senior Jim Covert, a member of the orange team.  "We took ninth at this last tournament against a bunch of (Division I) teams. We took down No. 6 Utah Valley State, so that was a really good time,"

This Saturday is a chance to see Illini men's volleyball in action.  The blue team will be playing Purdue at 7:30 p.m., followed by the orange playing Illinois State at 8:30 p.m. in the Kenney Gym Annex.  Both teams are ranked in the country right now, so it's a great chance to see really competitive volleyball," said Burchett.  Because the teams play in so many tournaments on the road, their excitement is even higher with the chance to play for the home crowd.  "Besides our home tournaments, this is like the only thing that we have here this year," said Covert.

2/25/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

For the first time since 2003, a host of the Hoosier-Illini Classic is also the victor. A well- deserved congratulations to Illinois-Blue for a phenomenal HIC performance. After a solid Saturday in pool play, the Illini came out swinging Sunday in the Gold Bracket, tearing through Navy in the opening round. However, Ohio State in the quarterfinals proved a difficult opponent, pushing the Illini to the brink with game point in the third set before the Illini found a way to eke out the set.
From then on, the tournament was all-Illini all the time. The Boys in Blue shredded Lakeland in game 1 before enduring a stiffer challenge in game 2. The championship very much mirrored the semifinal match, with the cohosts dominating with aggressive serving, unshakable defense, monstrous blocking, and powerful hitting. Congratulations again on a great tournament.
Illini-Orange also traveled to the Hoosier-Illini Classic and had a very successful tournament. After some disappointing pool play matches, the Illini showed their muscle in bouncing Iowa State to Silver. The crossover round saw the Illini pitted against nationally ranked no. 6 Utah Valley State. A ticket to Gold awaited the winner while the loser would fall to silver. The Illini prevailed, though, dominating UVS in games 2 and 3.
Playoffs saw the Orange facing off against national no. 23 Marquette–and winning. The next match featured the now-streaking Illini against undefeated and no. 1 UW-Oshkosh. Despite a dominating game 1, the Illini fell in 3, tying for 9th.
Great efforts to all teams and congratulations on bringing home the hardware!

2/14/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

Congratulations to IMVB-Orange on their resounding success at the MIVA DII Playdate at MSU. Continuing their recent success in the state of Michigan, Illinois steamrolled all opposition to a 5- 0, 10-0 match/game record at Michigan State. This completes a year in which the team did not lose so much as a game in the state of Michigan. The culmination of the playdate was an emphatic thrashing of UW Oshkosh-II, a well-respected and competitive opponent.
Similarly, IMVB-White traveled to Western Illinois and thumped their way to a 3rd place finish, falling to host WIU in the semifinals. Many congratulations on the success.
As the season progresses, continue to expect Illinois to progress at all three levels. Each team has high hopes for its conference tournament and has been working non-stop with end-of-season accolades in mind

2/11/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

Congratulations to Illinois-Blue on their Big Ten Men's Volleyball Association league victory! The Illini went 8-1 in league play, falling only to Wisconsin in a let-down game before trouncing ranked Michigan State, Indiana, and Minnesota. While failing to garner the sweep, the Illini looked fantastic in a title clinching shellacking of Minnesota, winning 25-16, 25-9. Watch for a rematch on March 15 when all the BTMVA teams visit Champaign for the conference tournament.

2/5/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

Congratulations to Illinois-White on their strong showing at Iowa State this past weekend. Braving poor road conditions, the Illini swept through pool play and the first round of the playoffs before eventually falling in the second round of tournament play to Olivet.
While each of the three Illinois teams have had acceptable showings, thus far, all have quite a ways to go to match the success of first semester and their expectations of themselves.

1/27/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

Congratulations to Illini-Blue who took 3rd at the Oshkosh tournament, falling in a heartbreaker to the hosts in 3.
The Orange team also attended and lost 3 incredibly tight matches to top teams in pool play, including a thriller to reigning 2-time national champs Oshkosh in 3. They closed out the tournament with an old-fashioned win against Wisconsin.

