Briercrest volleyball team is reloading, not rebuilding.
By Jadon Frank
The Briercrest men’s volleyball team has high expectations for this season.
The team has eight returning players, five of which were regular starters last season.
“We are excited to be starting all veterans again this year which has helped our program have success in years past,” head coach Nigel Mullan said. “With that, the difference that we are focused on here is not to focus on individuals but develop a team system and approach.”
“We do that for a couple of reasons, first, to make our team harder to compete against. Some teams focus on developing their stars and become dependent on a few for their success. While, for us if you want to focus on one of two players we have spent time to develop the team approach to combat opponent’s approach against us”
“Secondly, it allows us to focus on team first not the individual,” continued Mullan. “Volleyball is the ultimate team sport and we want to be the best team, not have the best individuals.”
That veteran experience combined with six promising rookies should result in a good young team that grows into the high expectations as the season progresses.
“We have tried hard to always bring in the players to train and prepare for their opportunity whenever it comes,” Mullan explained. “This year is no different. We have brought in solid players that are working hard to develop into great players for our program.”
“It is always exciting to see guys buy into what we are doing and how things work to build our success. This year has been no different,” Mullan continued. “We have the young players coming here that want to see the team win and for them to develop their skills so they can contribute whenever they are called upon.”
Setter and team captain Carter Reimer is excited to work with this year’s team.
“We have a young team with a lot of potential,” Reimer said. “The ceiling really is unlimited with the guys we have here this season. There are so many different personalities on this team. I am excited at the prospect of getting to figure out how to work with each of them and how they are wired.”
Mullan is excited for the potential that he sees on the team.
“My expectations for this year are high; there is lots of potential for this group. But, we are on a journey and it will take some time for this group to learn how to compete and win when it isn’t going well. We aren’t the favorites this year, right now, and that is fine. I am okay for another team to carry that weight and pressure. We are good now and we are trying to be great when it counts.”
“I love working with this group,” Mullan said. “We have a team full of guys that want to learn and get better. There is a hunger with this team and they have a great balance between that hunger and still doing it in a positive way. I appreciate how they are interacting with each other and showing a desire to see each other grow and succeed.”
The pre-season schedule revealed a lot about the team’s potential and character.
“I have seen a very talented group that has the physical ability to compete against any team this year,” Mullan said. “I see a team that is trying to learn what they need to do to perform their best when it counts.”
The team is focusing on the competition one week at a time, rather than looking too far ahead.
“With the success the program has enjoyed the last number of years we are going to have teams gunning for us,” Mullan explained. “We have talked about focusing on the here and now. The league has continued to produce teams that can play scrappy and steal games on any night. So we are just focused on the process of becoming more efficient no matter the opponent.”
The team’s theme aligns them very well with the expectations that have been placed on them this season.
“Our theme is ‘passionately chasing perfection,’” Reimer explained. “Whether in sport, academics or spiritually, our goal is to go for perfection every time.”