Spartans of UD: April Elsbernd
Sep 25, 2019
Spartans of UD highlight what makes University of Dubuque special – the people who live, work, and study on campus.
April Elsbernd is the head women’s volleyball coach.
1. The volleyball team won the American Rivers Tournament last year, which led to earning a bid into the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship. What went through your mind at that point? How did you feel?
"The feeling of pure joy I had watching the 2018 team win the Conference Tournament Championship will stay with me forever! I was so proud of them for rising to the challenge and playing their best volleyball on that stage. They worked incredibly hard and it felt amazing to see them attain that level of success."
2. What is the best part of being a coach at UD?
"My favorite thing about being a coach at UD is getting to be a part of the development that happens for each student-athlete from their first year to senior year both on and off the court. My proudest moments are seeing all the athletes I’ve worked with walking across the stage at commencement and remembering how much they’ve grown since their first year at UD."
3. UD will host the River City Classic from Friday, Sept. 27, to Saturday, Sept. 28. What are your expectations for the team?
"This weekend we will be playing some very good teams, so our expectations are focused on playing our best volleyball. We are at the halfway point in the season, and we hope to keep improving every week so we can peak at the end of the regular season and hopefully carry that into post-season play."
4. What advice can you give to prospective players?
"The best advice I can give prospective players is come and meet the team. We have an exceptional group of student-athletes who have influenced a culture of hard work, passion for the game, and a family atmosphere. They are down to earth, fun, and love each other, but they also know when it’s time to work."
5. As a coach, do you have a favorite mantra that you share with your student-athletes?
"I believe a great mantra or piece of advice for volleyball, other sports, and even in life is to ‘focus on the process.’ If you are working hard to do things along the way correctly, everything else will fall into place."