1/4/2008
Posted by:
Lee Feder

Happy new years to everyone.
First practice of second semester will be Tuesday January 15 from 8-10 pm at Huff Hall. Note the change in time.
We're all looking forward to building on the successes of first semester and continuing the Illini tradition of volleyball dominance.

12/2/2007
Posted by:
Lee Feder

Congratulations to the Blue team for a stellar performance at the Loyola Invitational. They took down club, USAV and varsity teams alike en route to a second place finish.
The Orange team performed admirably at Notre Dame, gritting out a brutal third game against Ball State to win 22-20, but falling to Indiana A in the semifinals.
The White team traveled to Ames, Iowa for the A-town throwdown and return with a chalice of silver. Enduring hours of corn to the far reaches of the Midwest, they won the silver division.

Congratulations to IMVB-Orange on their dominant victory at MSU Hardwood this past weekend. En route to a third consecutive Hardwood title, the team did not drop so much as a game, going 7-0, and 14-0. The team came out firing on bracket day, lighting up Wisconsin B in a defeat of epic proportions before continuing their methodical destruction of all comers. Orange will go to Notre Dame on 12/1to continue their stretch of dominance.


IMVB Blue faced a stiffer challenge, but won their pool handily. They fell in a tough playoff match to MSU, but are fired up and ready to take down the best competition of the semester at Loyola on 12/1.

11/11/2007

Posted by:

Lee Feder

Posted on congratulations to the Blue, Orange, and White teams on a good Indiana tournament. The Blue team facing the hardest pool and the the toughest draw in the playoffs, exited in the quarterfinals with a loss to USAV - Brandon Kelly. The Orange team defeated the White team in the Gold Quarterfinals before losing to Illini-killer USAV - Brandon Kelly.

11/7/2007

Posted by:

Alex Iniguez

Men's club volleyball team wins Hawkeye-Illini Classic

The Illinois men's volleyball club's blue team smashed its opponents en route to an easy tournament victory at the Hawkeye-Illini Classic on Saturday.  After a tough loss to Wisconsin in two games, the Illini unit came together and did not lose a game the rest of the tournament.  The Illini defeated Augustana and Northern Illinois in pool play, and then beat Augustana a second time, Marquette, and St. Ambrose to get to the title game.

"This was some of the best volleyball I've seen us play in the three years I've been here," said junior Doug Burchett, the volleyball club vice president. "We definitely played strong from start to finish and we're just connecting on all parts of the game."  The club came up huge in the championship game, crushing Quincy 25-17, 25-14 to claim the title.


Junior Kevin Deeke led the team with 35 kills in the tournament, and sophomore outside hitter Emmett Culligan wasn't far behind with 31.  "Culligan has definitely stepped up his level of play and has become another go-to player on our team," Burchett said. "Joe Toth played phenomenal at libero; he really set the tone of defense for the team."

The Illinois men's volleyball club is composed of three teams. The blue team competes in about 12 tournaments per year as part of the first division of the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, and the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association.

The orange team travels to about eight tournaments a year, competing in the second divisions of MIVA and NIRSA. The white team competes in local competitions, participating in about six or seven tournaments a year. 


The blue and orange teams take the court on Nov. 10 in East Lansing, Mich., in the 18th annual Spartan Back to the Hardwood Tournament.  The Illini squads are two of 60 teams competing in the tournament.  The white team is idle until Dec. 1 when it travels to Ames, Iowa, for the inaugural A-Town Throw Down Tournament.

10/15/2007
Posted by: El Presidentissimo

Nice job to all teams, but much work remains for all three teams

1/17/2007
Posted by:
Greg Noonkester

Practices for second semester will resume this Thursday at Kenney Gym

11/16/2006

Posted by:

Cole Cruz

Men's club team volleys for big win
Only tournament at home a success; Team finishes 6-0


The Illinois men's club volleyball team has been struggling to close out matches all season long.  Finally, it appears the squad is learning what it feels like to win.  Steve Tasch of the men's club volleyball blue team returns the ball during a match at the Illini-16 Tournament at Huff Hall, Saturday.

Hosting their only tournament of the year, the Illini (21-3) swept through the field to the tune of a 6-0 record. The team went on to win in the finals against Illinois Alumni B, who had won the tournament the previous three years.

