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College Seeks Men’s Volleyball Championship

This season, the Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s volleyball team stepped up its level of competition and, on Saturday, it gets a chance to show just how good it has become.

The Wildcats will be one of 16 teams competing in the Middle Atlantic Collegiate Volleyball Club League championships at Haverford College. Play begins at 9 a.m., and coach Wes Strayer believes his squad is good enough to win it all.

According to Strayer, Penn College (15-4 overall and 7-1 in the league) is seeded second behind powerful Messiah in the West Division. Other top seeds come from either Villanova or Haverford in the East, Stevens Tech in the Northeast, Lock Haven in the North and Kutztown or Millersville in the Central. In the tournament, teams will be split into four divisions for the opening pool-play portion, with the top two teams in each division advancing to single-elimination play after that.

“We’re going to work real hard the rest of the week on defense and we should be ready for the other top seeds. I’m planning on facing Messiah in the final,” Strayer said.

“I told the kids, ‘We’re right there.’ When we lost to Messiah, we lost by two and three points. I told my players if they bring up a quarter of the balls that are hit on the floor, we win by two points. If we pick up half of the balls, (Messiah) isn’t even in the gym with us.

“I think it hit home with them, like, wow, yeah, that’s all we have to do. Because Messiah can’t stop our offense, it really can’t. We haven’t come across a team that beats us that stops our offense,” Strayer said.”Our defense is where we always run into trouble.

“I’m working hard on defense. These kids see that they have to play some defense, and, if they do, I think that we overcome the Messiah problem,” he said.

“They are responding. That’s a good thing,” Strayer said after his team breezed past Harrisburg Area Community College on Wednesday. “I’m feeling real good about going into Saturday. The kids are emotionally there. They’re ready to go in and play. As long as our defense is there, I don’t worry about our offense.”

Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site .

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