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Men's Volleyball 2013 Season Preview

Men's Volleyball 2013 Season Preview

1/16/2013 — The Penn State Altoona men’s volleyball team enters its first year as a varsity sport, and head coach Phil Peterman is excited to take the program to the next level. The team has proven to be successful at the club level, and Peterman hopes that trend will continue as the squad transitions to the NCAA Division III.

“We’re very excited for the inaugural season of men’s volleyball at the Division III level. I expect to continue to be competitive and successful in this first season,” said Peterman. “I have a good core group of returners who have played for me for two years. The other schools we’ll face may have a slight advantage due to being able to recruit for this season, but I’m very happy with the amount of freshman talent that showed up on campus this fall.”

Last season, Peterman helped guide the men’s volleyball club team to the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation Club Championship Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. The squad finished in fifth place out of 24 teams in the Men’s D1AAA division of the event. Peterman has also been the head coach of the varsity women’s volleyball team at Penn State Altoona for the past five years.

As with the school’s other varsity sports, the Lions will compete as a member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. Peterman wants to make a statement within the conference during his team's first year.

“Our team goal is to beat all of the teams in the AMCC and win the AMCC regular season championship. We’ve also set a goal of getting an invite to the NCAA Tournament as an independent member,” he explained. “We play a strong schedule this year, and we will have to beat quality opponents along the way.”

Peterman has been particularly pleased with his team’s speed in executing the offense and defense. He thinks this will be a central strength to build upon as the season opens.

“My team is doing a great job of running a fast offense, and they’re passing well out of serve receive, too,” he said. “The team has also bought into my defensive scheme. They’re transitioning into the right spots on the court that will allow them to be successful digging balls during these fast paced rallies.”

Peterman believes several players can become standouts for the team and make an impact in the AMCC. He expects big things from two of his middle hitters, junior Josh Settle (Altoona, PA/Altoona) and freshman Eric Speicher (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley). On the outside, he says that junior Dan Reilly (Pittsburgh, PA/Keystone Oaks), sophomore Fernando Titus (Jersey City, NJ/McNair Academic), and freshman Zack Hayes (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) should provide plenty of power. Peterman sees senior Chris Perino (Altoona, PA/Altoona), sophomore Craig Schriner (New Cumberland, PA/Red Land), and freshman Brandon Stitt (Altoona, PA/Altoona) being important keys to the team’s defense. Freshman setter Branden McGarvey (Altoona, PA/Altoona) will be tasked with running the squad’s offense and being a leader on the court.

More than anything, Peterman wants to establish a reputation for his team that he strives to create each season with the women’s volleyball team.

“I want teams to know that when they play Penn State Altoona, we’re going to pass perfectly and run our middle hitters down their throats,” he said. “We also are going to play scrappy defense and force our opponents into committing their own errors. We are going to work hard for every point and have a killer mentality.”

Peterman looks forward to bringing a new varsity sport to Penn State Altoona, and he looks forward to earning the respect of the campus community.

“I’m very excited to bring this sport to the campus, and I hope we fill the stands for every home match,” said Peterman. “Men’s volleyball is a great combination of speed, power, and excitement. I think the student population will love it and enjoy coming to our matches. I really hope that they will rally around our team and support us in this first season.”

The Lions open their season with home matches against Juniata College and Lancaster Bible College on Saturday, January 19 at 11:00 AM in the Adler Gym.

TAGS: men's volleyball