One year ago, Evan Amstutz, Wittenberg Men’s Volleyball Head Coach, was on the hunt for quality young men he wanted to represent Witt as the founding members of his program, Wittenberg Athletic’s newest program. Among several athletes, he found Isaiah Brock, a new member to the sport, but just as passionate as others who had been playing for years longer than he. And, as pre-season progressed, Brock worked hard and eared a spot in the starting lineup, and also dons the captain title.
Q: Why did you decide to play men’s volleyball?
A: I haven’t been playing volleyball for very long, actually. It’s been about a year since I started, and it’s something that I fell in love with from the very start. It’s a team sport, you know; you can’t win a game without having every single player on the team come together and have the good chemistry you need to win. I love the competitiveness, and I love how close you have to be with your team.
Q: How has it been being a freshman and also a team captain?
A: It’s really cool. It’s a new experience. Coming into a new school, new program, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to be. I’ve always wanted to have that leadership. So I push myself to see if I can reach it, to see if it’s attainable. It was. It’s really interesting to see how different team captains push their teammates in a certain way different than other team captains. Ross, for instance, he pushes them by example. Briskey, ‘16, leads by the seniority that he has, and I’m more of a vocal leader. So all the different aspects that we have come together and work together very well.
Q: What has it meant for you to be the founding members of this program?
A: It’s crazy. Being a part of something new at a tight community is something that I don’t think any of us will ever forget. And we hope that regardless of how we do this season, of course we want to do our best; we hope that people remember us as the people who always tried the hardest and came out wanting to win just as much as any other team on this campus. As much as other schools underestimate us, we have proven that we are willing to work and play as hard as any other program in the whole division.
Q: Who did you beat two weekends ago, and how significant was that?
A: Juniata. They were number seven in the nation. It was monumental. When it comes to energy, we definitely brought the energy. Having all the fans there definitely helped keep our morale up the whole time. That was by far the most intense game of volleyball I’ve ever played in my life, and beating a team so good I respected is something that has been put in the history books for us. I hope we can keep that trend going.
Q: Looking forward, what are your hopes and aspirations for the team?
A: Being such a young team, we have so much more room for growth. How successful the women’s team is here, finishing second in the nation, that’s just great motivation for us. We look up to them, and I want to be the team that hopefully they can look up to as well and play as competitive a game as they do.
By the time we’re juniors, seniors, I could definitely see a handful of us having the potential to be All-Americans. And hopefully play at that National Championship level that the other teams have on campus. I have high hopes for our team, and I think we’ll do really well.
Q: What are we going to see out of the team in the future?
A: You’re going to see a lot of devotion and dedication from our team. We love to promote our team. We enjoy as many people coming to our games as we can. We feed off of the crowd’s energy. We’re going to work hard to please the crowd, to be the best team that we can be. I just want the whole school to know we’re here to stay, and we’re here to be successful.
Q: What have you personally learned so far from your season?
A: Personally, I have grown so much, not only as a student, but as an athlete. My high school team taught me everything I know coming to college, but obviously that’s a completely different level of competition. Coming to a brand new sport with a young coach and a lot of great athletes on our team, I’ve learned so much. We’ve all grown as a team to people who can compete with higher competition. Just who we need to be. It’s a different level of dedication you have to show. It takes more time and effort, but that’s why we’re here. We want to be athletes, we want to continue doing what we’ve been doing our whole lives. It’s a process, and it’s not going to be easy, but growth is what everybody strives for, and that’s just who we are.