As of this year, Men’s Volleyball is a new varsity sport on campus. They have a decent sized team of many freshman, and the team is lead by head coach, Mark Lau.
In an interview last year with Lau, he said he wants to “Go a little thin” when he starts recruiting. His goal was to have 14 players total with about 85% being freshman. A year later, He was pretty close to his goal.
“This recruiting process was fantastic,” Lau said. “You get to evaluate talent, as well as character.” Lau brought in 12 new players, whom are all freshman. He also converted one club player, junior Anthony Acitelli.
“I switched because I love the sport and wanted to play more often,” said Acitelli. “Being the only junior is an interesting experience, but not in a bad way at all.
Lau aimed for the new class because he wanted to respect the club team.
“It’s not fair if I came in and gutted the club team, but I plan to open it up to anyone who wants to come check it out.”
Having a very young team is a big positive and negative.
“We will make freshman mistakes,” Lau said. “But that’s okay. It’s a learning process that we’ll do together.”
Lau continued, “I care about winning now, but I care more about the boys learning.”
Acitelli wasn’t worried about the problem of having a younger team either.
“We won’t have a disadvantage because Coach Lau is a smart coach,”Acitelli said. “He has recruited people who know how to play and can work together.”
Both Lau’s and Acitelli’s goals are to help the team grow.
“There’s no syllabus for sports,” Lau said. “They have to pick it up on their own, which is why I want to get them into the gym and start practicing as early as possible.”
Lau added, “I want them to find themselves; I want them to know what makes them shine and build upon that. We have to understand that we aren’t all 7 ft tall with 40 in. verticals.”
Men’s Volleyball is a very young team who are going to be looking at Lau and Acitelli for guidance.
Acitelli said, “The main goal for the team is to win and enjoy our time on the court. I plan to help the team in any way that I can to accomplish that goal.”
The team will kick off their season on January 12.