Effort, energy, enthusiasm—three words that are key for the North Central men’s volleyball team as it approaches its inaugural season in January 2016. Though the Cardinals will be an exceptionally young squad, head coach Kyle Exline remains optimistic about their chances of competing at a high level. “It’s going to be a very exciting year with a lot of learning, but I feel the recruits we did bring in this year came in with a lot of experience at the club level,” says Exline. “They’ve learned a bunch of different systems, so getting them all on the same page and playing together is going to be very essential.”
The Cardinals in November hosted Benedictine University, Dominican University and Fontbonne University, all members of the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League (MCVL). Of 14 teams in the conference this season, six will be first-year programs. Competing against established programs will come with challenges. “Coming together is exciting, but keeping together is a process,” says Exline. “Our goal as a program is to eventually make it to and win the national tournament.”
The 2016 regular season begins January 24, when the Cardinals host Loras College and Benedictine University-Mesa (Arizona) at Gregory Arena.
“Our goal as a program is to eventually make it to and win the national tournament.”