Men's volleyball set for spring semester opener vs. Maryland
December 16, 2019 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's men's volleyball team experienced tremendous growth and progress throughout the fall semester in its first season with Kaleb VanDePerre at the helm.
"It's been awesome," VanDePerre said. "We had a bunch of new guys, all of them new to us. It's been really good just to learn and grow. They had to change a little bit from what they've done in the past and we had to come in and implement some new things, got to play a little bit, and grew together as a family, so it's been a really good semester."
He had plenty of support from former Concordia All-American outside hitter Madison Anema, who was named assistant coach in September.
"Maddy has been huge in helping develop practice plans and seeing different areas on the court," VanDePerre said. "She has been a really good sounding board for us and she has a lot of the same teaching styles that I have learned … so that has been really helpful."
VanDePerre and Anema have been complemented by former Flames players Scot Zalizniak and Dylan Culler, who are serving as graduate assistant and team manager, respectively.
"Having two former players, they've been really good at positional management in the area that they played. They have really connected with the guys in a slightly different way than we have, so they get a little more pulse of the team and know how things had run versus how they're running now and can help smooth some things over if there are any rough edges as we transition."
VanDePerre recently announced that the Flames' first match of the spring semester will be against Maryland, an East Coast Volleyball Association (ECVA) North Division opponent, in the annual Midnight Mayhem event at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 24.
"The atmosphere there, with all the things Liberty pulls out for us, is really special in the volleyball world," VanDePerre said. "Then, our (ECVA South) conference championships and (NCVF) national championships will be really awesome to experience. It will be an incredible atmosphere and an awesome chance for us to showcase Liberty and put the culmination of the year's work to see where we stack up and what we need to keep getting better at."