"I felt we played very well this weekend," junior setter Chris Walstra said. "I thought that the team finally got into a nice rhythm in the playoffs."  During the first two games of pool play, the Illini easily handled both the University of Iowa and Indiana University in successive sets.  After winning the first game against the Illini Alumni, the squad dropped the second 25-15 before finishing off the older Alumni in three games.

"That's a squad (Alumni B) that has played together for almost a decade, so they are a very challenging group," senior middle blocker Ryan Fabrizius said. "In fact, never before in my career have we beaten an alumni team in the playoffs of a tournament."  In the playoffs, the Illini beat a solid University of Notre Dame team that gave Illinois fits all last season.  The win against the Irish set up the final matchup with the Alumni team.  "I think this tournament we were finally starting to understand what it meant to win a game," sophomore libero Pat Condron said. "Instead of taking the lead and relaxing like we have done in the past, we took the lead and ran with it."

The defense that has been inconsistent at best for Illinois this season ended up being one of the team's strongest points this weekend. "The defense was pretty stellar," Fabrizius said. "We were very scrappy, which made up for some of the shortcomings of the blocking."  After traveling all season, the Illini did not only enjoy winning their own tournament, but getting a chance to play in front of their home crowd as well.  "I always look forward to playing here at home," Walstra said. "Not only families get to come, but our friends also get a chance to see us play."  "We had a pretty good fan turnout," Fabrizius said. "To feel a little bit more like our sport matters to someone other than us was great." 

Illinois will practice for the next two weeks before heading to Michigan State University for the Back to the Hardwood Tournament on Dec. 2-3.  The Illini second team also played in the tournament, going 2-1 in pool play and losing to the Illinois first team in the playoffs.

11/9/2006

Posted by:

Cole Cruz

Men's club volleyball sets lineup, hangs tough

Despite only a 2-2 finish this past weekend at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., the Illinois men's club volleyball team's tough play against top competition was reason for excitement.

The Illini pushed Lewis' varsity squad to the tournament cap, losing the match 25-18, 27-26. Even with the loss, the team finished second in the pool and earned a No. 7 seed in the gold tournament, where they eventually were defeated at the hands of an accomplished United States of America volleyball team, TPC.

"The fact that we were hanging with a varsity team was an accomplishment for us," said setter Chris Walstra. "We don't even have a coach."

Illinois was simply overmatched against the more experienced TPC squad. After losing the first game 25-19, the squad took TPC to the brink, 30-28. It is this performance that gives the Illini hope for the future.  "We're on the road we need to be in order to get to the championship," said backside hitter Kevin Deeke.

For the first time, the Illini went into the tournament with a set starting lineup. This step is different from past years, in which the team usually waited until the spring to name the starters. Walstra and Deeke were both starters, along with outside hitters Dan Maxwell and Steve Jeffries, middle Ryan Fabrizius, and libero Jim Mazurski. Big contributions also came off the bench from sophomore libero Pat Condron and two freshmen outside hitters, Emmett Culligan and Joe Toth. The decision to go with a set starting lineup this early in the season was made to increase the intensity in practice.

"Hopefully the fact that we're starting to have a more set lineup will benefit us this weekend and into the future," Walstra said. "We're looking to see people competing and earning those starting spots."

"It definitely gives a chance to bring the team closer together," Deeke said. "When you play with the same players, it makes you stronger as a team."

Another bright spot for Illinois this past weekend was the improvement on the defensive end, where the team has been struggling all year. Walstra attributed the improvement to a new attitude on the defensive side of the ball.

"I think we had a much better attitude on defense this weekend and a much better desire to win," Walstra said. "I think that's why we were hanging with some of those better teams."

Senior middle blocker Ryan Fabrizius believes there were a few specific times throughout the tournament when the team was clicking on all cylinders.

"I saw at specific moments, especially in our third pool game which we had to win to move on to the tournament, where we were on fire," Fabrizius said. "It was good to see that we could be untouchable for a while, but we could still be more consistent."

Illinois will host its only tournament of the year on Saturday. Games will be played at Huff Hall and Kenney Gym. The Illini will play all of their games at Huff.

11/3/06

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Men's club volleyball team to face Lewis University

The Illinois men's club volleyball squad is looking to make some noise against the stacked field this weekend at the Lewis Pre-Season Tournament in Romeoville, IL.

The tournament will provide the toughest challenge yet for the Illini (13-1), who are coming off a loss two weeks ago to the University of Marquette in the semifinals of the Hawkeye-Illini Classic. There will be six varsity teams, nine United States of America Volleyball (USAV) teams, and five collegiate club teams.

"I believe we have the chance to stir things up this weekend if we stay focused and play smart volleyball," sophomore setter Doug Burchett said. "There's nothing more frustrating for a 'better' team than to lose to an underdog."

Illinois is going to be tested against Lewis University and Loyola University-Chicago, two top-notch Division 1-A programs.

"We'll obviously have to keep our eyes out for everyone, but we do have our sights on one team," junior setter Chris Walstra said. "We will play Lewis University during pool play, and I think our biggest goal is to beat them."

The Illini are hoping that the added intensity and hard work in practice will pay off this weekend. Team blocking and defense was of extra emphasis the past two weeks as the inability to be consistent on the defensive end hurt the team in Iowa City.

"Our offense is our best attribute, but without the defense to go along with it, we've seen that we can struggle," Walstra said.

A big lift for the Illinois squad this weekend is the return of middle blocker Ryan Fabrizius from knee injury. The senior will not be 100-percent however, and is actually scheduled to see an orthopedist to get a medical opinion. Arthroscopic surgery will likely be involved.

Even with Fabrizius back, the consistency issue is somewhat of a concern, especially with the team switching lineups as often as the Illini do.

"The big fix that we need to rebound from Iowa is consistency, which can only come from mental toughness," Fabrizius said. "We really need to work tough in practice and compete against the good teams that we will see this weekend in order to strengthen our team mentally."

Fabrizius believes that the keys to success are consistent passing, solid blocking, and mental toughness.

"The intensity (in practice) has been pretty good, so hopefully it carries over into this weekend," Burchett said.

After this weekend's tournament, Illinois will be hosting its only tournament of the year next weekend, Nov. 11.

10/26/06

Posted by:

Cole Cruz

Club volleyball loses in semifinals of tourney to Marquette

The Illinois men's club volleyball team came up short this past weekend losing in the semifinals to the University of Marquette at the Hawkeye-Illini Classic in Iowa City, Iowa. The Illini were undefeated through the tournament before meeting the Golden Eagles.

After splitting the first two games with their Midwest rival, the Illini (4-1) blew a 12-10 lead in the deciding game. They gave up five straight points en route to their first loss of the year.

"We didn't capitalize on our lead and that's something we'll have to work on," said sophomore libero Pat Condron.

Despite being successful with rotating starting lineups all day, the Illini were victimized by ruts with certain lineups in the semifinals and the Golden Eagles (6-1) took advantage.

"We tried a lot of different things this weekend, a lot of different lineups," said sophomore outside hitter Kevin Deeke. "We learned from the loss and now we know what we need to do. It's just a matter of doing it."

The Illini were also without senior middle blocker Ryan Fabrizius, who was forced to miss the tournament with knee problems. Fabrizius not only brings leadership to the table for Illinois, but more importantly, a 6'8" frame.

"Ryan was a key injury," junior setter Chris Walstra said. "We had a freshman playing in his place, which I think affected us a little bit. We still felt we should've won. As a whole, we didn't play as well as we could have."

Fabrizius was back practicing on Tuesday. Illinois breezed through pool play, piling up a plus-48 point differential. The squad didn't give up more than 20 points in any game until their second-round meeting with the University of Iowa. All three pool-play opponents fell to the Illini in two games. They defeated Division-III St. Ambrose University, Illinois State University and Division-II Quincy University. This gave the Illini a No. 1 seed going into the tournament and a first-round bye.

After dropping their first game to the University of Iowa 25-22, Illinois bounced back to overwhelm the Hawkeyes in the final two games 25-15, 15-8. Up against a well-coached Marquette squad, the Illini won the first game 25-20 before dropping the last two games 25-16, 15-12.

Even with the loss, the Illini are upbeat about the upcoming tournament in two weeks at Lewis University.

"This one is going to be very tough," Deeke said. "We're going up against a lot of upper-level teams. If we go through practice, and do what we need to get done, I don't see why we couldn't come out in at least the top two."

The squad will look to tighten things up on offense to prevent the ruts that did them in against Marquette and work on the blocking that Walstra believes still needs work. Fabrizius also felt that consistency needed to be improved upon.

"Now that (Fabrizius) is kind of coming back a bit and starting to feel better, I think we'll be playing at a much higher level than we have been," Condron said.

10/18/2006

Posted by:

Cole Cruz

Men's club volleyball dominates tournament

After taking first, second and third at the Hoosier Classic two weeks ago, the men's club volleyball teams head into this weekend's third annual Hawkeye-Illini Co-Ed Invitational with a full head of steam.

The Illini entered three teams into the tournament and did not lose a match until they were forced to play each other.

"The fact that we're winning right away is a big confidence booster," junior setter Chris Walstra said.

"But like I was telling the guys at the end of the tournament, it just means that everyone is going to be gunning for us for the rest of the year," Walstra said.

Winning this weekend in Iowa City will not come as easily for the Illini. Division II powerhouse Quincy will have both its varsity and junior varsity teams competing in the Invitational. D-III St. Ambrose will also field two teams.

The club competition will be an upgrade this weekend, with the likes of Marquette University and the University of Minnesota attending.

The Illini are looking to get big contributions from young freshmen Emmett Culligan and Joe Toth, two outside hitters that impressed in last week's performance in Bloomington.

"I thought I did well passing-wise, but my hitting and timing still need work," Toth said. "Our passing as a team was phenomenal throughout the whole tournament."

What makes the Illini tough is their multi-faceted talent. The Illini have depth and team chemistry to go along with a high-powered offense.

"Our offense is definitely our strength," sophomore setter Doug Burchett said. "With our passing, I think our offense is unstoppable."

The Illini are so deep that starters are not even named in the fall, letting the Illini mix and match different lineups.

"Everyone gets along really well on the court," Culligan said. "It's got a really good flow to it."

All these aspects lead to a supreme confidence brewing for the Illini as they approach this upcoming tournament.

"If we can do what we did last weekend and build on that, I think we'll be all right," sophomore libero Pat Condron said.

"All we can do is what we have been doing: playing hard in practice, keeping the offenses mixed up and keeping everyone on their toes," Condron said.

There will be 12 teams at the Invitational this weekend. The Illini will begin pool play Saturday against in-state rival Illinois State at 10 a.m., followed by St. Ambrose at noon, and Quincy at 2 p.m.

The women's club volleyball team will also compete.

10/5/2006

Posted by:

Cole Cruz

Illini men's club volleyball team begins season with Hoosier Classic
Team 'warm-up' planned for first preseason play


Chris Walstra, junior in Engineering and captain of the Illinois men's club volleyball team, sets the ball at practice in Kenney Gym Annex in Urbana Tuesday night.

The team practices every Tuesday and Thursday and travels to up to 12 tournaments every year.

The Illinois men's club volleyball team heads into its first preseason tournament of the year this weekend at the seventh annual Hoosier Fall Classic in Bloomington, Ind. While the tournament does not count toward national rankings, the team is still looking for a successful run as they try to mold into championship form.

"I think this first tournament will give everyone a chance to try and prove themselves," said Doug Burchett, sophomore setter and vice president of club volleyball. "More importantly, we get to see what everyone's capable of."

It's the progression on their strengths and weaknesses that the Illini are focusing on this upcoming weekend.

Overall development of the team and individuals is a key component in working toward becoming a contender.

According to senior defensive specialist Jim Mazurski, the tournament is considered to be more of a warm-up tournament since the talent pool hasn't been very deep the past few seasons.

"For this first tournament we are breaking up our team into two separate teams," Burchett said. "We really feel that both teams should be playing each other in the finals."

