Wildcat Men's Volleyball Team Ready to Open Under New Coach

Published 04.02.2003


Although the Pennsylvania College of Technology men's volleyball season may be short the Wildcats have only three April tournaments before the conference championships in early May first-year coach Patrick Brown hopes it is sweet.

"They definitely have some potential," Brown said of his team, which opens its season Saturday in a 10-team tourney at Penn State-Delaware. "We still need to work a little bit more on the fundamentals of passing and once they face competition I think they'll pull together as a team and really start playing well."

"Essentially, they're getting two months of practice and a month of play, but playing in tournaments is fun because you're testing yourself against a lot of different teams. Playing in a tournament is different than just playing a match here and there. It is a lot of play and it can be very draining," Brown continued. "It's amazing how much better a tournament can make you just by playing that many times in one day."

Starters will include sophomores Derick Shofkom, a 5-foot, 10-inch defensive specialist who graduated from Susquehanna High; Ryan Schultz, a 6-1 mid-hitter from Altoona; Jared Guiher, 5-11 outside hitter from Derry, and Scott Eichelberger, 5-10 outside hitter from Northern York. Freshmen starters are David Atkinson, 6-2 outside hitter from State College; Jordan Garrison, 6-3 mid-hitter from Cedar Crest; Justin Rigg, 5-10 outside hitter from Twin Valley, and Doug Politi, 6-3 setter from Bethlehem Freedom.

Brown played on a club team in Kansas and helped coach the women's club team at the University of Kansas before coming to Penn College.

"This is a new challenge, especially working with the men because men, in terms of playing and coaching, are a lot different than women, typically. It's much more of a power game, and my personal style is the smart play and the finesse play; so it's definitely kind of a unique thing," Brown said.

The Wildcats went 8-4 last year under coach Charlie Baum, losing in the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference semifinals and finishing third in the conference.