Every Sunday and Wednesday night a group of guys practice their volleyball skills on the intramural courts.
It’s not for intramural sports, and it’s not an official JBU sports team. It’s the Men’s Volleyball Club.
The Men’s Club team started with an idea in the spring of 2008.
Bryan Cole, Resident Director of the townhouses, was a student at the time and helped get the club going.
“We were all friends at the time, and all of our experiences playing volleyball in high school and playing recreational games at JBU got us thinking about creating a formal club not only to exercise and compete, but to strengthen our volleyball skills and knowledge of the game as well,” Cole said.
According to Cole, after getting some funds and writing up the Club Constitution, the club officially began fall 2008 with the help of former professor Jason Hough and alumnus Daniel Clark.
Cole said that the initial goal of the club was to get through the start-up year while recruiting players, getting to tournaments on a small budgets, etc.
But there was also a strong hope that the club would last for years.
Four years later, the dream is still alive.
Sophomore Seth Davis is now a member of the Men’s Volleyball Club and serves as one of the captains of the team.
Davis comes from a background that has always included volleyball, and before attending JBU, Davis heard about the Club from his cousin Azad Lassiter, who also plays.
“I met Daniel Clark, who was our coach during the 2010-2011 year, at the Be Way Involved event during my Orientation Week in 2010. He had a table out on the quad with many of the other clubs and activities that JBU has to offer,” Davis said. “I never really planned on playing, I just went up to meet him and let him know that I was Azad’s cousin. After about a week of me toying with playing ultimate Frisbee, Azad and Daniel convinced me to play.”
The Men’s Club Volleyball is more intense than intramurals on campus, requiring members to show up to most practices, participate in tournaments, practice skills, exercises and aim to get better constantly.
“We all still put intramural teams together and play. Intramural is more of a play-for-fun type of attitude,” Davis said. “Club is like actually playing a sport, while intramural is more like showing up and playing pick-up game with friends. I enjoy the learning and work that goes into playing volleyball on a club level.”
The practice that goes into the Club Volleyball is needed.
The men play big schools including Kansas, Kansas State, St Louis, Baylor, Nebraska, Ball State, Oklahoma State, University of Arkansas and many more.
Davis said that the team is held together by senior Hans Engebretsen.
“Hans is an excellent coach who played volleyball at a varsity level all throughout high school,” Davis said. “He knows his stuff and really works at teaching us.”
The dream of continuing the team has remained the same since 2008.
Davis says that the only problem he could see would be finding someone to replace Engebretsen as the leader and coach of the club.
This will not stop current club members from advertising and promoting the club to keep it going and to see more guys enjoy the game of volleyball.
“Men’s Club Volleyball may get serious at times and we may play some tough and legit teams, but that doesn’t mean it is only for people who have played before,” Davis said. “We welcome anyone who wants to come to practices to just play. We even more welcome people who want to come to learn volleyball. We do our utmost to teach people who want to learn, and we never turn anyone away.”
Those interested in joining the men’s volleyball club are invited to come by to team practices in the Walton Health Complex on Sundays from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m