Men's club volleyball among the nation's best

The men's club volleyball team is currently putting together quite a season. Despite a modest 10-7 overall record, the team is currently ranked 16th in the nation thanks to some strong tournament play.

The 14-man team plays tournaments every Saturday in the spring, which all lead up to a national tournament in mid-April. The three-day tournament will be held in Louisville, Ky. this season and the players cannot wait. "We are in the best shape we've ever been and are strong in every position all the way around," said junior and co-captain Carl Widmer. "I look forward to placing in the top 10 this year." The team finished 18th out of over 300 club teams at last season's tournament, and have placed consecutively higher for the last several years.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the team's success is the fact that they have never had a coach and everything is run by the players themselves. Senior Paul Schneeberger, the president of the team, handles everything from scheduling and running practices to buying plane tickets for the national tournament. Being a club team, men's volleyball does not get the same recognition as the varsity teams, and they even have trouble getting time to practice in the gyms.

"It makes it difficult to get in as much practice time as we would like," said Widmer. "No complaints though, we have been successful regardless of the lack of recognition from the school."

Schneeberger doesn't see Geneseo getting a varsity volleyball team in the near future, simply because there are few Division III volleyball programs in the area, and only club teams at the other SUNY schools. "I do feel like we could compete at the D-III level," Schneeberger said. However, "It's not that bad participating [in] the large club competition we are in," added Widmer. "We are considered one of the best teams around within our league."

Several of the team members have been playing volleyball their entire time here at Geneseo, and they're perfectly content with competing at the club level. For the time being, they'll just play as hard as they can every weekend, eagerly awaiting the national tournament. The team also has the New York State tournament coming up at the end of March, one of the last major challenges before Louisville.