Bardole first player named IIAC MVP in program history

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Shelby Bradley

Shelby Bradley | Sports Co-Editor

Maddie Bardole is a native of Granger, Iowa and Buena Vista University (BVU) outside hitter for the Beaver volleyball team. Bardole has had several milestones along her three years as a Beaver volleyball player but nothing quite surpasses being named the 2015 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s (IIAC) most valuable player, marking the first ever player in program history to receive this award.

“This honor made me appreciate just how amazing my team and coaches are. They are so supportive and push me to be my best,” Bardole said.

Bardole was named Freshman Player of the Year during the 2013 season. She also led the IIAC and the team her freshman year in kills with 416 and in kills per set with 3.78. During the 2014 season Bardole ranked 12th nationally in kills per set and fifth in total kills. She was also named as an all-conference selection and an Honorable Mention All-Region performer.

“As a freshman I was still adjusting to the change of speed in the game, then as a sophomore and now a junior I’ve had two years under my belt to develop as a player and adjust to the speed of the game,” Bardole said.

This year as a junior Bardole now holds the all-time record for kills tapping in at 1,489 surpassing the previous record of 1,312 kills. She sits just 12 services aces away from holding that career record and 109 digs away from holding that record as well.

“I honestly could not be more proud of the volleyball player and young woman Maddie has grown into. I knew when we recruited her that she was a talented player and could do great things at BVU. But she has exceeded even my expectations for what I thought was possible to achieve,” fourth-year assistant coach Micah Rhodes said. “She’s more confident, she’s more apt to receive constructive criticism, she’s become a better teammate and leader, she’s learning to not be so hard on herself. All these aspects have transformed her into one of the conference’s and nation’s best outside hitters.”

This season the Beavers placed third in the IIAC leading them into conference tournament play. The Beavers first match was against the DuHawks of Dubuque, which was won in a thrilling 3-set match sweep. For the second matchup the Beavers traveled to Loras College where they fell in a 3-2 five-set loss.

With the 2015 season ending on such a heart-renching loss, the Beavers have nothing but high hopes and expectations for next year.

“We can only continue to improve and grow and compete. Now that we’ve had the pressure of being a top team in the IIAC with the other teams gunning for us each week in conference play, I feel we have matured and will be able to better handle those expectations next season,” Rhodes said.

Bardole had several positive remarks regarding this years’ season and the team she got to lead and be a part of. Being a junior led team, the underclassmen looked highly towards Bardole and the other upperclassmen.

“This season was my favorite one yet. We [the team] just became a family on and off the court. It makes going to workouts and practice so much easier when you are doing it with your best friends. The loss to Loras is definitely a heart breaker because we were so close and I feel like everyone on the team worked so hard, yet we fell short,” Bardole said.

With hunger, passion and dedication in every Beaver volleyball players’ eyes, the 2016 season can’t come soon enough.

Photo by Charlie Webster