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MSU Denver volleyball has sights set on national championship

The Roadrunners are considered one of the best Division II programs in the country.

DENVER — The MSU Denver volleyball team is on a roll right now, just ask head coach Jenny Glenn.

“It’s really early in the year but we have been through a really tough pre-season which has allowed us to learn a lot about ourselves,” said Glenn, who has her team right where she wants them.

The Roadrunners are recently coming off winning the Colorado Premier Challenge tournament for the first time in 18 years. The tournament is considered the nation’s best in Division II.

"Not only to get to gold, but to win it and to have to knock off a lot of ranked opponents to get to that point, was just a special moment for our program in general,” Glenn said.

The Roadrunners have run right up the national rankings, most recently coming in at number three this week.

“It’s a really good feeling,” said captain Alexis Benda. “A lot of the time we don’t get the recognition which is fine so we kind of don’t really expect it. So now, it’s kind of just like, ‘cool, we got noticed.’ It’s definitely a motivating thing.”

"It almost lights a fire under us and gets us ready for our next opponent because you know they’ll be coming after us," said Avaline Lai, who was recently named the AVCA’s National Player of the Week. Lai currently leads the RMAC conference in kills as the Roadrunners top outside hitter.

Being ranked number three in the nation is the program’s highest ranking since 2003, when they were number two. But rankings aside, this team has a bigger goal in mind.

"Uh, win a national championship. Just put it out in the light there," Benda quickly stated after being asked what the team’s mission is. “I think a lot of it is gonna be our commitment and our relationships off the court. You know, all 19 of us have to be bought in."

Head coach Glenn agrees, "It’s always the goal in this program. You know our mission, our beacon in our lighthouse out there."

Coach Glenn is in her sixth season with MSU Denver. Her winning percentage is the best in program history, but she wants more than just a successful regular season.

"It’s been fun to just watch how our culture has cemented. We want to win a national championship. That’s where I envision us going. Wherever we fall, we’ll know we gave it our best to get to that place."

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