by Anastasija Baranovska

Madonna University volleyball coach Jerry Abraham just reached a historic cornerstone in his career earning his 1000th win  and becoming just the second volleyball coach in NAIA history to reach this mark.

Besides that, the game on the road against Siena Heights University gave the Madonna volleyball team the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) regular-season championship and automatic bid to the national championship, the team’s first appearance since 2008.

“Being surrounded by quality young ladies and goal-oriented scholar athletes is the core of all our successes over the years. Add to that we have always tried to recruit hard-working athletes that were focused on being the best team player and skilled volleyball player as possible,” said Abraham. “I think the secret to success is simply to gather a quality group of people, lay out your goals and strive to reach those goals by determination, all-out effort and belief in each other.”

The win was significant not only for Abraham himself, but for the entire team, rest of the coaching staff and the supporters in the stands who came to witness the game.

“The win for our program was one in which can go down in each of our own history. We won the game, beat a determined rival, gave Jerry his 1,000th win, won our conference, and claimed a bid to nationals, something we had not done in four years,” said Emilie Freeman, junior middle hitter, majoring in Language Arts with minors in Elementary Education and Math. “Every single person on the team and in the stands will be able to remember that night and final-point moment as one of amazement, excitement, and joy. We worked together as a team to get where we are, and we will finish our season, whatever the outcome may be, as a team.”

By beating Siena Heights 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-23) the Madonna Volleyball team got a chance to host the WHAC tournament on its home court. The record this year: 33-7.

“I think to be the best in anything you do says a lot about the time and effort that he has put in,” said Brian McClain, assistant coach.

“I truly felt it was special and that the players were extremely focused and determined to get it done. We played very well and left no doubt that we would achieve what we set out to do that night,” said Abraham. “It was a relief for me, for sure. I've never been one to dwell on individual accomplishments but as the 1,000th win got closer, it was hard to not be aware that it was there. I feel the team was determined to achieve that monumental accomplishment and had fun doing so. Especially because of the importance of the particular game we played that night. Not to mention it was on the road!”

The historic mark was reached by the 2005 NAIA National Coach of the Year, who has played a strong role for Madonna promoting the sport.

“Any kind of good publicity is always good for your program. It seems to bring a lot of attention to that moment in time, in regards to Madonna Volleyball. Most of all, it seem to be a springboard to the end of our regular season and the beginning of our postseason,” said Abraham. “A very memorable and positive milestone that did in fact bring good attention to our program. I truly feel though that this was an award, not earned solely by a coach but one earned from years of stellar accomplishments by quality volleyball players, people and student-athletes, who have contributed in their many special ways! Each one is so very special to me in so many different ways.”


Historic win for Madonna’s volleyball coach