On November 18th, 2023, The GVSU Men's Club Volleyball team traveled to Central Michigan University to participate in the Chip Classic. Both A and B teams competed in this tournament, both playing exceptionally great.
A team: Took home the 2023 Chip Classic Championship with a win over CMU's A team 2-0.
B team: Made it to Gold Bracket after a great round of pool play, losing a hard fought match to the runner up, CMU A team in the first round.
With B teams loss, A team had their teams back and defeated CMU's A team to win it all.
We got to ask some of the players some questions, which you can check out down below!
How did you mentally and physically prepare for the tournament?
"We mentally and physically prepared for the tournament by being consistent in practices and communicating with our coaches. It is very easy to get comfortable in practice, doing the same thing, the same routines, the same drills. Our coaches have been a vital part in asking us what we want to work on, watching our film, coming to practice prepared with different plans that help incorporate a number of skills. I think this structure has led us to improving our game immensely as well as allowing us to be comfortable in chaos. There were chaotic moments throughout the tournament but we were prepared which helped us win the tournament." - Paden Rousseau
How did you work with your team to win the tournament?
"We just made sure to communicate throughout the tournament verbally on and off the court during timeouts, between and between games. We were prepared for everything and communicating that showed." - Jacob Fiandalo
What were your guys' best strengths in the tournament?
"Our best strengths this tournament had to be our team chemistry and our ability to rally with each other. As most of our team are returners, we've had a lot of experience playing together. Our three freshman this year have also been able to fit in perfectly with the team dynamic. When any of us made a big play the rest of the team was there celebrating the moment, and when we weren't playing well our teammates were there to pick our heads up and get us back in the game. We were able to string together great runs during the games and keep positive attitudes which let us win the tournament." - Mack Tyrell
Any thoughts on your performance specifically?
"We all played well. Our hitters put balls away, blockers blocked, there was good defense, just overall a solid day. Not really any moments of worry and if there was, we cleaned it up pretty quick. Our serve receive was for the most part consistent and cover defense helped us get points off the second opportunity." - Easton Upton
What do you look forward to after the conclusion of the Chip Classic?
"After the conclusion of the Chip Classic, I look forward to growing and touching on the little things. We are not too busy the rest of the second semester in terms of tournaments and games, which gives us a lot of time to work on small things. This includes things like hitter setter connections, passing technique, and repetitive style drills. It is oftentimes something we don't get time to work on when the season schedule is busy, but it helps immensely. We also have some time off for Thanksgiving as well as opportunities to do team bonding events. I think it is important to go into the second semester rested and in good mental health too. Second semester gets busy and it is when our conference play starts. We have more tournaments and games and i think winning the Chip Classic and going into a more laid back period gives us more incentive to work harder and want to win more." - Paden Rousseau
It sounds like the men are very excited to get back to work after the Chip Classic Championship win and look forward to improving along the way. The team has done a great job this season, winning their games and staying active within the GVSU community. If you would like any more information about the Men's Club Volleyball team, visit their Instagram page (@gvmensvb) or contact GVSU Club Sports through our Instagram as well (@gvsuclubsports).