By: Dominic Caporale
The Sacred Heart men’s volleyball team finished up their last regular season games in the EIVA (Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association).
The team finished their home portion of their season on April 7, against Princeton. For five players, it was a special night, as it was “Senior Night.”
“It was really well run and it highlighted everything we worked for. Also, it was really emotional. Not tears of sadness, just happy tears,” said senior Josh Ayzenberg. The night fell a little short for the Pioneers as they lost the match 3-1.
“It was a fun night no matter what happened,” said fifth year senior Rob Costigan. “It’s great that I spent my career here.”
In addition to the game, the team also played for a cause. The men wore green shoelaces during their game to show support for mental health awareness.
The men’s volleyball team had a record of 5-14, going into their last weekend of competition. On April 13 and 14, the Pioneers played the University of Charleston in back to back matches in Virginia.
“They (Charleston) have had some good wins this season, we have to go out there and play our best. We just have to worry about our side of the net,” said head coach Gregory Walker. “But they are a beatable team right now, we are able to do it.”
The Pioneers won the first game 3-0 and lost 3-2 in the second game.
For the team, this season was more than just about volleyball. The men focused just as much off the court, as on the court.
“Life is about balance and I think that’s what we do well,” said Ayzenberg. “We all put out good GPA’s and at the same time we were good on the court and in the weight room.”
For the seniors especially, volleyball at Sacred Heart helped them in great ways.
“It’s a great responsibility being a student athlete. There’s a certain standard you must perform at. You have to learn balance. It made me ready for the real world,” said Costigan.
With some games not being played this year, it hurt the Pioneers.
“We need those extra matches that were lost. If we had those, it would make a difference,” said Walker.
With the season over, the Pioneers are saying a definite goodbye to three seniors and are welcoming six new members to the team for the class of 2022. With two seniors continuing their academic careers at Sacred Heart, they look to take their fifth year and keep playing.
In the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), you are allowed four years of eligibility. With two of the seniors possibly returning, that means that they “redshirted” a year. Redshirted means you just take a year off from competition to improve your skills or recover from an injury.
Walker is looking forward to next year, but he is also upset that the seniors are leaving.
“Next year we’re going to have a good base to move forward. We need to focus on getting more non-conference wins, they are very important,” said Walker.
The men reminisced on their times at Sacred Heart before the final games.
“It was a great time, and I’m going to miss it. It was a sacrifice at times, but I’m happy with what happened while I was here,” said Costigan.