Heidelberg's volleyball team finds itself in the Division III regionals for the fifth-consecutive year, opening play today against Geneva in Grand Rapids, Mich.
But there's more going on than what will happen on the court.
Two of Heidelberg's players are dealing with recent deaths in their families, and coach Jason Miller admitted that things haven't been normal for the No. 9 Student Princes.
"We're dealing with a lot of other things," Miller said.
After losing in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament final to Mount Union Sunday, the coach said he has been stressing not taking anything for granted and enjoying the time spent on the court.
"Enjoy playing volleyball together, and that's been our focus," Miller said. "It's about the opportunity to play at a high level, if we play well and the kids go out and have fun, the kids will be playing on Friday [in the next round]."
To reach the next round, HU will need to get past Golden Tornadoes, who just finished one of the best regular seasons in program history. Geneva comes in 27-8, having won the Presidents' Athletic Conference title for the first time.
"Geneva had a really good year, they have young kids that have come in and played very well," Miller said. "They're scrappy defensively."
Miller said it will be up to HU's seniors, Melissa Eck, Venessa Haase and New Riegel graduate Jackie Reinhart, to lead the team. So far, he said the squad looks ready for the challenge.
"We had a good practice, kids for most part seem pretty focused," he said. "(The seniors) want to go out on their own terms."
The match starts at 12:30 p.m.