ERIE — Penn State Behrend’s men’s volleyball program is only six years old.
No matter. Seneca Valley graduate Anthony Sprentz wants to bury a record anyway.
A sophomore setter with the Lions, Sprentz has tallied 1,245 career assists already. This past season, he became the second player in the program’s brief history to ever reach 1,000.
The school’s previous assist record was 1,137, set by Evan Fullerton.
“We run a two-setter offense now, so Anthony’s been splitting time this year,” said Behrend coach Phil Pisano. “He got a ton of assists (846) as a freshman because he was our only setter.
“But he’s an outstanding player and he’ll continue to get more than his share, hopefully for four years.”
Which could send the record out of sight.
“That would be pretty cool, setting a record you know may become unreachable,” Sprentz admitted.
He said winning “needs to come first” and wins are starting to come to this program.
The Lions finished 13-13 this season. Behrend was 8-18 last year and has had only one winning season.
“We’ve lost to six nationally-ranked teams this year,” Sprentz said. “Our team is better than what our record shows.”
And Sprentz is not the only Seneca Valley graduate helping the program improve.
Tyler Herrmann is a 6-foot-1 sophomore outside hitter for the Lions. Sprentz and Herrmann have been volleyball teammates since junior high school.
Jake Gearhart and Jake Albert are freshmen outside hitters and Seneca Valley graduates as well.
“We’ve developed a pretty good pipeline there with Seneca Valley,” Pisano said. “That’s an outstanding high school program, one of the best in the state, and it’s important we maintain a positive relationship there.”
Sprentz said he doesn’t anticipate any seniors on this year’s Raider team coming to Behrend, “but I know there’s a junior libero on the team who is interested in coming here.”
Sprentz credits Herrmann with helping him get a number of his record assists.
“We know each other so well on the court,” he said. “I know how and where Tyler likes to receive the ball and he knows how to get into position for me to get the ball to him.
“A rapport like that only comes through repetition.”