By Chardonnae Parker / Managing Editor

With reporting by Alonzo Williams and Christal Adams

Missouri Valley’s Men’s Volleyball team has a freshman who received Heart of America Athletic Conference defensive honors for three consecutive weeks. His defensive performance has pushed the Vikings to second in the conference.

João Vitor Bonanoni

Freshman João Vitor Bonanoni has been named defensive player of the week in the conference for the third consecutive week. Joao has established himself as the spearhead of the defense and feels that the team is on the right track.

“So, I’ve been improving a lot here, I’m really hype about this, about achieving these awards but as a team I think we are really good in the season, So I’m really hype of this experience,” Bonanoni said. “And every day I’m giving my best and try to improve every day. That for me is like the solution to achieve my goal to be a big athlete and a big person.”

Bonanoni’s head coach, Omar Sanchez says that Bonanoni consistently brings the mamba mentality to practice and games and believes that this reward is well deserving.

“You know, I think when you come with that mindset and that attitude the awards and the accolades kind of just fall into place,” Sanchez said. “And he’s a guy who doesn’t really put too much focus or time or attention on that which is really great to see which is a byproduct of the kind of person he is.”

The achievement gives Bonanoni and the team another positive boost to continue forward in the season. The men have gotten out to an 11-7 start and are 3-1 in the conference. That lone conference loss for the Valley Volleyball team came to NAIA number two Grand View University on February 11.

Valley fell to Grandview with scores of 25-19,25-12,25-18. Missouri Valley Men’s Volleyball team looks to grow from this experience

“Last night’s performance was a little bit of a learning lesson. You know Grandview is a great team and they’re in the national championship constantly, so it’s something where I think we can kind of learn from it and when we face them again down the road put some things to the test,” Sanchez said.

Missouri Valley Men’s Volleyball season so far has had more wins than losses with a record of eleven to seven.

“We were able to get a lot of the returners that were starters back into the gym this year,” Sanchez said. “I was able to get my first recruiting class in as well which is always something that’s special. When you get to put all that time and energy in kids you get to know over a long period of time.”

Missouri Valley Men’s Volleyball program also has a wide variety of ways to recruit like using online databases.

“Missouri Valley has a natural rich history of working with international students,” Sanchez also said. “So on the daily I’m getting random emails from kids all over the world that are looking to be a part of this experience.”

Missouri Valley College is currently 3-1 in the heart of America conference.