With only two games left in their regular season schedule, the Men’s Volleyball team has their sights set on the United Volleyball Conference (UVC) Championships next week.
Coming off of a four-match winning streak and tournament win at the York College Classic on March 11 and 12, the Hawks are hoping they can continue their winning streak and bring home a championship.
“We want to win. That’s what we practice for,” Assistant Coach Ryan Huberty said. “We have the easiest road to the championships in theory and on paper. It’s just putting that into practice. It depends on the team coming to play or not.”
At the York College Classic, the Hawks went 4-0 and were the only team to do so at the event. Third-year defensive specialist Michael Dauernheim was named the tournament’s MVP.
Huberty said the Hawks, who are currently 16-10, have had an “up and down” season, but are optimistic with their chances of surprising at the UVC Championships. Currently in third in the UVC’s Eastern Division, the Hawks will finish their season against Baruch College, Philadelphia Biblical College and University of New Haven.
Head Coach Radu Petrus said the team has been focusing on improving themselves in preparation for the championships. He said that he wants the team to improve on all aspects of their game.
“If we improve our defense, we can then begin to work on our offense,” Petrus said. “It’s a lot of technical things, we are working on being better at receiving.”
The Hawks are entering the UVC Championships as the No. 7 seed, which according to Petrus means the team has a good chance at making the final.
Petrus said that in the playoffs, teams are split into two groups and the Hawks will open the championships against No. 2 seeded Medaille College. Petrus was confident in the Hawk’s ability to beat Medaille and further their chances in the tournament.
“We’ve played a lot of games against Medaille,” Petrus said. “We even beat once…and they beat us at Vassar. I think it’s our turn.”
Huberty said that being the No.7 seed has given the Hawks an underdog mentality, which he believes the team will thrive from. Huberty said that while the team is a mix of different personalities and styles of play, the team tends to perform better against higher-ranked teams.
As for the keys to coming home victorious, Petrus believes a simple approach would be the best one.
“Our serves and defense are the keys to winning,” Petrus said. “If you have a chance to play the ball you have a chance to win.”