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Penn College Men’s Volleyball Coach Looks at Positives From Season

Despite a 6-win, 10-loss record this season, and the fact thathis teamfailed to reach the postseason playoffs for the first time in five years, Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s volleyball coach Wes Strayer found plenty to be optimistic about. “It was a good year. We might not have been .500, but they played a little bit better than I thought they would. They were just that close. You don’t know how close we were to being 10 and 6 instead of 6 and 10,” the coach said. “We probably had to win three more games (to qualify for the Middle Atlantic Volleyball Club League playoffs), which we could have, but the kids just fell a little short,” Strayer continued. “On the upside, we beat Lock Haven, which, at the time, was the No. 1 team in the central division, and we took one game from Messiah. And all the other top teams we played very well, just not good enough to win. “The Messiah coach came over to me after our match and said he wished he could get the enthusiasm out of his team that I got out of mine,” Strayer said. “Our players got used to playing next to each other and having fun, and that’s the key to it.”

Among this year’s players who impressed the fifth-year coach the most were freshmen outside hitter Brady West (Wyomissing), middle hitter Brad Bell (Harrisburg), defenders Phil Reift (Washington Borough) and Jared Palko (Waymart) and sophomore defender Shawn Wesche (Angelica, N.Y.). Strayer called senior middle hitter Adam Peck (Rockaway, N.J.) his most improved player. “I would say next year is going to be fantastic, if I get the kids coming in that I think I’m going to, and with the kids we have right now,” Strayer said. “I’d like to help make Penn College a very good educational school with an exceptional men’s volleyball program to go with it,” the coach added. “You can come here, get a great education, and, when you leave school, you know that your job opportunities are there. And you’ve got four years of volleyball that helped you get through school by helping keep you out of trouble, away from the whole party thing and focused on school work. “I hope the program gets bigger and bigger every year, and so far it has.”

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