Over the weekend at the Wittenberg Invitational, the Cal Lutheran men’s volleyball team inched closer to its first NCAA victory, playing a trio of five-set matches despite falling in each. The Kingsmen faced off with a pair of American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-15 teams, taking the Milwaukee School of Engineering to five sets.
On the second day of the Posada Royale Invitational, the Cal Lutheran men’s volleyball team stole a set from both No. 5 UC Santa Cruz and Lakeland College before eventually falling 3-1 (25-16, 25-15, 18-25, 26-24) to the Banana Slugs and 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-19) to the Muskies inside Gilbert Arena.
No one on the Cal Lutheran men’s volleyball roster was alive the last time that the Kingsmen stepped on the court for an intercollegiate match. Tonight, the new era of NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball continued with the first home match in program history before a packed Gilbert Arena. No easy task, the first-year program faced off with Preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) No. 9 New York University, falling 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-23).
After a year and a half of piecing together a program from scratch, the Cal Lutheran men’s volleyball program stepped on the court as an official team for the first time tonight. On an evening when head coach Kevin Judd returned to his alma mater, his Kingsmen were tasked with facing off against Division I No. 12 Cal State Northridge, falling 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-13) in their Inaugural NCAA match.
The timing couldn't have been better. Jamal Balkhi thought his competitive volleyball career was ending. After playing at Simi Valley High and Moorpark College, Balkhi figured he would never dig a ball for another school again. Cal Lutheran offered him a lifeline.
Tonight at the 2015 NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball banquet, which officially kicks off the NCAA Championships at Calvin College, Cal Lutheran assistant women’s coach and current men’s volleyball coach Kevin Judd was honored as the Assistant Coach of the Year as announced by the AVCA while juniors Michelle Lawrence and Sarah Pappas earned All-America accolades.
Simi Valley natives Kevin Judd and Ryan Meek shared the stage Wednesday night at the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championships awards banquet. The pair swept the American Volleyball Coaches Association coaching honors in 2015.