The first-ever Wabash College volleyball team will make its debut Sunday when the Little Giants play Adrian College at Chadwick Court.
The team may be young, with seven out of the team’s nine members being freshmen, but Head Volleyball Coach Ryan Bowerman ’11 says they are “eager and committed.”
“Recognizing how lucky we are to be competing at all, I’m excited for our team to get out on the court and compete,” Bowerman said. “Our guys have been working really hard and rapidly improving. It’s a credit to how much trust they already have in me and in their teammates.”
The NCAA first sponsored a national championship for Division III men’s volleyball in 2012, and the sport has been growing rapidly ever since.
Wabash announced the launch of its new volleyball program on May 30, 2019, and, because the North Coast Athletic Conference does not sponsor men’s volleyball, accepted membership in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League in June 2019.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to be part of a new program,” said Justin Abequibel ’24. “We have the chance to instill our own beliefs and ideals into the program and create a culture which is entirely unique. As most of us are freshmen, that can be slightly overwhelming, but the camaraderie and sense of family I’ve experienced from the team has made me feel at home at Wabash.”
Luke Wallace ’21 is the only senior on the team, as well as a team captain. After playing volleyball in high school, Wallace had hoped to continue into college but no school in his search stood out enough “to beat out Wabash.”
“It might be easy to say that, since I’m the oldest on the team, that it’s easy for me to be captain,” Wallace said. “I would definitely argue that because, although I consider myself a leader, I haven’t played in three years. So there’s a great deal of balance on the team. I need the guys even more than they need me.”
While the majority of the team does not have the gap in their volleyball career that Wallace has, due to the pandemic, this will be the first competition for many of them in a year. As a result, there’s a mixture of excitement and nerves as the team prepares for Sunday’s doubleheader.
“I’m excited to get back out there,” Julian Alvizo ’24 said. “This is the first game of the season, the first game of my college career, and the first-ever volleyball game for Wabash, so I want to start off on the right foot. Not many players have the opportunity to build a program, and I want to make this community proud.”
Representing Wabash on its first volleyball team are: Justin Abequibel ’24 (Avon, IN); Julian Alvizo ’24 (Chicago, IL); Luke Davis ’24 (Avon, IN); Carson Meadors ’24 (Indianapolis, IN); Carter Nevil ’24 (New Albany, IN); Evan Nichols ’22 (Georgetown, IN); Thang Sathing ’24 (Indianapolis, IN); Ricky Sessions ’24 (Indianapolis, IN); and Luke Wallace ’21 (Tucson, AZ).
“We’re a hungry team,” Abequibel said. “A lot of us are never content with what we do and are always seeking to improve. I think that’s a great mindset for a first-year team, and I think Wabash should expect great things from us.”
Sunday’s first game begins at 1 p.m. The second follows at 5 p.m.
A live video stream of all of the Little Giants’ home matches will be available all season at https://team1sports.com/Wabash/, and live, updated statistics can be found at https://sports.wabash.edu/sidearmstats/mvball/summary.