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COLUMN: Central Michigan volleyball is gunning for a championship, and it needs your support

The Central Michigan volleyball team celebrates a point gained against opponent Penn State at McGuirk Arena Saturday, Oct. 5.

The Central Michigan volleyball team is good. 

Really good. 

The Chippewas have won nine straight games, control an overall record of 14-2, and are unbeaten in their first four Mid-American Conference games. 

Winning the MAC title has entered the conversation, as it's becoming more and more of a possibility with each win.

Not to mention the team has had a player win a conference award nearly every week. And in those awards last week, CMU swept the honors for the MAC West Division's Offensive Player, Defensive Player and Setter of the Week. 

I have had the pleasure of covering the team. I’ve gotten to watch their home contests and have weekly visits to practice. 

In the small amount of time I have gotten to see them in practice, it’s easy to tell how hard this team works. They work hard every day to produce the results on game days. 

Unfortunately, when I look around at the crowd in McGuirk Arena, it's close to empty.

The crowd is mostly filled with parents, community members and just a few students. 

As students, I know we have a lot of commitments, and it’s often easy to skip these events, especially when it's a sport you’re not as familiar with. But this team is too good and they work too hard for students to completely ignore that success. 

We’re fortunate enough to be able to attend sporting events for no cost at the time of the game. (Yes, I know we pay the cost up front in tuition.)

Regardless, I encourage you to give this team a chance. Come out and support them. I think you'll be impressed. 

Show up to watch Kalina Smith spike the ball with incredible force.

Show up to see Megan Kern seemingly get to any ball hit to her side of the net. 

Show up to see the passion Savannah Thompson displays on the court.

Show up to see so many others I could mention here, as well.

Show up to watch a team that is so deep with talent, any member of the roster could be named as MAC Player of the Week and few would be surprised. 

Show up for the bench mob celebrations or for the intense pre-game hype video.

Show up to McGuirk and provide this team with the home court advantage fitting of the top team in the MAC West.

Show up to support these student-athletes and their coaching staff that put in countless hours of work throughout the week. 

This is a team that beat rival Western Michigan. Central Michigan is a team that plays with fire and swagger.

Volleyball could be the best chance CMU has this fall to win a MAC championship. 

That's not to ignore the recent success by the football team or how effective soccer has been. Support those teams as well, but this volleyball team is damn good.

This Friday, the volleyball team takes on Ball State at home. The Cardinals are currently in second place in the MAC West. This clash figures to be not only a close match but an important one. 

I believe students should pack McGuirk and make the place feel like a true home game and make it a tough place for opposing teams to play.

Head coach Mike Gawlik has slowly built this team up over his four seasons in charge. The team is just hitting peak form.

Gawlik, his staff and these players have done everything they can to prove they’re a team worth watching. They shouldn’t need to recruit students outside of the Bovee University Center to attend games. When I saw that occur last week, I was shocked.

They’ve done their part; they‘ve won games. Now, as students, it’s time to do our part.

You don’t need to be an expert in volleyball to recognize the way this team plays is fun to watch. These Chippewas are a sturdy, cohesive team. 

You won’t want to miss what they do for the rest of this season.