Special guests return to Pepsi Arena for Volleyball Alumni Weekend

By Quincy Fuehne

The Quincy University men’s volleyball team had a big weekend as alumni and two former players returned as they took on two ranked schools, despite losing both games.

Roughly 15 alumni coming from the 2011-2017 graduating classes started arriving at Quincy on Thursday evening for the weekend festivities.

Festivities included an alumni game, a loud cheering section at the games, socializing with the team and meals at local restaurants.

On Saturday morning the graduates split into two teams and scrimmaged against each other for three “friendly” games, although the competitiveness for the game still lives in each of them.

The Hawks also welcomed Rob Steinkuehler, a 2003 graduate, who was inducted into the 2018 Sports Hall of Fame Class. Steinkuehler had over 1800 kills during his time at Quincy and joined the USA Men’s National Training Team in 2001.

The alumni brought the energy to Pepsi Arena during the games on Friday and Saturday night as the Hawks took on Ball State University and Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne(IPFW).

The team prepared to impress the alumni during practice the week before.

“You want to play good because the guys that were here your freshman year are coming back to watch you play. You want to show them what you got,” Brandon Davis, redshirt junior right side hitter, said.

The Hawks lost to Ball State in four close sets. Anthony Winter led the team with 21 kills, but this wasn’t enough to keep up with Ball State’s balanced offense.

The game had increased intensity as former teammate David Siebum, a junior outside hitter, returned to Pepsi Arena for the first time since last year.

Siebum transferred to Ball State, ranked #14, after his sophomore year at Quincy where he contributed over 280 kills and over 20 aces.

Another familiar face returned Saturday night as the Hawks took on #15 IPFW and former teammate Kolbie Knorr, a junior libero who also left Quincy after his sophomore year.

The Hawks lost the game in five sets after going back and forth in each set with the Mastodons.

Knorr was a key player for the Hawks last season and contributed 27 assists and 152 digs. He was named MIVA Defensive Player of the Week once during his time with the Hawks.

While IPFW provides Knorr with more opportunities and better support, he misses the tight knit community that Quincy allowed him.

“I became so close with my teammates and others outside of the volleyball team that it felt like I had a second family at Quincy,” Knorr said.

Knorr was excited, but nervous to return on alumni weekend knowing the alumni would heckle him.

The rowdy crowd did not stop Knorr from having an incredible game. He ended the match with 21 digs, being his career high.

Having the old friends back in Pepsi sparked some emotion for some players.

“It was awesome to see them back in Pepsi, but weird to see them on the other side of the net. I really miss them,” Adam Rogan, junior setter, said.

While the games did not rule in the Hawks’ favor, the fans and players kept a positive attitude and never let the energy die.

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