Sugar Bears Volleyball Honored by State Legislature

Courtesy University of Central Arkansas Athletics Department

The Central Arkansas volleyball team is coming off a historic season featuring both team and individual records, as well as the program’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament. On Wednesday, the state government of Arkansas recognized those achievements.

As with the school’s football program, the House resolution to recognize the team was sponsored by Representative David Meeks, who met with the team before the session to provide a tour of the House side of the capitol building, as well as some insight into his role as a Representative.

Meeks introduced the resolution to the House by describing many of the accomplishments the Sugar Bears reached during the past season. Central Arkansas, who compiled an overall record of 30-5 and a Southland Conference record of 15-3 started the season on a 19-1 run, the best 20-match start in school history. They were one of seven Division I programs in the nation to reach the 30-win mark.

Meeks also noted a number of individual performances. Senior outside hitter Jessie Hays was named the Southland Conference’s Student-Athlete of the Year, and junior Setter Marrissa Collins was named the conference’s Setter of the Year for the second time.

The Sugar Bears placed four players on the All-Southland Conference teams.

Meeks discussed how volleyball is not necessarily a marquis sport on the same level as football or basketball, but described how, when viewed in person, the sport presents itself as both exciting and engaging.

The Sugar Bears watched Meeks’ presentation from the visitor’s gallery of the House chamber, where they were joined by Senator Jason Rapert, a Central Arkansas alumnus.

Following Meeks’ presentation, the Sugar Bears were escorted to the Senate Chamber across the building, where Rapert presented a Senate resolution to honor the team. The resolution was met with overwhelming support, drawing a standing ovation from a number of the state’s Senators.

Head coach David McFatrich was overwhelmed at the support shown by the state’s legislators on Wednesday: “It’s really special, not only for our volleyball team, but for our university as a whole,” exclaimed McFatrich following the passing of the second resolution. “We didn’t really know what to expect [about today], but I had no idea it was going to be this special.”

McFatrich was aware not only of the prestige that such an honor brings to the Sugar Bears or the University of Central Arkansas, but what it can do for the sport as a whole as well, saying, “Representative Meeks touched on the fact that volleyball doesn’t get a lot of coverage in the state, and for them to take the time to recognize us like that really helps the sport.”


Tags: , , ,