Spotlighting the men’s volleyball club

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Mckenzie Ford

Bowe Rojas of the men’s volleyball club.

By Sulamita Martynenko, Contributor

Members of the EWU men’s volleyball club described their group as fun, exciting and even stress-relieving.

“I cannot picture where my life would be if I hadn’t found this club,” said club member Alex Wasilewski.

Some of the players came to EWU with considerable experience and some with little. Palmer Young loved to play volleyball growing up, and even after he enrolled at EWU, he didn’t want to leave the sport.

“This club gave me an opportunity to keep on playing in college,” Young said.

Mack Tate said that he was nervous when he joined the club. Many of his teammates played better than he did. After some time, he felt welcomed. He now hopes the club finds a way to extend the volleyball season and attend more tournaments.

When Wasilewski came to EWU as a freshman, he lived in a quiet dorm which made it hard for him to connect with people. When he got involved with the volleyball club, he was glad to find many friends.

“My network of friends exploded,” Wasilewski said, referring to the wide range of the Spokane volleyball community.

“My network of friends exploded. -Alex Wasilewski, Vollyball Club Member

The coach, Trent Codera, prefers to be called the “player leader.” That means anyone can become the coach. His interest in volleyball started back when he played on the baseball team at Yelm High School in Seattle, but his friends played volleyball after class. Codera has been drawn to volleyball for as long as he can remember.

In his sophomore year at EWU, Codera found out about the opening of the men’s volleyball club. It promised competitive playing, which was a hook for Codera. Usually, he would play just for fun, but now playing had a meaning. The core group had so few players that Codera ended up becoming one of the founders of the club. After four successful years, the the club expanded. It now has an average of 20 players each season.
The club has brought Codera many true friends, and it’s become his favorite place to hang out. As a leader, he guides players to improve their skills in volleyball. He arranges meetings, club collaborations and funding for travel.

EWU’s volleyball team plays primarily during the winter season. They compete and travel all over the Pacific Northwest, playing an average of five to seven tournaments a year through the Pacific Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.

The EWU men’s volleyball club collaborates with the women’s volleyball club to travel to tournaments together.

This year, the club is trying something new. They are traveling to Kansas City, Missouri in April. They have never traveled that far before, but they want to compete in the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation Championships. Players have differing opinions about the club’s future and the role they play.

“We will wait and see – always ready for good surprises,” said Young. •