Serving up wins
Dayton Men’s Club Volleyball president and senior captain Brian Mauch was practicing his serves at a tournament when he was approached by a player from a Big 10 team asking how many people attended UD.
“There’s roughly 8,000 undergrads,” Mauch said.
“Are you kidding me? That’s insane! How the hell are you guys so good?” the Big 10 player exclaimed.
From performing highly at nationally-recognized tournaments to exemplifying a sense of team unity, UD Men’s Club Volleyball have proven that they soar against the competition.
They play in the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association as part of the Ohio River Valley Volleyball Conference — pinning them against universities like Cincinnati, Xavier and Miami. Their abilities have landed them in more competitive tournaments against larger schools, the most memorable being the Hardwood Classic Tournament hosted by Michigan State University annually.
“Dayton hadn’t won that tournament since 2004,” said the team’s risk manager Aidan Tyra. “The fact that the entirety of the Big 10 and other big schools were there and that we were able to come out on top was pretty awesome.”
But the accomplishments don’t stop there. Last year, the team traveled to Phoenix to compete in the NCVF Collegiate Club Volleyball Championships. While their 2022 season concluded with a loss to Virginia Tech University in the semifinals, they still ended the tournament by placing third in the D1 gold bracket.
Assistant director of sport clubs and camp, Maham Khan, watched the livestream at nationals and described being “110% invested in the game” and being constantly at the edge of their seat.
“I turn into a parent,” Khan said. “Every single set, every point, every serve I know we’re gonna win!”
“Every single set, every point, every serve I know we’re gonna win!”
The team was ranked first nationally last year and after concluding their 2023 run at nationals on April 15, they ended the season with a ninth place finish, an undefeated season in league play and a conference championship.
“It’s not like we just have one good team,” Tyra said. “Our B team is super competitive nationally as well. We have a 20-person roster.”
Khan said that sports clubs are ingrained into the philosophy of the University, and the Men’s Volleyball Club is one of the standout examples when creating a sense of belonging.
“The goal was to be competitive and to be better for next year,” Khan said. “The efforts and hard work that they have put into making sure the culture of the team reflects the vision [of the University] has shown in their playing this year.”
Mauch said he attributes the team’s success to the connected environment they’ve created. He said this year has felt more cohesive than prior years, and that it’s been nice to see how the club has grown together.
“I’ve been able to meet a bunch of people from different grades, backgrounds and cities while being able to bond through the sport.” Mauch said. “It’s all about sharing a common interest as friends.”