It was announced in July of 2017 that Elizabethtown College would be starting a men’s volleyball program along with the woman’s. This past week, the team had their first meeting as they try to recruit players for the upcoming 2018-19 season. This will be Elizabethtown’s 24th Division III sport.
Elizabethtown College will now be giving more students an opportunity to play in college. In a previous interview on the Elizabethtown College website, President Carl J. Strikwerda said that, “The College is pleased to expand the opportunities for our students to compete in varsity sports by offering men’s volleyball and enjoy the full benefits of our scholar-athlete model.”
Amy Frasch, a former swimmer at Elizabethtown College, really likes the idea of DIII athletes. She mentions the importance of making friends and also adding that, “Being involved in sports helped me stay focused and on top of things.”
The team will be coached by Alex Hinsey. Hinsey is no stranger to volleyball and coaching. In his three years of coaching for Upper Saint Clair, he lead the girls team to a 46-12 record and numerous births into the state playoff berths. Getting the team there for the first time since 2007. He was also the boys varsity head coach at Steel Valley High School from 2013 to 2017. The team would win 35 games with Hinsey as their coach.
Elizabethtown has always had a club team, but Hinsey will be basically starting from scratch with this new job. “When I was in high school there weren’t as many opportunities to play college volleyball at the varsity level.” Hinsey thought the opportunity to start a new program from the ground up was a huge opportunity for him.
Compared to girls volleyball, there are not many options for boys to play volleyball at a varsity level. When ask about this, Hinsey said, “Most people see volleyball as a girls sport.” He also added that the sport of boys volleyball is a growing sport at the college level. Elizabethtown College will be the 102 Division III school to have a men’s volleyball team.
There are 90 different high schools throughout the state of Pennsylvania with high school volleyball teams. On the contrast, only 22 colleges in Pennsylvania offer a Men’s team. Only 2 of those colleges are a Division I school. That only gives 303 kids an opportunity to play men’s volleyball at the next level. Only 13.5 of those student could receive a scholarship.
Hinsey was in a similar situation when he took over another newly started high school team in the Pittsburgh area. Within the first two years of coaching that team, they won a league title. Coach Hinsey is looking for that same success in the coming years here at Elizabethtown.
“We want to compete. Wins and losses will take care of themselves. We want to be the best team we can be.”
Elizabethtown College will also be hosting a boys volleyball clinic in March for high school students. The camps main focus is to teach kids the basics of volleyball and improving their skills. It is also an opportunity to get kids to come to Elizabethtown and see how they like it.
Volleyball will hopefully be a fan favorite here on campus. Danielle Hudicka, a student at Elizabthown, played volleyball in high school and says it was a great sport to play. She says that, “It was a great hobby. Being able to be around a Buch on girls,” was her favorite part about playing.
The team will be joining the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) this coming year. The conference is expanding to 12 teams, adding 3 new schools this year. This conference includes schools such as Rutgers University-Newark, and Southern Virginia University.