The team received the award during the NAIA Volleyball National Championship Banquet of Champions on Nov. 26 at the Sioux City Convention Center. The IU East Red Wolves volleyball team is competing in the NAIA Volleyball National Championship this week.
The award represents the NAIA volleyball Champions of Character “national championship.”
The NAIA presents Five Star Champions of Character Team Awards for each of the NAIA’s 23 championship sports. Teams that receive this prestigious award demonstrate in every day decisions integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. These institutions and athletic programs strive for excellence in and out of competition and are part of communities throughout the country dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics.
IU East’s volleyball players contributed to their communities in many ways. One Red Wolf volunteered to keep score for a youth league in her hometown. Another took part in a local Relay For Life.
Several Red Wolves took part in a community cleanup day in Richmond this past April.
IU East’s seniors and freshmen visited the tennis teams on their first day of practice to welcome new students and pass out goodie bags.
“Without pride, character, and positive attitudes, a team cannot function properly,” senior libero Kristin Waechter (Muncie, Ind./Daleville High School) wrote in the team’s nomination materials. “Having solid character demonstrates leadership. Without this, it is hard to establish a good team dynamic. Team dynamics are largely influenced by a team’s identity. The identity of a team is determined by the character of each individual. If a team has good character, it is analogous to a well-oiled engine. Without enough oil, an engine will not run effectively. The same goes for character and team dynamics. Without positive attitudes, pride, honesty, and leadership, a team will not function properly and team dynamics will suffer.”
Red Wolves coach Charlie Brown says character was a cornerstone of IU East’s 44-3 season.
“Character represents moral value and reputation,” Brown said. “Team character is the foundation for what the team believes in and what it stands for and what it strives for.”
IU East’s volleyball team was selected to receive this honor out of 228 institutions that compete in NAIA volleyball.
It is the first Champions of Character Team Award for the IU East volleyball program and the fifth for the school’s athletic department.
IU East has been a Champions of Character institution every year since joining the NAIA in 2007.