Members of the Wabash volleyball team celebrate a block by Partick Volk ’26 in their game against Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College on February 7, 2023. Photo by Elijah Greene ’25.

We are already halfway into the volleyball season, and conference play is just around the corner. It has certainly been a yo-yo of a year so far, so where exactly do the Little Giants stand?  Let’s take a look.

Eleven games into the 2022 season, the volleyball team had won just two games. And by the end of the year, that wasn’t much improved, finishing the season with a 3-18 overall record. 

But fast-forward to 2023, and the picture couldn’t be more different. The Little Giants kicked off the season at Rockford, Illinois, with confident wins against Rockford University and Maranatha Baptist University, beating both teams in straight sets. 

After this impressive season opener, the Little Giants went on to lose their next seven games, including two losses at home. Even Wittenberg, who Wabash beat in their inaugural season, was among the teams that the Little Giants conceded to in these games.

Regardless, the Little Giants fought back to come up with four wins in their next six games, the only two losses coming against Marian University and Trinity Christian University. As such, Wabash currently sits on a 6-9 overall record, much improved from this time last year.

The 2023 season is shaping up to be the team’s best so far. Even factoring in the rollercoaster of emotions, the numbers just don’t lie. And as a result, hopes are high heading into the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League portion of the season.

“I definitely think we have a shot,” said middle blocker Patrick Volk ’26. “I think our team is getting to the point where we are able to compete with anyone in the conference. Even though there are still a lot of teams in the conference that we have not seen yet, we really feel that we can compete in the conference and potentially make it to the tournament.”

Regarding their attack and set, the Little Giants already have a total of 541 kills and 489 assists at the halfway point, compared to their total of 624 kills and 569 assists at the end of their 2022 season. Looking at their defensive statistics, the team already has 506 digs, getting closer to their 659 total digs from last season. These are some of the crucial stats of these relentless Little Giants. They show no sign of slowing down as they prepare for future meetings.

“The team has definitely shown improvement over the practices and games we have had thus far,” said Volk. “We have apparently gotten better since last season, even though I wasn’t here. I am looking forward to the end of the season with how we’re doing”. 

“[Volk] is the motor of our team.”

– Michael Enz ’26

Regardless, Volk believes there is a lot more room for improvement.

“We have had at least one or more games that I think we should have pretty easily won, and a couple of others that we were in contention for that we could have pulled out,” said Volk. “We just need to stay a little bit more consistent.”

Volk himself has been one of the biggest improvements to the team this season. Helped out by an impressive cast of veterans, Volk’s stats are already impressive. He was named Athlete of the Week alongside Trine University’s Hunter Haas ’25 in the fourth week of the year and, so far, has 142 kills on the season.

“I am happy about it, but I am less interested in personal accolades,” said Volk on his Athlete of the Week recognition. “I care more about the fact that our team had a good weekend. I do whatever I can do to help the team, either on offense or defense.” 

It’s not just the stats that speak to Volk’s abilities. His teammates, too, have noted his important role in the development of the program.

“He is a motor for our team,” said Michael Enz ’26. “Patrick [Volk] always has high energy and is very confident on the court. Whenever we need a crucial point in the game, we can rely on him.”

On Saturday, February 25, the Little Giants will take a trip to Illinois for a two-match set against Roosevelt University and Concordia University Chicago.