Inaugural season for men's volleyball at Augustana

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - Augustana Men's Volleyball has started its first season as part of the school's athletic program.

Head Coach Mark Lau says he has an expectation of winning.

"But more than winning, we need to learn how to win and win together," Lau explains. "That will certainly take time but in the process, let's get a few."

Lau spent two years studying at Augustana and playing club volleyball before transferring to Ball State to play at the Division I level.

"It's been a wonderful experience to give back to a sport that's given me so much," he says.

For the past year, Lau traveled around the Midwest area recruiting players.

Freshman Justin Murphy says he fell in love with the school following his on campus visit.

"It was a challenge that I was dying to accept," Murphy adds. "It was our chance to make a mark."

Matthew Schiferl, another freshman, found the idea of a new team to be appealing.

"I knew the team was going to be super close and that's how it ended up being."

With a young team, the Vikings know they'll face tough competition in experienced upperclassmen.

"Within two to three years I would expect us to do really big things," believes Schiferl.

St. Ambrose University has an established men's volleyball team for quite some time now, but a new collegiate team in the Quad Cities signifies growth of the sport.

"It's building kind of like this snowball effect," says Murphy. "Teams are adding on and hopping on and making teams."

The Vikings will face off against the Bees on February 24th at St. Ambrose.