The players position themselves and get ready for another game. Sweat begins to run down their faces as they wait for the ball to be spiked into the air. As they stand toward the net, the serve is about to be made.
California Baptist University’s men’s volleyball team has had its ups and downs, with only four wins and 17 losses.
These men are playing in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, which is the most challenging conference in all of college sports, said Wes Schneider, head coach of the men’s volleyball team.
Schneider has only coached the team for two seasons but continues to press forward.
Though it has been a tough season, Schneider said he always encourages the men to look toward the brighter side of the game.
“We have a really great group of guys,” Schneider said. “(This season) has been a really awesome opportunity for (the team), and it’s been a pleasure working with them as their coach and watching them grow.”
While playing the best teams in the country, the men’s volleyball team has competed against 12 nationally ranked teams and three non-ranked opponents.
Rocky De Lyon, sophomore mechanical engineering major and outside hitter for the team, said the team has been playing tremendously, and each game the scores are usually pretty close.
“My favorite thing about the team is that we are about the process of becoming a team,” Lyon said.
Through this process, Lyon said the team is having fun and making the most of each situation each game throws at
“We are an unlikely group of individuals playing the sport we love,” Lyon continued. “Playing together makes us better than we could be individually.”
Michael Cate, senior criminal justice major and libero for the team, said he thinks highly of his teammates and said both coaches do a good job integrating God into their lives.
“I have the utmost respect for my coaches,” Cate said. “They are men of God who truly care about every single one of the guys on the team and always strive to help us become better volleyball players and men of character.”
Cate said Schneider is a great coach who is constantly trying to take the team to new levels.
Since they are playing in the toughest conference in the nation, Schneider and Allan Vince, the assistant coach, are always looking to improve and expand on the men’s talent.
“(Vince) and I try to classify a holistic approach to our game,” Schneider said. “He is a very strong spiritual leader.”
Whether it is time to get serious and take care of business or time to relax and goof around a little, the men’s volleyball team is able to find balance.
“The best thing about being on the team is gaining friends and the great experiences of traveling and playing at all the amazing universities around the country,” Cate said. “But nothing beats playing in front of a packed gym where fans are so loud that I cannot hear the guy 3 feet away from me.”