Senior Volleyball Player Received ‘Everything’

Connor Cusick, Reporter

Senior Ryan Miller, sports management major and hitter for the men’s volleyball team, said he has loved the time he spent as a student athlete, and he hopes to make more memories as the team debuts a shortened 2021 season Feb. 24.

“Even though our season is being cut short, I’m beyond grateful to be given one last opportunity to compete with my team and friends,” Miller said.

Miller has been on the team since freshman year and said he is proud to see how the team has changed since then.

“The volleyball program has made the largest strides over the past few years in areas such as maturity and player development, which has guided us to becoming a winning program,” he said.

Miller said he feels confident in the team’s performance this season and gives credit to head coach Rob Wingert for leading the team in the right direction during challenging times.

Ryan Miller, senior sports management major and outside hitter for the men’s volleyball team, tries to spike the ball against the opposing team. Miller was selected as Wendy’s Athlete of the Month in January of last year.
(Photo courtesy of Misericordia athletics)

Wingert had to make changes due to COVID-19, but he has still managed to keep them practicing for the season.

“Coach Wingert has made many changes to our program in order to accommodate the current pandemic such as enforcing masks and proper distancing between all players when not on the court,” Miller said. “Although many of these changes make competing at a high level much more difficult, our team is more than willing to make these changes in order to compete.”

Like many other senior Cougars, Miller is disappointed in the shortened sports seasons and the lack of interaction with his peers.

“COVID has changed the entire college experience for me,” he said. “From restricting gatherings with friends, to shortening our athletic experiences and limiting our learning environments. It’s been difficult.”

During his four years on the team, though, he has seen the team take on other adjustments, such as working with new graduate assistants, he has no doubt players will be able to power through with pandemic restrictions.

Outside of his love of volleyball, Miller said he enjoys the work he does in his major classes, and he looks forward to putting his education to use.

Miller was named MAC Co-Rookie of the Year and All-MAC first team by averaging 3.5 kills a game, leading the conference. He also led the nation in total kills by a freshman with 366.

“Misericordia has been everything I’ve needed and more,” he said. “From providing me with everything needed to succeed in the classroom to allowing me to continue my lifelong passion of competing at a high level, I’m forever grateful for what the university has offered me and I would gladly recommend the school to anyone who asks.”