WOMENâ€™S VOLLEYBALL: Current Ball State win streak doesnâ€™t impress Shondell
The Daily News
When Ball State women’s volleyball head coach Steve Shondell was alerted to the fact that the win over Central Michigan was the team’s 11th in a row — a collegiate personal record for him — he didn’t bat an eye.
Instead, he sat staring. There was no nod of the head, no laugh, no teasing joke that friends and players have been accustomed to hearing from him.
He didn’t even crack a smile.
He said he doesn’t care about personal accolades, and the streak is dwarfed by his previous accomplishments.
Ball State’s win streak may be impressive to some, but to Shondell, he said it’s nothing more than business as usual.
“After you’ve won 135 matches in a row, and you’ve had winning streaks of 99 and 135, getting to 11 isn’t that high,” Shondell said. “It’s something you come to expect.”
As a former high school volleyball coach at Burris Laboratory School, Shondell saw success before he came to Ball State.
For 34 seasons, his Burris teams won 21 state championships and four national championships, with more than 1,100 wins and less than 100 losses.
Even though collegiate volleyball is played at a higher level than high school, Shondell said he doesn’t separate the two careers. Success is the same for him, no matter which level the team he’s coaching is competing on.
“When you win about 94 percent of your matches, you don’t expect anything but success,” Shondell said. “Personally, it’s nothing to get over excited about.”
The wins don’t faze Ball State’s fourth-year coach not only because he’s seen it before, but because he said there are more important things on him mind.
Personal victories are usually hollow unless the final result ends with a championship. Ball State could win every match for the rest of the regular season, but if the team was eliminated at the start of the MAC Tournament, Shondell said he wouldn’t be happy.
His players have described him as passionate and undaunted in his pursuit to get his team to win.
After being around Shondell for four seasons, senior outside hitter Kylee Baker said she knows her head coach doesn’t get caught up in personal records, but rather wants to see overall achievement.
He’s certainly had plenty of the former to fall back on.
“For [Shondell], it’s not about the statistics or a winning streak,” Baker said. “That’s his atmosphere; his main focus is on the bigger outcomes for the season.”
After all the career accomplishments, it’s in character for him to shrug off a simple double-digit winning streak.
Instead he grinned, thinking back to when he coached at Burris before speaking.
“Let me know once we get close to 100.”