After four years of digging, the men’s club volleyball team paved their way into the competition at the 2012 NCVF Volleyball National Championships in Kansas City, Mo.
The team, which was ranked No. 4 in the nation for Division II, competed against 48 other schools across the nation.
The club volleyball team advanced to the national semifinals, ultimately losing to the Air Force Academy in the national semifinals.
“It has definitely been a season of ups and downs for us. We started off very strong, then we were plagued by injuries and some sicknesses. Thankfully we came together and finished third in the country to wrap up club volleyball for seven of us,” senior Patrick Siebert said.
The team had an extremely successful season, as they won three major volleyball tournaments. In October 2011, the team defeated Truman State to claim the Show-Me Invitational Championship.
The Bills won in two sets, 28-26 and 25-21. The team then claimed another championship in November as the team won the 5th Annual Billiken Classic.
They defeated Nebraska in the finals in two sets, 25-22 and 25-19.
Finally, just before the national championship, the Billikens claimed their third tournament title as they won the Midwest Plains Volleyball Conference Champions for the second straight year defeating Missouri S & T in finals.
Seven seniors lead this year’s club volleyball team. The team had five all-conference players and the conference MVP.
Tommy Devitt and Siebert took 2nd Team All-National Honors. The team was in a strong position going into the national championship.
The team went 5-1 in pool play, losing only their first match to Emory University.
However, they won five straight matches defeating teams like Bucknell, SUNY-Cortland, Stevens Tech, UW-Platteville and Ohio Northern.
After this record in pool play, SLU advanced to the gold bracket. The team faced UW-Eau Claire and defeated them in two sets.
SLU then went on to face Sonoma State and defeated them two sets to one set. After defeating Sonoma State, SLU advanced to the national semifinals.
In the national semifinals, SLU was defeated by Air Force Academy, two sets to one set. The club volleyball ended their season No. 3 in the nation.
The club volleyball team has had an extremely successful season with the success in tournament and on a national stage.
“It has really been an amazing ride for this team,” Collins said.
While this season came up short of winning a national championship in Division II, it speaks to the quality of our club athletics programs at SLU.