Meadville Tribune

Breaking News


January 15, 2014

Locals ready to shine as men’s volleyball takes to the court

MEADVILLE — In just three short seasons, the Thiel College men’s volleyball program went from a brand new entity to a contender in the Continental Volleyball Conference.

This year could wind up being something pretty special for the Tomcats, and a quartet of former Crawford County stars should play a pretty significant role.

The Tomcats feature four former area boys volleyball players, including senior Corey Hamilton, a Maplewood graduate, who has been with the squad since its inception. Cambridge Springs graduate John Turner and Meadville graduate Ian Phillips are also back for Thiel. Cochranton graduate Nate Roche is a freshman on this year’s squad.

It’s the experience of players like Hamilton, Turner and Phillips that has head coach Steve Brewer singing praises. Thiel’s season begins Sunday with a pair of matches. They face Lakeland College at 11 a.m. and Hilbert College at 3 p.m.

“Our strengths are experience, talent, athleticism and how well the guys get along with one another,” Brewer said. “We have a well-balanced, well rounded team. We are good at everything and outstanding at some things. There’s really nothing we don’t do well.”

Thiel won 10 of its final 13 matches last season to earn the third and final seed in the East Division of the CVC championship tournament. The Tomcats wound up finishing 20-12 overall, beating the likes of No. 11 Stevenson University and No. 3 Juniata College along the way.

Hamilton played a big part in that success. The setter tallied 567 assists, 94 digs and eight service aces, while fellow setter Charlie Tindall finished with 632 assists.

Turner played in 92 of Thiel’s 115 sets last season and ranked third on the team in kills (213) and seventh in the CVC with a .315 hitting percentage. He will compete to start at opposite hitter this season.

Phillips, meanwhile, will compete with Colin Vitale at the libero position. Phillips led Thiel with 254 digs last season, averaging 2.65 per set, which ranked fifth in the CVC.

Thiel isn’t the only men’s volleyball team looking for success from former county greats this season.

Penn State Behrend’s roster features Cochranton graduates Ty Sheehan and Josh Oertly. The Lions finished the 2013 season at 15-15 overall and 4-7 in the United Volleyball Conference.

The United Volleyball Conference features seven of the top 15 teams in the country according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s preseason poll.

“Our schedule will be very challenging once again,” said Penn State Behrend head coach Phil Pisano. “We return many of our top players from last season, and should be much closer to the established programs in terms of the experience level we have on the court.”

Sheehan was voted the team’s most valuable player last season and returns with the hopes of staying injury-free in 2014.

“He’s been a primary passer, strong defender, and productive offensive player for us since stepping onto campus,” Pisano said. “He’s had injuries the past two seasons which have cost him some matches, but we’re all hoping Ty will be on the court for us all season this (year).”

Oertly is also expected to return to the starting lineup for the Lions after a strong freshman season at middle hitter.

Behrend’s season begins on Saturday at home with matches against Lancaster Bible (noon) and Lakeland College (4 p.m.).

Thiel is in its fourth season as a varsity sport. This is Penn State Behrend’s third season. Penn State Altoona also adopted a team and is in its second season. Pisano hopes the continued progress of all three of those squads might entice other colleges to follow suit.

“Pennsylvania is an excellent state for boys high school volleyball, so hopefully we’ll see more colleges consider adding a men’s volleyball team in the near future.”

Another, more established program a bit further down the road, features a host of local products as well. In Loretto, Division I St. Francis University (Pa.) has a roster that bears Saegertown graduates Connor Shorts and Kyle Beatty and Meadville graduate Adam Barba. Maplewood graduate Nick Bancroft and Cochranton grad Adam Roche are assistant coaches for the Red Flash.

St. Francis was 12-15 overall and 7-7 in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association in 2013. The Red Flash open the season on Friday at home against Ball State at 7 p.m.

