First Win for Millikin Men’s Volleyball

Alex A. Kennedy

On Feb 4 Millikin University’s men’s volleyball team held their first home match against Rockford University. After three rounds of matches, the volleyball team took their first win of the season. The win was amplified because it was won on university territory. In the crowd was the support of several other sports teams and students in the fan section. 

At the beginning of the event, while the team was warming up, the University Center Board (UCB) served free pizza to spectators and hyped up the crowd in preparation for the game. As fans packed the stands, they held hot cheese, pepperoni and sausage pizzas in their hands to compensate for the horrendous weather outside. 

During the first match of the night, you could feel the excitement of the team and the fans as they cheered for a victory for the Big Blue. This may have empowered the team to do so as they had a massive lead of above seven points for most of the match. 

Winning at the end of the first match with a score of 25-12, Shayden Attao, #13, scored the most points in the first round. Attao scored six points for the team and gained more as the night went on. Attao is a freshman, who is positioned to play outside hitter/libero. At the end of the night Attao won seven points for the Big Blue. 

The second match was similar to the first. Millikin held their lead against Rockford, almost never letting the gap between them be less than four points. The second game ended with Millikin up by nine points, winning 25-16. Jose Gallardo, #9, gained enough points to tie with Attao during the second match, tying the two at six points for the team each. Gallardo is also a freshman, he is positioned as outside hitter/opposite and scored about eight points for the team. 

The third round of the match was the most exciting of all the matches, as Millikin’s team slowed down and appeared to become tired, Rockford saw their chance and attempted to take the lead in during this match. However, the Big Blue’s fight was still ever present and continued with their winning streak to the end of the match. 

After regaining their momentum, Millikin won their third and final match of the night, securing the win for Millikin University. The matched ended 25-18, from a three out of five-game win, Millikin went undefeated that night and brought pride to the university. At the end of the match, Kyle Clendenen, #22, won the most points for the Big Blue. Clendenen is a freshman to the team and is positioned as outside hitter/opposite, he won nine points for the team by the end of the night. 

Everyone on the team was fantastic and the effort and work they put into this game was evident. As they move on further into the season, Millikin hopes this win will push them to train just as hard as they have been for more stories of victory in the future. 

The next game for the men’s team will also be at home against Concordia University of Chicago. The game against Concordia will be at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9.

Millikin still has many games/matches in and out of Decatur and I encourage anyone if you have the time to look at the men’s volleyball schedule and plan to come to some of their events. Gather some friends and make a day of it, this is the team’s first season at Millikin, and university support is more powerful than imaginable. In passing if you see a volleyball player walking by on your way to the University Commons, congratulate them on their win and maybe you will see them at their next match.