The teams are separated with equal talent between the two squads, a testament to the depth of this year's team. Last year, the process seemed to work as both squads made impressive showings at the tournament, with one of them winning it all.

"I treat the first tournament as a good way to gauge individual performance," Mazurski said. "While there are five starters returning, every year is a new slate, meaning you have to win your position back."

While playing with the mixed teams worked well last season at the Hoosier Fall Classic, team chemistry this early in the year still needs improvement, according to Mazurski. He went on to add that everyone takes some time to adjust to each other playing with the mixed lineups.

With only five starters returning, that means there are a lot of new faces that need to be worked in as the season goes on.

"I really feel that the team is starting to make progress, and it's been pretty competitive with everyone competing for a spot," Burchett said. "I don't think we are at a level where we can be, but we are on our way there."

The weekend tournament will consist of pool play which is followed by an elimination round.

There will be three brackets of competition: bronze, silver and gold.

The tournament will feature 17 teams, including Big Ten members Indiana and Purdue.

Other notables playing this weekend are Vanderbilt University, Western Illinois University, DePaul University and the University of Illinois at Chicago

9/28/2006

Posted by:

Cole Cruz

Men's club volleyball hopes for final vault
Veteran group primed for push towards nationals


The team practices every Tuesday and Thursday and travels to up to 12 tournaments every year.  The Illinois Men's Club Volleyball team is beginning the year looking for another successful season after having finished third in each of the last five seasons. This season, championship aspirations are high.  Chris Walstra, junior in Engineering and captain of the Illinois Men's Club Volleyball team, blocks the ball at practice in Kenney Gym Annex in Urbana Tuesday night. 

"We've taken third the past four years and I'm kind of sick of it," said Jim Mazurski, a senior defensive-specialist. "I'd like to win it this year. That's my goal as a senior."

Chris Walstra, junior setter and President of Club Volleyball, played in last season's semifinal loss to the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

"We were playing against the team that won (Oshkosh), and it was just back and forth the whole way," said Walstra. "We had match points, they had match points. It came down to little plays...in the end."

The loss to Oshkosh in the championships has led to a rededication to practice and hard work by all team members.

"We just want to be more competitive than we've ever been," declared Doug Burchett, sophomore setter and Vice President of Club Volleyball. "We started out 100 percent more competitive this year and our focus is a lot better. Hopefully that pays off."

The club team is actually split into three different teams labeled as ones, twos and threes. Ones are considered the highest competitive group, playing in anywhere from 10 to 12 tournaments a season. They also practice more, about eight hours a week, as opposed to twos and threes, who practice about three hours each week..

The twos have finished second and third respectively at nationals in the previous two club seasons.

Burchett believes that there is a "core group" of players on each level.

"I'd like to see both our ones and twos win nationals," said Walstra. "We've got a lot of tournaments along the way, and we'd obviously like to do well in those. Ultimately, our goal is to win nationals."

Mazurski believes added confidence will help the team reach their supreme goal.

"We have to try to become more confident when it comes to playing really good teams," said Mazurski.

"We'll always be one of the top three or four (teams) in any tournament we're in, but it seems like we've never been able to finish off really good teams. I think we just have to try and play at a higher level," he added candidly.

Illinois will kick-off its championship run at the Hoosier Fall Classic at Indiana University on Oct. 7. There is also a home tournament on Nov. 11.

10/13/2004

Posted by:

Naomi Miyake

'No-commitment' volleyball club a hit

Standing 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 220 pounds, this Michael Phelps look-alike is a big guy with big ambitions. Joe Hammer, a sophomore in LAS, is the founder of Bounce!, a volleyball club designed for anyone who loves volleyball. Hammer founded the club last year.

Hammer has been playing volleyball since his freshman year at Carmel High School in Mundelein, Ill. He also played for a club team called Sky High. During his volleyball career, his talent enabled him to compete in two national competitions.

