By Rob Wheary, Staff Writer
TOWER CITY — For Landon Bordner, the thought of playing college athletics was something that truly appealed to him. A chance to do something never done before is even more attractive.
Bordner signed a letter of intent on March 30 to play men’s volleyball for Wilkes University for its first season as an organized program under the NCAA Division III banner.
“Volleyball is something that I’ve always enjoyed the team aspect of and I’m very excited that we are going to be the pioneers of this sport at the school,” Bordner said.
It was Bordner’s choice to attend Wilkes University, where he plans to major in Pharmacy studies, and then explored the volleyball program.
“Wilkes is a small school like Williams Valley and I just enjoyed it there,” Bordner said as he signed his letter of intent to play volleyball. As a Williams Valley Viking, Bordner was part of the school’s football and basketball programs.
Wilkes announced in August 2015 they were expanding their varsity sports schedule to include men’s volleyball, increasing the number of teams to 21 — 11 men and 10 women’s sports.
“We believe adding a men’s volleyball team enhances the student experience and allows student athletes the option of enrolling in one of Wilkes’ excellent academic programs and competing at the collegiate level in the sport they enjoy,” Paul Adams, vice president of university affairs, said in a press release.
Current women’s volleyball head coach Joseph Czopek will assume the position for the men’s squad as well and has begun recruiting athletes.
What made Bordner’s signing to the program that much more satisfying for him is that Williams Valley or any surrounding schools do not have men’s volleyball programs. In fact, Bordner doesn’t have any experience playing organized volleyball.
That didn’t deter him, though.
“Once I saw it, I wanted to learn the sport and found that I had a talent for it, so with the help of my coaches and the athletic department, I went for it, Bordner said.
Bordner said that in talks with the coach, he sees himself in the back row, going after the deep balls hit back there.