College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Crossword
This Week’s Free Crossword
This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Sudoku
This Week’s Free Crossword
This Week’s Free Crossword

Chaparral Men’s Volleyball Falls to Cougars

COD started off hot in their search for vengeance against the Cougars but couldn’t power through after losing a starting player.
Rachel Wagner

The College of DuPage men’s volleyball team came out ready to prove themselves on Feb. 28 at home against Saint Xavier University junior varsity after getting shut out in their last meeting. The Chaparrals took the first set from the Cougars with a strong offensive showing. COD started the next set with the same focus but their momentum came to a halt after losing one of their starters to injury early in the second set.

The Chaps tried to rally but the Cougars capitalized on the loss, taking the second set. COD threw their bench into the mix in an attempt to reignite the spark they started with, but they weren’t able to recover, falling to Saint Xavier 1-3. The final scores for the sets were 25-19, 23-25, 21-25 and 17-25.

Freshman middle hitter Justus Barbel dumps the ball over the net in front of the Saint Xavier blockers. (Rachel Wagner)

Sophomore left side Mike Fenley started the game and led the offensive effort in the first set. After fighting a net-front battle to block a Saint Xavier attacker, he landed wrong and rolled his ankle. Helped off of the court by his teammates, Fenley left the game unable to put weight on his right foot. He didn’t return to the game.

Fenley landed six kills on 12 attacks with one error before rolling his ankle after jumping a block early in the second set. He also made three digs and one block assist. Fenley believes the game would’ve ended differently if he hadn’t suffered an injury.

“Not to toot my own horn, but I think the crowd saw [our energy dip] too,” he said. “They saw that we were winning. We won the first set and then came out hot in the second set. We were up by four points and then I sustained an injury. Everything kind of just broke apart. I know [coach Koskinaris] was trying to throw in other guys to fill my position, but it wasn’t working.”

Head coach Tolis Koskinaris stated that Fenley’s injury doesn’t excuse the loss.

“I can see from a casual perspective how once [Fenley] went down it definitely felt like we had a different flow in our game,” he said. “However, at this level, that shouldn’t be an excuse. We have more than enough guys that can play that position. They just have to be ready to go in when their time is called. They did OK, but hopefully next time they do a little bit better.”

Sophomore outside hitter Blake Huberty led the team with 10 kills on 42 attacks with six errors. He also scored on two service aces with three service errors. In addition, Huberty recorded five block assists and six digs. He said the team needs to learn how to stay focused as games progress and avoid getting comfortable.

“We always come out hot, it’s kind of like our [trademark],” Huberty said. “We get comfortable, and we just let little things go that we shouldn’t be letting go like roll shots and tips. Those are the easy ones we’ve got to get up. When [the Cougars] were getting tired, they started to tip and roll shot more and we just weren’t getting them up. It’s a whole team thing we’ve just got to get better at moving forward.”

Freshman middle hitter Justus Barbel shot down seven kills on 13 attacks with one error and made two set assists. Defensively, he added six digs and three block assists. He said the rotation of players entering and leaving the match slowed the team’s momentum while they were trying to catch up to the Cougars.

“It honestly hurts our team a little bit,” Barbel said. “Every point we’re almost kind of guessing who’s going to be in. In practice, we share the ball and we switch up teams a lot, but it’s hard when we don’t really have a sure game plan going into a game. I think it jumbles our mentality around a little bit.”

Sophomore setter Phurin Kosumapinun led the team with 15 set assists. Kosumapinun also recorded 16 digs. He explained how Saint Xavier kept building momentum through each set to shut COD down.

“What [the Cougars] did better was adapting throughout the game and making sure they were switching things up,” Kosumapinun said. We were always kept on our toes. As the game progressed, they started doing new things and created new opportunities. When you’re on the court, especially when it’s chaotic, turbulence is always going to create opportunities for different teams who score. They just capitalized better than us.”

Freshman defensive specialist Nathan Perez makes an underhand receive. (Rachel Wagner)

Kosumapinun expressed that Fenley’s absence negatively impacted the match.

“[Fenley] is a strong-minded player,” he said. “His energy is probably unmatched on the court. With the ability to actually put the ball away, Mike was definitely a factor into this game. The result definitely was affected by him getting taken out by injury.”

This marks COD’s fifth 1-3 loss of the season after winning the first set and dropping three straight. Freshman outside hitter Osiel Cruz said this pattern is caused by the team’s overconfidence.

“We’ve got to just push through,” Cruz said. “We come out so confident in the first set. Then the second set comes through, and we slow down a little bit. We get too confident, so we’ve just got to keep playing hard and keep each other up.”

Cruz ended the game with five kills on 25 attacks with five errors. Cruz also matched Barbel’s defensive game, making six digs and three block assists.

Koskinaris said the Chaps need to learn how to motivate themselves through complete games instead of giving up.

“We showed some growth, we’ve just got to figure out our in-game emotions right now,” Koskinaris said. “They’re trying. They’re working through it. It was a little bit better this time, and they showed a lot of growth with certain aspects tonight. It was close, we just have to keep pushing through it and connect the dots.”

The Chaparrals take on their region rivals in the Bryant & Stratton College Bobcats at 7 p.m. on March 1 on Klaas Court.

More to Discover