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Coach Megan Russell: Taking the Reins of the Women’s Lacrosse Team
By: Mike Basko
The MVNU women’s lacrosse team is ushering in a fresh era by hiring a new coach. The team has brought in Megan Russell to take the lead in the program. Coach Russell hopes to spur the team to improve by building their chemistry and working their hardest on and off the field. She said, “I’m hopeful this year that we can love each other and work together and truly treat each other like a family. I’m hoping we can embody honesty and kindness to each other as well.” Although she is also a full-time teacher, Russell said that her passion for helping others helps to motivate her to balance her life. She stated, “I find a lot of joy in doing what I’m called to do. That’s why I went into teaching as well as coaching.”
The team is excited to see what coach Russell can bring to the table. Captain Ellie Brillhart said, “She creates a huge family culture and a tight-knit one. I think she’s really going to pull us together and create a stronger bond between all of us girls.” In addition, Brillhart says that having Russell take over the coaching responsibility has made it easier for her as a captain to share the burden of leadership.
Sophomore Karlee Whitesell said, “She blends well with us and has made really good connections with us. She’s just someone who will laugh with us and is a very bright light for us.”
After last year when various factors caused the cancellation of several of their games during the season, the team hopes to take strides forward under coach Russell’s guidance. Brillhart said, “I think we’re going to have a lot more discipline and motivation for this season, and I think things are finally about to feel real and serious, and I think that’s going to translate into our play and our performance on the field.” As the team’s main season kicks off, the team is confident that coach Russell will guide them in the right direction.
Whitesell said, “She’s excited to take on this new opportunity, and she’s already proved to be a good leader. She’s a really good edition, and we’re really lucky to have her.”
The team will kick off its season by hosting Kent State University on Feb. 18!
Esports Intramurals Coming Soon
By: Isaac Curtis
MVNU Esports is bringing action to all students as the program expands. Community-based intramurals for several games will be available starting this semester!
Beginning this semester, the MVNU Esports program will be hosting tournaments that you and your friends can participate in for fun. These tournaments will be an opportunity for students outside the program to enjoy themselves. Two games that will be featured in these tournaments are Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros.
The MVNU Esports program has had six teams who have competed against other colleges for four years now. However, Coach Kyler Curtis doesn’t want to limit the program to just the Esports players. He said, “This opens our doors to more than just varsity-level competition. Many students on campus love video games but may be intimidated by the level of competition that our varsity-level teams play at.”
Dates have not been decided yet but will be posted in advance on MVNU Esports’ social media, which is under @MVNUEsports. So get ready and invite a friend for some friendly competition!
New Scheduling for Men's Volleyball
By: Issac Curtis
The MVNU men's volleyball team has a brand-new schedule for the upcoming season, and it's designed to save money for the program. However, the schedule comes with its own set of challenges.
Every away match now requires a hotel stay and three additional meals. The schedule is also back-to-back in some cases, with the team playing just 12 hours after walking off the court from the previous night. Head coach Douglas Sherer is doing his best to prepare the team for the new schedule, but there are some obstacles they must overcome.
For example, film breakdowns are done by Hudl, which is a service they pay for, but the breakdowns won't be back in time for Saturday review before the team plays. This means that coach Sherer will be spending Friday nights breaking down film so that the team has the best chance at winning. However, he sees the schedule as an opportunity for the team to grow. If the team plays well on Friday night, they will go into Saturday with more confidence because they just beat their opponent. On the other hand, if they play badly on Friday, they will need to find a way to pick the team up before playing again the next day. He is confident that the team will rise to the challenge and try their best in each game.
The MVNU men's volleyball team is ready to take on the new schedule and show everyone what they're capable of. With hard work and determination, they will be able to overcome any obstacles and have a great season.
First-Time Qualifiers Express Excitement for Nationals
By: Faith West
The Mount Vernon Nazarene University track and field team will continue their record-breaking season at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Brookings, SD. The event will take place March 2-4 and will feature some of the best collegiate athletes from around the country, including 11 members of the MVNU track and field team. For many of these athletes, the trip to South Dakota will be their first time competing at Nationals.
When discussing what this opportunity means to them, freshman Brooke Holloway and senior Micah Tuggle both expressed their gratitude for the chance to compete at Nationals. After having one-half of his freshman season taken away due to the COVID-19 pandemic and falling just short of the qualifying standards in previous years, Tuggle expressed what it means to finally see the reward of all his hard work. He stated, “Just being able to actually compete on the big stage like that is just a blessing.”
Holloway echoed this sentiment when she said, “I feel a lot of weight on my shoulders, but at the same time, I’m really grateful and blessed.” The freshman mentioned that she feels pressure to do well at Nationals after qualifying in her first collegiate meet but is also very excited to represent the women’s team. Holloway will make program history as the first member of the MVNU women’s track and field team to compete at Nationals.
For senior Liam Near, the trip to Nationals feels quite familiar; however, this will be his first time competing in an individual event. While looking forward to the event, Near expressed his excitement to return to Nationals and potentially “accomplish something the school hasn’t yet.”