Men’s Volleyball: Season Preview

Kaela Adams

This spring is Millikin’s first year to have a men’s volleyball program. The team has a lot of passion to prove that Millikin volleyball is something to be excited about. 

The team is comprised of a wide variety of men from around the country participating in this new program. The young team currently has thirteen freshmen and two seniors. 

Men’s volleyball has a lot of fun things planned for this year. The team will compete in the CCIW Conference along with Augustana, Carthage, North Central, North Park, Greenville, and Loras. 

They currently have ten home games scheduled for the spring. The first home game of the season will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at Griswold Center and you won’t want to miss it. 

Men have been practicing for a little over two months. They have been running team-led open gyms since school started in August. The team practices two to three times a week. Their practices range from two to three hours, where they work on position based skills. They will start scrimmaging in late October. 

The men have worked tirelessly in several open gyms and practices lead by coaches Dylan Lasher and Elliot Pollard. Lasher is the head coach for the men’s volleyball team this year. He was the PAC Coach of the Year in 2017 for Chatham University, leading the program to their first ever birth in the league’s championship tournament. With his excellent leadership, there is no doubt he will lead this program off to a great start. 

Elliot Pollard is the assistant coach for this year. He was recently the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s volleyball teams at Durham University.

The team’s first tournament is on Oct. 20th in Iowa at Loras College. Other first year programs are starting off their inaugural season along with Millikin at this tournament. 

Aaway games will be streamed on the Big Blue Sports website.

Matthew Rodgers, a freshman math and engineering major, is a Libero or Defense Specialist for the team this year. He was awarded first team All State in Ohio, and he was Defensive Player of the year.

“Even though it’s a new team, the chemistry is there,” Rodgers said.

His goal in volleyball this year is to command the defense and allow the offense to run officiant plays. He’s really excited for the season to start and hopes to see everyone at the games.

Robbie Maida, a freshman business major, is a setter for the team this year. He has been a setter for the past ten years, and he is excited to have a fresh start on a brand new team. 

Maida says his favorite thing about playing volleyball for Millikin is “the excitement after long rallys, big blocks, and even bigger kills.” 

His goal for this year is to help lead a brand new team and beat well-established schools. 

Peter Sailsman, a freshman business management major, is an outside for the team this year. His previous team won back-to-back conference championships and got recognized by the Board of Education of New Jersey. 

Volleyball is an outlet for Peter. He’s really excited to play and have fun with his teammates. His goal for this year is to become an All-American and lead the team to success.

Don’t forget to support men’s volleyball in the spring. They would love all the support to kick off the first men’s volleyball program season at Millikin. Games usually fall on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at the Griswold Center.