Team Jesus takes home championship title

Team Jesus sets up to return a Lizo spike. This is the third year the team earned the intramural championship title. || Torrey Perkins/The News

Team Jesus sets up to return a Lizo spike. This is the third year the team earned the intramural championship title. || Torrey Perkins/The News

Team Jesus and Lizo fought for the championship title in men’s intramural volleyball at Racer Arena Monday night. The competition was fierce. Not only were both teams equipped with talented volleyball players, but both teams also came out with the heart to win.

At the start of the first game, the two teams were neck and neck. Team Jesus came out with strong sets and hard hitters. The team’s players were scrappy on the floor, diving for balls and running full force at shanked hits. Team Jesus also knew exactly where to place the ball to get points. Unlike Team Jesus, Lizo started to produce sloppy sets, making it hard for the team to get a good hit. Uncontrolled blocking at the net also hurt Lizo’s score. However, the team continued to fight.

Lizo team member Andy Siebert saved his team multiple times with aggressive play and strong serves. However, Siebert’s hard work was not enough. Team Jesus took the first game of the match with a score of 25-22. Just like the first game, the two teams were neck and neck at the start of the second game. Lizo, however, was the team with the upper hand this time. Team Jesus began to play messily while Lizo played strong defense and stayed ahead most of the game.

With a score of 17-13, Lizo’s confidence boosted, but that didn’t stop the team from fighting back. Playing more aggressively and coming back with a tied score of 18-18, the men of Team Jesus would not back down. The two teams remained close in score the rest of the game, making it 24-22 in favor of the defending champions.

With a mistake on Lizo’s side, the game ended in Team Jesus’s favor with a score of 25-22 once again. This left the victory and championship title to Team Jesus. A team of eight friends, the team is no stranger to winning championships.

Previously known as the Christ Ambassadors team, this is the third year Team Jesus has been crowned the men’s intramural volleyball champions. Team member and a dominant player for the team, Chad Koenegstein shared the key to his team’s success.

“We have good chemistry, and we’re all best friends,” Koenegstein said. “We don’t ever really compete. We’re just having fun.”

Koenegstein said Team Jesus does not formally practice. He said practices mostly consist of the eight players meeting up for a casual, fun game two to three times a week. Although Team Jesus plays to have fun, Koenegstein said there is one thing on which he and his teammates could improve on.

“Passing,” Koenegstein said. “We aren’t very good passers.”

Koenegstein said he is hanging up his volleyball shoes because he is graduating. However, Koenegstein also said intramural volleyball can expect to see the men of Team Jesus competing again next year.

“They won most of their games without me anyway,” Koenegstein said. “They will be even better next year.”

 Story by Taylor Crum, Contributing writer.