Mark your calendars

Here are a few dates local volleyball fans will want to circle on their calendars:

  • Feb. 1, St. Francis University at Penn State University, 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 12, Penn State Behrend at Thiel College, 7 p.m.
  • April 1, Thiel College at Penn State Behrend, 7 p.m.
  • April 12, Thiel College hosts the Continental Volleyball Conference Tournament, TBA; Penn State University at St. Francis University, 2 p.m.

Text Only
  • LeBron James says he’s returning to Cavaliers

    LeBron James is returning home to Ohio, reversing the decision he made four years ago that led to two NBA titles in Miami and crushed Cleveland Cavalier fans.

    July 11, 2014

  • Lake-Linesville Lake/Linesville makes statement in win

    If the 9 & 10 Year Old District 1 baseball bracket was a story, then the Conneaut Lake/Linesville All-Stars finished it off with an exclamation point Wednesday at the Crawford County Fairgrounds Fields.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • McLane upends Cochranton in extras

    After two days of tense, heartpounding softball action, the first championship contender in the District 1 9 & 10 Year Old softball tournament has been determined.

    July 10, 2014

  • Mahoney-Caldwell FCVA punches ticket to District 1 final

    The French Creek Valley American 9 & 10 Year Old Baseball All-Stars have spent a whole lot of time at the Crawford County Fairgrounds Fields the past couple days.
    Yet, it seems to have been worth it as FCVA advanced to today’s District 1 championship game after defeating Meadville 26-8 on Tuesday.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wong's walkoff homer gives Cards win

    Rookie Kolten Wong gave the St. Louis Cardinals their second straight game-winning ninth-inning home run, connecting off Ernesto Frieri with two outs for a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

    July 8, 2014

  • cards celebration Cardinals hold off McLane for D-1 crown

    The tension was palpable all around the baseball diamond as the McLane Little League All-Stars had the tying and go-ahead runs threatening from scoring position with just one out in the top of the sixth.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • NASCAR made right call to pull plug at Daytona

    When the sky opened for a third time during the rain-rescheduled race at Daytona, and teams pulled out car covers to wait out the weather, it seemed the right time for NASCAR to put the Coke Zero 400 out of its misery.

    July 7, 2014

  • Bulldogs rejoin PIHL after four-year hiatus

    In “Back to the Future,” Marty McFly had to get his parents together after accidentally interrupting their first meeting. In the end, McFly united his parents and returned to where he belonged.
    Meadville hockey head coach Jamie Plunkett confirmed Thursday that the Meadville Bulldog hockey program was returning to where it belonged: the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League — where it won eight state titles.

    July 3, 2014

  • Cochranton pitching duo perfect in shutout of McLane

    The fire-balling Freyermuth kid was pure dominant against General McLane on Thursday night.
    Overpowering the McLane batters with a glove-popping fastball, Curtis Freyermuth threw 4 2/3 innings of perfect baseball and relief pitcher Ian Haynes retired the final four batters as Cochranton’s nasty 1-2 pitching duo combined on a 6-0 perfecto in the District 1 Little League winner’s bracket final at Cochranton High School.

    July 3, 2014

  • Out at home McLane topples Vernon in 9 & 10 baseball

    When Meadville Area Youth Baseball and Softball officials made the decision to install lights on Field 4 at Fairgrounds Fields several years back, they did so with a couple of intentions. One of them was to give youth an experience they won’t forget.
    It has wound up being something area 9-10 Year Old All-Stars look forward to each and every year. Albeit, it can be awfully intimidating.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Mass. Mayor: Families Lost Everything in Fire Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup'

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that the government cannot require certain employers to provide insurance coverage for birth control if that conflicts with the employer’s religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby, owned by an evangelical Christian family, brought the legal challenge. How does this affect your patronage of a business like Hobby Lobby?

I praise their beliefs and will continue to support them.
I’m against this and will no longer support these companies.
This doesn’t change anything in my eyes.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide