Michael Wahl, a fifth-year ASL major from Canton, Ohio, broke the 3,000 assist mark on Wednesday, March 16. Wahl is currently leading in total assists in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) and is third in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for total assists. 

"It feels nice to feel like all this hard work that I'm putting in is finally paying off."

— Michael Wahl

“[3,000 assists] was my biggest personal goal so it was really great to reach that,” Wahl said. “It feels nice to finally feel like all this hard work that I’m putting in is finally paying off for something.”

Although 3,000 assists is a huge personal accomplishment for any setter, Wahl attributes this milestone to more than just his skill and practice. 

“To start, I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” he said. “If it weren’t for my hitters being able to put the ball away to get me the assists then I never would have been able to reach this or even get close to this.”

Wahl continued, “The team chemistry we have… the open lines of communication we have [that] have allowed for me to be able to adapt to them and then same to me, in the sense that we can build a great connection, so it’s allowed us to be more successful in that sense.”

In addition to the team contribution, Wahl has not forgotten that it took an internal drive and perseverance to reach his goals. 

“Besides that, putting a lot of work in, getting as many reps as possible because… I didn’t set before I came here, I was a libero at my old school,” he said. “I only set for like two games when my setter had a concussion.”

For Wahl, transitioning to a new position at Goshen was not easy. He was forced to learn the art of decision-making as a setter and how he can put his team in the best position to win. His volleyball IQ is one of his best attributes, and it helps him stand out compared to other setters. 

“[I’m] constantly watching myself play, watching D1 players [and] professional players… to grow my knowledge and have a better understanding of the decisions I’m making and why I’m making them,” Wahl said.