The Women’s Volleyball team is looking to secure a win in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Photo credit
Article written by Earnhardt Jaworski
As the Huskies volleyball team travels down to the Pentagon in Sioux Falls for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) tournament November 18-20, they look to cap off the most successful season in the program’s history. The Huskies are led by head coach Chad Braegelmann, who is in his 7th year with St. Cloud State. Braegelmann has been coaching volleyball for twenty years as of this season and has a history of taking lumps of coal and turning them into diamonds. Prior to coming to SCSU he started at Colby Sawyer College, in New Hampshire. where he took the team from a 14-12 record in 2001 to a 28-8 record in 2007. He then traveled back to the land of 10,000 lakes where he coached at Minnesota Morris from 2008 to 2014.. Here he led Morris from a 9-17 team to a 23-12 in his final year.
When Braegelmann came to the granite city the Huskies were a middle of the pack team in the toughest conference in Division II volleyball, the NSIC. In 2015, the first Braegelmann led Huskies team, finished with a 9-19 record, 13th in the conference. Now 7 years later in 2021, Braegelmann has taken the Huskies to 24-4, making them the top dog in the NSIC, while being ranked 11th overall in the country.
Braegelmann’s coaching style has forced the best teams in the conference to play chase this year. Throughout the 2021 campaign, his phrase has been “fast and aggressive.” The Huskies take an endurance race and turn it into a 100 meter dash. With this style, St Cloud State finished the season winning their last 14 games by a score line of 42-11 in sets and winning their first regular season NSIC title since 1982. Braegelmann often will be as close to the court as he can get, giving his player instructions and encouragement in between sets. Braegelmann is a vocal coach and fights for every call for his players, who do the same for him. Everyone who puts on the cardinal and black for Braegelmann, buys into his system, where the entire team has found its success this year.
Thursday evening the Huskies faceoff against #16 Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU). St Cloud State is 22-26 against SMSU in their history, but the Huskies have won the past four meetings. The Mustangs limped to the postseason and they just didn’t seem like their former selves this year. Near the end of the season it came out that their head coach of 18 seasons would be retiring.
As St. Cloud State travels down to the NSIC Tournament in Sioux Falls, they are looking to get the monkey off their back. In 2019, their best season at the time, the Huskies run came up just short due to a loss to Concordia-St Paul in the conference championship game This weekend the stars are set to align for the Huskies to howl at the moon as top dogs.