WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The new chapter begins tomorrow.
After successful seasons as a club team, the Sabercats Men's Volleyball Team will step onto the varsity stage for the first time.
On the MBU campus, it all started four years ago when the then-club team defeated Northland International in a high-octane matchup in front of a packed house. Maranatha sported custom-made jerseys and soccer shorts that night. A few of the players didn't even wear actual volleyball shoes.
The program has come a long way since then.
The Sabercats have improved with each new season and capped off their club success with a 15-9 record, a Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Division III title, and a subsequent Program of the Year honor in 2016-17. From last year's roster, nine players will return to the court for Maranatha, proving that a strong core of players will don the blue and lead the team into the upcoming season.
Riding the momentum of their seasons as a club team, the Sabercats are ready to compete at the NCAA DIII stage - a stage which will bring the challenge of facing seasoned opponents and established programs.
But in Coach Torey Rosen's mind, the team is eager to take the next step.
"We believe we have the right personnel for the challenge of building a program and team culture," said Rosen. "One of our team goals this year is to never be out-worked. When [our players] are working together and going hard for every point, they are a fun team to watch. Their energy and competitiveness will make for a thrilling atmosphere when all our Crazies come to the gym to support the team on match day!
"We're excited for the season because we get to see all the hard work from former club team players come full circle," Rosen continued. "The former players who started the club program had a vision for a men's volleyball team on campus. Without their initial efforts a few years ago, we would not have been in the position for our first NCAA season this year."
Coach Torey Rosen and the Sabercats recognize the challenges the new season brings, but the team is eager to leave a positive impression on and off the court.
"The players are all-in with their work ethic in practices as they push each other to give all that they have," said Rosen. "They have also expressed the desire to remain a unified team with the goal of leaving Christlike, lasting impressions. Being unified throughout all we do will translate to the court as the players remain a strong unit and compete together."
The Sabercats have 32 matches on their schedule and will begin play tomorrow at the CUW Triangular in Mequon, Wisconsin.
Later in the season, the Sabercats will take a trip to the Mideast for a 5-match week over spring break.
The Sabercats are slated to compete in six matches on the home floor. Home play will start Saturday at 11 a.m. against Trinity Christian College.
For up-to-date information regarding schedules, live coverage, directions, and more, visit the team page by clicking here.