Men’s volleyball sweeps the court at Rockford University

By Farah Bassyouni Mar 3, 2023

Bloomington, Ill.  – Three years into the program, the Illinois Wesleyan University men’s volleyball team accumulated a new single-season record 9 wins only 15 games into the year as they defeated Rockford University on Friday, Feb. 24.  

The Titans swept the court with the Regents winning in three sets with scores of 25-20, 25-17 and 25-22. 

“The gradual progression of our team getting older and filling out those leadership roles has made the difference this year compared to the first year of the program where all we had were freshman playing against other teams filled with upperclassmen,” Head Coach Brandon Mueller said. 

The Titan upperclassmen didn’t disappoint as third-year captain Michael Eastman paced the titans offensively with a match-high 12 kills for his eighth double-digit kill game of the season. Eastman continued his offensive dominance by contributing a team-high three aces. 

Juniors Bradley Benson and Dominic Bennet distributed the ball well as they landed 18 and 14 assists respectively. 

On the defensive side, the Titans were led by a pair of juniors Javier Romano and Julian Perez as they posted two blocks a piece. Leading the match in digs was junior Adam Blackmore as he recorded six on the evening. 

“We hadn’t played a game in nine days and the team was anxious to get back out there,” Eastman said. “It’s always nice to win but this one meant a lot for the history of the program moving forward and also for the preparation before some tough CCIW matches coming up.” 

Not letting the upperclassmen have all the fun was first-year Jace Milka as he swung a great game having nine kills of his own on 13 attempts, while sophomore Ryan Myers added 6 more kills to the count. 

The Titans move on with the big win as they have their eyes set on the start of CCIW play where they host two top-10 nationally-ranked teams in North Central College and Carthage College on March 1 and March 4. 

“You can expect high-level volleyball. We’re going to have to come out and play hard but most importantly stick together. We have to play our brand of volleyball and not let them dictate how the game will be played, if we do that we have a chance of shocking the volleyball world,” Coach Mueller said. 

IWU will continue to eye history as the team looks to make its first appearance in the CCIW tournament. 

“We’re ready to show the CCIW we are here to play and we want it badly,” Eastman said. “We are excited to get the opportunity to play high-level volleyball week in and week out, our eyes are set beyond the CCIW final.” 

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