The Phi Kappa Psi (Phi Psi) 1 team dominated this year’s volleyball tournament, winning all seven games of the season. The fraternity men were tied with Sigma Pi/Phi Delta Theta after the regular-season games with a record of 4-0, sharing first place.
Come playoffs, the men of Phi Psi did not lose a single set. Their first playoff game was against The Babes. They took the first two sets thanks to seniors Drake Wolan, Matt Wolf, and Matthew Bickelhaupt highlighting a dominant performance.
Into the semifinals, Phi Psi 1 faced off against Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp). Due to Valpo regulations, SigEp was not able to attend due to quarantine reasons, which sent the men of Phi Psi straight to the championship.
The championship game was a classic. Phi Psi was matched up with the other first-place team, Sigma Pi/Phi Delta Theta, who was also dominant throughout the playoffs defeating Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Psi 3.
“When we heard we were playing them [Sigma Pi/Phi Delta Theta], we knew we had to be ready and focused,” Wolan said. “They are a strong team and well balanced on the court.”
The championship consisted of three sets and the first team to reach twenty-one points and win by at least two points, would take the set.
The first set was a nail-biter: back and forth rallies, clear communication between the two teams, and impressive spikes over the net. Phi Psi took the first set by a score of 21-18.
The second set was even more exciting. The score was within two points, between the teams, the entire second set. Phi Psi was up 21-20 and had to push for that extra point and succeeded, stealing the set by a score of 22-20.
“We had to push for that point,” Wolan said. “Every play is crucial, especially in the championship game.”
The third set was played and Phi Psi showed their true dominance and stability to finish out the game.
“We were up and we knew we had to finish it off,” Wolan said. “Staying focused and communicating with each other was key in this game.”
Phi Psi finished their last and final set of the season with a score of 21-10.
Wolan, Wolf, and Bickelhaupt helped carry the team due to their experience but juniors Mitchell Troester and Nick Jimenez and sophomore Forrest Erickson were valuable assets to the team.
“They were great players, especially during rotations. They understood the game and executed very well,” said Wolf. “We needed them.”
Phi Psi was able to establish accurate sets that led to strong hitters like Wolan and Wolf to spike for the points. Good defense sets the team in a great position to earn those points.
“The defense was strong. We were able to read where the ball was going,” Wolf said. “It’s about awareness and quick movements and that’s where we excelled.”
Phi Psi capped off the season with a championship win and a great season overall.