The Goshen College men’s volleyball team is heading into the final stretch of the regular season. There are five games left and three of them are against nationally ranked teams.They currently have a record of 6-10 and a conference record of 4-9. The Leafs are also 5-4 when playing at home.
The Leafs played two spring break games at home, one against Cornerstone University and one against Aquinas College.
The game against Cornerstone, a team that is receiving votes in the national poll, was lost 3-1.
Hasan Hadzik, a junior, led the team with 16 kills and eight digs. Senior Wyatt Bollinger contributed 36 assists.
The Leafs fell 3-2 in a close game against Aquinas.
Freshman Ishmail Bangura led the team in kills with 20. Christian Rodriguez had 11 digs, Andy Bennett had seven blocks and Bollinger had 45 assists.
Coming out of spring break with two losses, the team struck back the next week defeating Bethel University and The University of Rio Grande. Both games were played at home and won in straight sets.
In the game against Bethel University, The Leafs lost in an away match to Bethel 3-2 in a tense game on Valentine’s Day. Hadzic led with 16 kills and five blocks, while also serving three aces.
Bangura had four aces and Rodriguez had seven blocks. Against The University of Rio Grande, The Leafs won with a record-tying 13 aces. In the game Bollinger had 34 assists, passing the 500 assist barrier for this season.
After this week, Hadzic was honored by the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC). He was given two weekly conference awards: the WHAC attacker of the week and the defender of the week.
Hadzic’s hitting percentage of 0.560 against Bethel, combined with his combined 27 kills, nine aces, six digs and 11 blocks, granted him both awards.
In the team’s final five games, they will travel to Mount Vernon, Ohio to play against Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU) Friday and Saturday.
MVNU is receiving votes in the national poll and the next game is also away at Indiana Tech who is 13th in the nation. The final two games will be at home against Siena Heights University and Lawrence Tech.
To qualify for the conference championships, GC needs to be ranked sixth in the WHAC. They are currently ranked seventh behind Cornerstone and ahead of Bethel.
Sophomore Pablo Sanchez sheds light on the rest of the regular season: “We have two games away, against the third in the conference. They will be tough games this weekend, [and] then we have Indiana Tech, who is first.
“If we trust in each other and bring our best game we might have a chance to win them,” he said. “If we beat them we will have a lot of chances to make it to the conference championships.”