By George Limbert
The Missouri Valley College Men’s Volleyball season got underway on the 17th January, since then they have played four matches in the space of four days, winning three of them. The only loss came against the top ranked team in the country, and reigning national champions Missouri Baptist. The Viking’s recorded conference wins against Culver-Stockton college, Clarke University and Mount Mercy University to give them a 3-0 conference record.
Matheus Marinho leads not only the team, but the Heart of America Athletic Conference in digs with 31, with an average of 2.8 per set.
“It is always good to see that you are doing your job well,” Marinho said. “And it feels really amazing to be able to help my team like that. It makes me want to achieve more.”
In the most recent win against Mount Mercy, Marinho had 13 digs, nobody else in the match recorded more. The Vikings came from behind to win 3-1, dropping the first set 25-20, but then winning three straight sets 25-11, 25-16, and 25-19.
“I feel like we are not just teammates but we are also good friends,” Marinho said. “And this is definitely a factor that we use in our advantage.”
After four matches, Casey Wood leads the team in kills. Wood recorded a match high 12 kills in the home opener against Culver-Stockton where he helped the team win 3-1. MVC took the first two sets 25-21 and 25-22 respectively, before dropping a set to the Wildcats 25-23, the vikings then won a close set 25-21 to win the match.
“I don’t pay too much attention to my personal stats.” Wood said. “My main motivation is to perform the best I can for our team point by point.”
Wood has a total of 31 kills for the season so far, averaging 2.8 per set.
“It’s great starting the season with 3 conference wins and still having opportunity for growth.” Wood said.” We’re keeping in mind that every conference match is of equal importance so we’re taking them one at a time.”
The team has set their standards high, after narrowly missing out on the national tournament last season, and Wood explained how that is motivating the team to do better.
“For now our goal is to dominate this conference in order to give our team a shot at Nationals.” Wood said. “We fell short of that opportunity last season and that’s not something we want to experience again.”
The team will next play on the road against Graceland University, January 24th.