Gleeson earns 100th win against rival

Bill Gleeson is enjoying his best year of volleyball- as a coach, that is.  Gleeson scored his 100th win as a coach and was given the 30 Under 30 award by the American Volleyball Coach Association. But he’s reluctant to take credit for his awards.
“It’s not about what I do, it’s about what the guys do. They’re getting all the wins,” Gleeson said.
The team achieved the 100th win for Gleeson on the road against their conference rival Cardinal Stritch, which Gleeson said made the win that much more memorable.
Shortly after winning his 100th game, Gleeson was honored with the 30 Under 30 award, which recognizes up-and-coming volleyball coaches at all levels.  Recipients must be under the age of 30 to receive the award.  Last year’s recipient was former women’s volleyball assistant coach Jim Finn. Gleeson admits the award is a nice honor, but gives the credit to his players.
“We have a very potent offense, and the guys work hard,” Gleeson said.
Gleeson said offense has always been the “backbone” of their game, but the team is working hard to improve other areas such as blocking and serving.
“The team is working hard to be a threat on more levels and we’re putting a lot of emphasis on blocking and serving,” Gleeson said. “Some weeks our serving is better than others. But we’re working to improve all levels of our game.”
The team recently returned from a spring break trip to Denver, Colo., where they went undefeated. Gleeson says the team enjoyed playing some good teams, as well as enjoying fun activities in Denver.
But after the spring break, the team worked hard to win the regular season conference championship against Clarke College on March 23. This is the Bees’ second straight regular season conference championship. The team faced Missouri Baptist for senior night March 29 and hopes to defeat St. Xavier in Chicago, Ill., before moving on to the conference championship in Michigan.
Gleeson says the team’s goal is to make it to the conference championship game this year.  The team was two points away from the final last year.
Not bad for a young man who never saw himself coaching.
“I didn’t think coaching would ever happen,” Gleeson said. “I just fell into it and then caught the coaching bug.”
Gleeson was the graduate assistant for the SAU men’s volleyball team after playing four years for SAU.
Gleeson admits he’s a competitive person and coaching helps keep him around the game.
“Nothing beats playing,” Gleeson said, “but coaching fulfills that competitive need.”
Gleeson says it is nice to watch players grow up and understand what they need to be a good team.  Several of the men’s volleyball team players are seniors and have been on the court for several years and their experience is part of why the team has been so successful.
The Bees are looking for an automatic bid into the national tournament with a win against Missouri Baptist. The conference tournament will be hosted by SAU on April 14-16.

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