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Nationally Ranked Penn College Men’s Volleyball Team to Host No. 1 Messiah College

Unbeaten and, for the first time ever, ranked No. 25 in the nation, the Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s volleyball team hosts top-ranked Messiah College at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bardo Gymnasium on East Third Street.

Penn College (9-0 overall) never has beaten Messiah (4-0), which won the National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association Division II Champion in 2008. Despite the history between the teams, Penn College coach Wes Strayer is “confident” going into the match.

“This year could be when Penn College breaks through as (its) own national power,” Strayer said. “The players are confident, coaches are confident and, if we play our game with minimal mistakes, we will defeat Messiah for the first time ever.”

Since Penn College joined the Middle Atlantic Club Volleyball Conference, the Penn College-Messiah rivalry always has been a game circled on the calendars of volleyball fans.

“It has always been a great rivalry game, with us (Penn College) coming out on the short end of the stick,” Strayer said. “Hopefully, this year is the year we get over the hump.”

“The season up to this point has been fantastic, the guys have overcome every obstacle in their way so far,” the coach added. “I am excited to see what this team does when we click on all cylinders. If that happens, I don’t think anyone will stop us.”