Host Wildcats Top Seed in This Weekend's EPCC Volleyball Tournament
As far as Wes Strayer, coach of the Pennsylvania College of Technology men's volleyball team, is concerned, there is just one thing his players have to do to claim a league championship on Saturday: pick up their game a notch.
The Wildcats earned the top seed in the tourney they are hosting at Bardo Gym by going 14-1 during the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference regular season. In semifinal play, which begins at 10 a.m., Penn College (28-5 in league games) will square off against fourth-seeded Penn State Delaware (2-21) in a best-of-three game semifinal, while second-seeded Harrisburg Area Community College (27-8) goes against third-seeded Lehigh Carbon Community College (15-19). Semifinal winners then will meet in a best-of-five final.
"The big guys have to pick it up," Strayer said. "Kyle Flook (Cedar Cliff) has to have his decision-making down as far as running the offense, and I really need Dave Atkinson (State College), Phil Neiderer (New Oxford), Matt Staub (Millersville), Gregg Stoneham (Hunterdon, N.J.), Cody Umberger (Lower Dauphin) and Tom Holeva (Guys Mills) to pick it up."
Good defense and passing, along with Flook's decision-making on passes, have been the keys to success thus far for the Wildcats, who are 24-1 overall.
Now, it is as much mental as it is physical.
"It all depends on who can take who out of their game, and that's all mental," Strayer said, adding that the toughest foe for his team throughout the season has been Harrisburg.
"HACC has some very good players. It has some very good hitters. It's like that every time we play HACC. It depends on who can take who out of whose game first. Luckily, we've been able to do that most of the time and I hope we're able to do that on Saturday," he said.
Last spring, Penn College finished second to Delaware in the EPCC.