Heading into their second year as a program, and playing their first full year with a conference schedule in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, the Terrier men's volleyball team will look to continue to build on a solid foundation as they begin the 2019 season.
In his third official year with the program, head coach Kyle Mars returns nine letterwinners to a team that captured six victories a season ago. The Terriers see eight sophomores and one senior return to the fray after getting their first taste of collegiate competition in 2018.
In the front row, Hiram returns four outside hitters, led by AMCC Newcomer of the Year, and First-Team selection, Alex Andrzejewski. Last season, Alex burst on to the AMCC scene, as just one of three players in the conference to total at least 250 kills. The then freshman totaled 284 kills while averaging 2.84 per set, both of which led all first-year players.
Throughout the year, Andrzejewski posted double-digit kills 12 times, and tallied a season-best 20 in a match with Nationally-ranked Elmira.
Along with Andrzejwski, Hiram also returns sophomores Cory Fischer, Justin English and Hunter Rock. Fischer ranked second on the team in kills last season with 224 in 102 sets. English appeared in 57 sets while totaling 66 kills, while Rock saw time in 13 matches as a freshman.
In the middle, the duo of sophomores Cole Filer and Andrew Gard return for their second year. Gard led the team in attack percentage in 2018 (.233), totaling 118 kills. He also paced the Terriers with 47 total blocks, including 13 solo. Filer totaled 19 blocks in his freshman campaign, while putting together 42 kills and hitting .138.
In addition to the two letterwinners, freshman Dangelo Boehner will see significant time in the middle of the floor.
Named one of the three captains this season, along with Gard and Phelan, Lininger returns to the setter spot after a freshman campaign that saw him appear in nearly every set in 2018. Playing in 105 of the 106 possible last season, Lininger led the Terriers with 577 assists and ranked fourth on the roster in digs with 122. His 21 service aces were also a team best.
Throughout the 2019 season, the Terriers will play in 30 matches, with 13 being held in the friendly confines of Price Gymnasium. Hiram will open the year with back-to-back home tournaments, including the season tipoff tonight against Adrian College at 6 p.m.
The Terriers first official AMCC matchup will take place on February 9th as Hiram plays host to traditional NCAC foe, Wittenberg University, who were selected as the AMCC's preseason favorites. Other AMCC home games include Penn State – Altoona (March 16), D'Youville (March 30) and Medaille (March 30), with their remaining 10 AMCC matchups coming on the road or a neutral sites.