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Coach Optimistic About Penn College Men’s Volleyball Team

After failing to make the Middle Atlantic Club Volleyball Conference playoffs for the past two seasons, Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s coach Wes Strayer is ready for a turnaround.

“We picked up some nice additions, freshmen or transfers, who are really going to help us. We’re looking pretty good. I’m happy. Yes, we should be there (playoffs),”he said.

Coming off a 10-10-1 campaign, the Wildcats open their seventh season under Strayer at 2 p.m. Sunday at home in a triangular with club teams from Penn State Mont Alto and Shippensburg University.

Returning players from last year’s team that finished with a 10-10-1 record include Andrew Epley (sophomore/New Oxford), Atlee Eshelman (sophomore/Conestoga), Cody Goss (senior/State College), Dylan Lackey (sophomore/Mountville), Jared Palko (junior/Waymart), Phil Reist (junior/Washington), Shawn Wesche (senior/Angelica, N.Y.) and Bill West (junior/Wyomissing).

Newcomers are James Fortenberry (sophomore/Lemoyne), Colin Grube (freshman/Trucksville), Ryan Haines (sophomore/Lancaster), Adam Smith (freshman/Duncannon) and Matt Stoltz (junior/DuBois).

Probable starters are Epley and Smith at middle hitter positions, Goss at setter, Stoltz at outside hitter and Fortenberry and either Haines or West as outside hitters.

“Epley is 6-foot-4 and Stoltz is 6-6, which is going to be a great front line; Fortenberry is 6-3 and Smith is 6-7,” Strayer pointed out. Although just 5-10, the coach said that both Haines and West “are very quick.”

Strayer said Wesche, Reist and Palko are the team’s defensive specialists.

(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site. For more information on the PSUAC, visit on the Web; more about the USCAA also is available online.)