IWU Welcomes Men’s Volleyball

By Andrew Zienty Sep 25, 2020
Photo: Andrew Zienty
The Practice Gym in Shirk Center

During the fall 2019 semester Athletic Director, Mike Wagner, announced the addition of Illinois Wesleyan University’s 23rd and 24th intercollegiate sports: Men’s Volleyball.

This is the first time in IWU history that either sport has been a part of the athletic department.

While the search for a Women’s Bowling head coach is still underway, Men’s volleyball has a team of 12 players, a head coach and the recent addition of an assistant coach.

Head Coach Brandon Mueller said, “I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to be the first-ever head men’s volleyball coach at IWU. 

This has been a lifelong goal of mine to be a college volleyball head coach and have the opportunity to impact young lives in a positive way,” said Mueller

Men’s volleyball is ready for competition and would have competed in a smaller CCIW conference against Augustana, Carthage, North Central and North Park.

The CCIW canceled all fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes the Men’s volleyball season. The CCIW has not released anything on whether or not it will be made up during the spring semester.

“COVID-19 has impacted everyone in some way. I am just happy we get the chance to have the team in the gym right now,” Coach Mueller said.

The team is now practicing four times a week for the next three weeks. IWU, the state of Illinois and the CCIW have restrictions on practices, but the team is beginning to install offensive and defensive plans.

Men’s volleyball is preparing for a potential spring season and is also building the foundations for years to come.

“The 12 young men that we are starting the program with are extremely motivated and have a passion for the game that is going to lead us to great things. I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with this group,” Coach Mueller said.

While Coach Mueller is working on growth within the team he is also working on recruiting for the coming years. Recruiting has proven somewhat difficult as all fall competition for high schools in Illinois have been canceled.

“Just in the last week or two club volleyball teams have started to practice and get back in the gym. So I am optimistic that we will get to attend practices and competitions soon,”  Mueller said.

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