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Men’s club volleyball starts 2018 season

The Brandeis men’s volleyball club team (MVC) starts off their season with a 11-1 record in the Division II in the New England Collegiate Volleyball League (NECVL). The team has a history of competing at a high level in the NECVL, but after the tough losses last season, the team’s President, Wyatt Emenaker ’19, decided to have the team compete in Division II this season in hope to see more success. In Division II, the MVC plays against Bentley, Williams, University of New England, University of Maine, Brown and Trinity, to name a few. With many new players who have never played volleyball before, the team has grown into their new identity and have found success.

Recently, the team captains Wyatt Emenaker ’19 and Philip Cooper ’18 gave us some incite to the MVC and spoke about their experiences as members of the team. Emenaker joined the team in the fall of 2015 as a freshman outside hitter. Following in the footsteps of Milo Charney-Rosen ’16, Wyatt has grown into a leadership role as captain for two years and President for a year. Emenaker says he enjoys, “playing competitive volleyball with a fun group of guys. Personally, I can get some of the same kind of competition as if I was a NCAA Division III without the huge time commitment.” He says playing for the teams has been a “fun way to compete while not letting it take over your life.” In the middle of his third year playing for the team, his goal is to “win our region. That hasn’t been done by the club for a while I think.” The team is defiantly on track for that only having lost to the University of New Haven.

As senior captain, Cooper enters into his last season representing the Judges on the volleyball court and reflecting on his favorite memory playing, which is, “the opportunity to travel across New England and the country with my teammates. We have a number of tournaments in the fall and spring that start early in the morning and sometimes don’t end until late that same evening. These long days have given me a lot of chances to get to know the other guys on the team, and make a lot of good memories.” Cooper also says “his favorite memory was winning second in the region my sophomore year; it was the best the club has done since its inception! It was so exciting and rewarding to see the hard work we did in the off season build up our endurance pay off!”

Cooper has played for the team a total of four seasons, and coming into his last he says he has “gained a lot from my time playing on the team. First and foremost, the friends and support system I’ve developed from being on the team has truly made my experience. I’m close with guys that are currently on the team and still keep in contact with many of the guys that have graduated since I joined the team. More selfishly, I think being on the team has provided a lot of structure for me in developing my schedule at Brandeis, and allowed me develop necessary leadership and time management skills.”

The team has gained a new head coach this season since the departure of Brett Crandall. Lauren Yung has taken the position and has led the team to 11 victories this season. Yung played volleyball at Washington University of St. Louis, competing in the University Athletic Association for four years. After graduating, she moved back to her home state of Massachusetts and joined the Brandeis volleyball coaching staff as a volunteer coach in fall 2016 and was offered a permanent position as the assistant coach. Yung helped guide the women’s volleyball team to their first positive record season for years and has set the Brandeis men’s volleyball team on track to be competitive for the league championship.

While Yung has only coached the team for a couple of months, she says her favorite part of coaching a men’s volleyball team is, “The guys know how to push each other, but still be supportive. They have great quips at each other that keep it competitive, but light. It’s a fun atmosphere to be a part of.” While coaching for the Brandeis women’s team, Yung was offered the position of head coach. “I knew it would be a different experience. The game is very different so I wanted to see what I could learn about it. That said, the game isn’t so different from the women’s so I knew I could bring a lot to the table. In short, I really wanted to see how those two things merged. So far so good.”

The team hopes to win the championship for the Judges and head to St. Louis to compete at Nationals.

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