Point Park Globe

It’s called a ‘winning streak’ – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

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Mike Bruno knows how to win.

His record proves that. He has earned over 250 wins now in his 11- year Point Park volleyball coaching career. He is in the top 15 on the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) wins list of active coaches.

A 3-11 start for the volleyball team was not ideal by any stretch. It was frustrating, especially when the Pioneers were voted first in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

It was not time for Bruno’s team to panic after a sluggish start. Again, he knows how to win.

Well, don’t look now, but the Pioneers are back.

If there was ever any doubt about this team, it was erased this past week when Point Park won four KIAC matches in four days.

Wednesday: A three set win over cross-town rival Carlow.

Friday: A four set victory over Indiana University Southeast.

Saturday: A three set win over Cincinnati Christian, followed by a win in four sets over Brescia (Ky.).

Point Park now has a comfortable 4-1 conference record with some time to rest before hosting KIAC schools Ohio Christian and Midway (Ky.) Oct. 2.

Senior Emily Meng said after the team defeated Carlow that it was good for them to finally get the first conference win out of the way to gain confidence heading into the weekend road trip. She said after they watched some game film and fixed their mistakes, they started to gel.

“The puzzle pieces are coming together,” Meng said. “They weren’t really at the beginning of the season… It’s really cool how it came together.”

They are coming together. The team has battled through multiple injuries and has found replacements for key players lost from the 2014 team that led Point Park to a KIAC Tournament victory. But now, they’re coming together.

Bruno knows how to coach a team to victories. It only took him two seasons to turn a losing volleyball program around into an annual post-season contender. After starting with two losing seasons in 2005-06, Point Park has not had a losing regular season or conference record since.

Before Point Park won their second straight match against IU Southeast Friday, one can imagine Lou Brown, the manager in the 1989 baseball movie “Major League,” would have told Point Park the same thing he told his Cleveland Indians:

“We won a game yesterday. If we win one today, that’s two in a row. And if we win one tomorrow, it’s called a ‘winning streak.’ It has happened before… I have a feeling things are about to turn around for us.”

I doubt coach Bruno did a Lou Brown impersonation before the match. Brown doesn’t seem like the smartest manager ever, but he does know how to describe Point Park’s last week of volleyball.

They’re on a winning streak.

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