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Penn College Men’s Volleyball Team Set for Playoffs

With an 11-0 regular season and the Middle Atlantic Club Volleyball Conference Northwest Division championship under its belt, the Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s team now turns its attention to postseason play.

On Saturday, the Wildcats will compete in the 16-team MACVC Championships at Rowan (N.J.) University. Action begins at 9 a.m. and, should they go all the way to the title match, the day could involve as many as seven matches and up to 35 games.

“Stamina? I think they are ready to go,” coach Wes Strayer said. “It is an issue, without a doubt, but what they have to do is just take care of business one game at a time and not make it a five-game match during the day. They can’t let teams come back. They can’t play down to teams. It’s my job as a coach to keep their minds in it.”

Penn College starters are expected to be middle hitters Andy Epley (New Oxford) and Adam Smith (Duncannon), setter Cody Goss (State College) and outside hitters Bill West (Wyomissing) and James Fortenberry (Lemoyne). Either Phil Reist (Washington) or Ryan Haines (Lancaster) will be at libero. Key defensive players are Jared Palko (Waymart), Shawn Wesche (Angelica, N.Y.) and Haines.

“Nobody has an answer for my middles, which is good. Most offenses run through their outside hitters and then use their middles. We run ours the opposite way. We run our whole offense through the middle and then go outside and teams aren’t ready for that,” said Strayer, who is in his seventh season as coach.

“They went above what I expected this year. I have two freshmen and a first-year player starting. I am just elated at how they have played and how they have come together,” Strayer said of the season thus far. “I expect to win it (MACVC) and they expect to win it.”

Regardless of what happens Saturday, the season will continue next week for the Wildcats when they compete April 1-3 in the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation Championships in Louisville, Ky. Penn College is scheduled to compete in Division I-IAA against club teams from some of the largest colleges and universities in the country, among them Penn State.