Two former Roncalli volleyball standouts - Anne Strevels and Kalyn Schreiber - are celebrating a national championship with their Marian University teammates.
The Knights captured the program’s first NAIA women’s volleyball national championship Saturday , in Sioux City, Iowa.
“The past three years, we’ve really been working hard to make it to the point that we made it to this week,” Strevels said. “We play really well as a team, so I think that has been the driving factor for us this week. I’m still on cloud nine. I don’t know how we did it but we did it and we are so excited about it.”
Marian swept Westmont 3-0 for the title capping off a perfect tournament in Iowa at 7-0. The Knights finished the season with a superb record of 38-2.
“This wasn’t just a one-year thing; this was a building of the program starting four years ago when I was a freshman,” Schreiber said. “To be able to see the progress that this program and it all come to a national title in my fourth year, it’s been pretty cool to watch and be a part of.”
Schreiber missed the season with a knee injury but is a redshirt and will be able to play next season as a fifth-year senior.
“It was definitely different this year, but on or off the court it didn’t matter,” Schreiber said. “This is my team. These are my friends. A repeat would be awesome. What was different this year than what I feel like in years past was that we were all friends. That’s what I hope to carry on next year is the friendships and the connections. Because it’s not all just about talent. It’s about how you click on the court and that’s what is going to win you championships.”
Schreiber will continue to rehab her knee for next season and plans to be a nurse at a local hospital after school.
For Strevels, the championship was her last college game as she plans to teach at a local elementary school next year. The 6-0 middle blocker led the Knights in blocks with four in the title game. Strevels finished with 174 kills (fifth on team) and 109 total blocks (2 second on team) this season.
Both Strevels and Schreiber played on the 2014 Roncalli team, coach by Missy Marsh, that advanced to the semistate title match. Strevels contributed the national championship that the Marian squad won to great team chemistry.
“Just staying together as a team, having a good time together on and off the court has really helped us to work together and get a national title,” she said.
Mitch Huppert, Marian Assistant Sports Information Director, contributed to this story.