Originally, Hammer said, he wanted to start a break dancing club because he thought it would be fun to learn, but soon decided a volleyball club better suited his talents. The second night of Hammer's freshman year, he walked around the Quad during a social event and asked people if they would be interested in signing up for his free, no-commitment volleyball club. With the overwhelming response, Hammer took his idea to the next step. He advertised the club on the student organization Web site, sent out mass e-mails, and woke up early in the morning to reserve court times at the Intramural Physical Education Building (IMPE).

Greg Hoffman, Hammer's friend since third grade and a pioneer of Bounce!, said Hammer's ambition surprised him.

"He was the ringleader of it all and I was kind of along for the ride. As a scared little freshman, I thought he was crazy, but it turned out pretty well," Hoffman said.

Bounce! meets twice a week from 8-10 p.m. at IMPE. Teams are divided up by general skill level, but not a lot of emphasis is placed on skill so that newer players can get help from players with prior experience.

James Hardy, sophomore in engineering, said he believes Bounce! made him a better volleyball player.

"I started out not knowing how to do anything and now I can keep up, which is all that I ever wanted to do. Now I can take that and play at the rec center back home," Hardy said.

Bounce! has about 55 members and gains new members each week. The club involves no obligations with a "come-when-you-want" type of commitment, which separates it from many of the other organizations on campus.

"Its not like you have to go; it doesn't require preparation or anything," said Ashley Poynter, sophomore in LAS. "It's just nice and relaxing."

Hoffman also said he enjoys the carefree aspects of the club.

"You go whenever you want to go. If you have no homework, and you want to sweat a little bit, you can go play," Hoffman said.

Bounce! not only enables students to play a relaxed game of pick-up volleyball but also fosters friendships among members.

"I met one of my best friends through Bounce!," Hardy said. "And I know dozens of people just through Bounce!, so it's a really good way to meet people," Hardy said.

Unfortunately, because Hammer recently joined Illinois Men's Volleyball, he will have to pass the torch of his presidency. Members said they would miss Hammer because of his consistently optimistic and encouraging attitude.

Hammer said he hopes Bounce! continues its legacy at the University.

"Bounce! is almost like my child; and if I could, twenty years from now, look back and see that it's still here, that would be a great feeling," Hammer said.
 

9/15/2004

Posted by:

Troy Murray

Club volleyball looks to repeat last year's record

Despite being largely overlooked on campus, the men's volleyball team is one of Ilinois' best-performing club sports.

The first team placed third at Nationals last year, finishing with an overall record of 45-24. They also finished second at the Big Ten Championships, losing to Michigan in the final game of the tournament.

The club is divided into three teams: blue, orange and white. The blue team is made up of the most advanced players; orange has the next highest level of skill.

Although the first team graduated five players last year, the second team finished second nationally in its division and should be able to step up and fill the spots left open by those graduates.

"We always expect to do better the next year," said sophomore middle hitter Ryan Fabrizius. "We graduated a few players, but we have a ton of returning guys and we're really hopeful we'll improve this year."

Men's volleyball has had a lot of success in recent years. The team has been ranked in the top five of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association five times and has won the Big Ten Championship four times in the last six years.

Because it is a club sport, the team operates differently than varsity programs on campus. The team elects a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. Those officers make the important decisions for the players and act as coaches.

"We're open to suggestions by the players," said Alan Urban, senior setter and team secretary. "We know they've all played a lot and they could see things we don't. It's definitely a group effort in practice."

The players practice Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and have extra practices whenever needed. They hold their practices at IMPE, Huff Hall and Kenney Gym.

"The intensity of the practices depends on the time of the season," Urban said. "During the fall it's a little more laid back; during the spring it picks up. We definitely want to win a national championship every spring."

The team plays in five or six tournaments each semester. Transportation varies from tournament to tournament; for Nationals, they took a coach bus to Charlotte, N.C., but for other tournaments they usually car pool.

Since the players fund the program, the team holds fund-raisers throughout the year. Indiana and Illinois co-sponsor the Hoosier-Illini Classic every year. The tournament is held in Bloomington, Ind., and is open to any club team in the country. "It's probably one of the biggest tournaments of the year, behind the national championship," Urban said.

Tryouts for club volleyball begin this Sunday at 5 p.m. at Kenny Gym. For more information, contact president Rob Tupuritis.