Club volleyball represents community and hard work

Enzo Daleno
Vincenzo Daleno
April 3, 2024

In early March, the Augustana’s men’s club volleyball team competed in a tournament in Springfield, Mo. Many volleyball organizations traveled far and wide to prove their skills against fierce competition.

Augustana’s team was led by captains Luis Navarrete ’24 and Nicholas Phillips ’24. When asked about how they started on their journey, they highlighted a pivotal influence. That influencer was Alec Brooks, an Augustana alumnus who is the team’s coach, mentor and friend of all the players.

Brooks joined the club team as a student in 2018, and since his sophomore year, he has been not only a player but also a major influence for his peers. Since his graduation, Brooks has continued to be involved with the team. He attributes the opportunity to become an important figure for the team to his journey at Augustana.



Phillips says the club volleyball program has changed his college experience, turning him into a leader for the team. Navarrete adds that the program has provided not only himself but also his peers with a special community, touching on the notion that they are more than teammates; they are family.

This sense of community was evident during the recent national tournament. The athletes competed hard, leading to victories in several matches while also displaying great heart despite suffering losses. The work and dedication to the sport put in year-round were on display throughout the tournament. Every match was a battle. The matches attracted the attention of many of the other teams, and the sportsmanship shown by the Augustana athletes was highlighted by their opponents.


Augustana Men Club Volleyball during a match


The team shined the brightest on the last day of the tournament — as the players displayed teamwork, community and determination. In the final matches, there was much adversity to be overcome; however, the athletes rose to the occasion. The team members banned together to compete at their maximum potential from start to finish. Each player showcased talent, heart and sportsmanship.

Every player had his own skills to showcase throughout the tournament. But it was apparent that there was a certain amount of pressure placed on a few players. Those pivotal roles were filled by Declan Hutton ’26, the team's middle hitter, and Phillips, the team's defensive back and outside hitter.

Augustana’s final tournament record was 3-7. In their last victory, Augustana dominated Indiana State University.

However, against Indiana State University, Augustana’s middle hitter, Hutton, suffered a severe ankle injury. Despite feeling disappointed that he was unable to continue competing, the young athlete showed great heart and high spirits, maintaining a smile until the end. His teammates displayed their heart while continuing to compete hard even though they were missing a key member of their team.


Augustana Men Club Volleyball during a match


This moment captured what the program is all about: being less focused on winning and losing and more about working hard and supporting teammates. This is behind the growth of the team and the growth of the student-athletes who put it all together.

In the final match, Augustana battled against the University of Northern Iowa in a nail-biting game, which ended Augie's run within the tournament.

Augustana club volleyball represents community, and for prospective students, this organization can assist in building upon the values Augustana instills in students.

Enzo Daleno
Vincenzo Daleno

Vincenzo Daleno '24 from Addison, Ill., is a double major in communication studies and multimedia journalism and mass communications.