On Saturday, the Goshen College men’s volleyball team closed out their season with a win against Lawrence Technological University.The Leafs defeated Lawrence Tech in a 3-1 victory. The team started off strong, taking an early lead and winning the first set 25-18.
The next set was closer, as GC allowed Lawrence Tech to trail by just a few points for the entire set, but the Leafs still managed to close out the set 25-23.
The Leafs held a tight lead for most of the third set, but Lawrence Tech took charge and scored three consecutive points to close out the set 25-23.
Once again, GC trailed in the fourth set, but the team managed to score 13 of the next 18 points to close out the final set 27-25.
The team finished the season on a high note, winning five of their last seven matches. They had an overall record of 9-12 and a conference record of 7-11.
Because the team placed seventh in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, they fell just short of making the conference tournament, which hosts the top six teams.
In addition to completing their season, the team celebrated their seniors before the game on Saturday.
This year, the team only had two seniors, Ian Fox and Juan Llama.
Interim head coach Jewel Lehman said a few words about the seniors as they walked across the court with people close to them.
Llama was the first of the two to be recognized. He plans to return to his hometown of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, to put his sustainable food management major to use by helping his community with sustainable agriculture. This season, Llama set a career high of 12 kills against Bethel University.
“Juan is a tough and adaptable competitor and has improved his game tremendously during his time here,” Lehman said. “He has been one of the few members of this team who helped shape the program from near the beginning.”
Fox was the second to be recognized. After graduation, he plans to return to school to get a master’s degree in athletic training as well as a graduate assistant job coaching. Across his career, Fox totaled 249 blocks, which is the second highest in school history.
“Ian is a vocal, energetic leader on and off the court,” Lehman said. “He can see what is happening on the court and how to pick apart the opponent. He is passionate about the sport, has a positive attitude, and pushes everyone on the team to do their best.”
Lehman also called on the four fifth-year seniors: Andy Bennett, Wyatt Bollinger, Matias da Fonseca and Christian Rodriguez. These players had been recognized the year before, but still played vital roles in the success of this year’s team.
“We would like to thank our fifth-year seniors for everything they have contributed during their time at Goshen and for staying another year,” Lehman said. “We deeply appreciate these men and their leadership on and off the court. It was essential this year.”