St. Francis men’s volleyball squad chosen for Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association conference
Second-year program will become ninth member of conference
The St. Francis Brooklyn men’s volleyball team saw its inaugural season cut short by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic two months ago.
Despite playing just 15 matches, the Terriers were competitive throughout the campaign and were rewarded for their efforts as an up-and-coming program on Thursday when the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association granted them entry into their conference.
“On behalf of St. Francis College Brooklyn, we would like to extend our gratitude to Commissioner Russ Yurk and the EIVA for seeing our vision and accepting us into their prestigious conference,” SFC Director of Athletics Irma Garcia said.
“We are extremely passionate about the sport of men’s volleyball, and we look forward to competing at the highest level and continuing to grow the game nationally and be a part of the EIVA family.”
That family will have a ninth member in 2022, when SFC will join Charleston, George Mason, Harvard, NJIT, Penn State, Princeton, Sacred Heart and Saint Francis of Pennsylvania.
The Terriers, who were voted in unanimously by the EIVA members, finished 5-10 after having their March 14 match at NYU cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, costing them their final nine scheduled matches.
SFC, coached by former Terriers women’s assistant Niko Lambert, posted the first win in program history on Jan. 18 against visiting Baruch at Brooklyn Heights’ Genovesi Center.
The Terriers also got a taste of their future competitors, going winless in their first-ever encounters with EIVA members Sacred Heart, NJIT, Harvard and St. Francis (Pa.) while picking up victories over non-conference foes from Elms, NJCU, St. Joseph’s (Long Island) and Urbana.
“I am incredibly excited that St. Francis College Brooklyn has been accepted into the EIVA. It’s a tremendous honor to be able to join such a prestigious conference that has built a great legacy of men’s volleyball on the East Coast,” said Lambert.
“I am looking forward to working with such a remarkable group of coaches and fellow institutions as we collectively grow the game on the national level,” Lambert continued. “I know the entire Terrier volleyball family is thrilled at the prospect of being the ninth member of the EIVA, and we can’t wait to get back to work.”
SFC will return several standout players whenever play resumes.
Of the 11 founding members of the squad, eight were freshmen, two were juniors and the team only had one senior. Freshman middle blocker James Henneberry was selected to the Off the Block Frisco Mo 2020 All-Independent Team for his play this season. He also claimed the Terriers’ team MVP award.
Fellow first-year outside hitter Johnny Ferraro was selected to USA Volleyball’s 2020 Beach Collegiate National Team in late April and junior outside hitter Michael Basile took home the team Coaches Award this year.
“We are thrilled to welcome St. Francis Brooklyn to the EIVA family,” EIVA Commissioner Russ Yurk said.
“Athletic Director Irma Garcia and her team are incredibly passionate and have exciting plans for the future, which will make the Terriers a great addition to the EIVA and the entire NCAA men’s volleyball community,” he added.
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