It's a new chapter in Alderson-Broaddus athletics. The new men's volleyball team is not only the first of its kind at the school, but it is also the first of its kind in the state of West Virginia.
"We're really excited to bring volleyball to West Virginia," said Alderson-Broaddus Men's Volleyball Coach Michael Crane. "West Virginia, Michigan, there are a few other state that don't offer men's volleyball in high school or college, and we'd like to be the reason high school team's start."
Crane was coaching at a high school and community college in Michigan two years ago. Fast forward and Crane has built a team in, of all places, Philippi, West Virginia.
The 18-man squad is built from the ground up with freshman, representing 12 states and three different countries.
"They make some silly mistakes, but they make some impressive plays too," said Coach Crane.
"There's a lot of good talent out there," said Freshman Libero Travis Vincenzini. "We're a young team and we're going to improve a lot of the next few years."
A year ago Vincenzini, a California native, never imaged he'd still be playing volleyball.
"My last year of club I started going around, and I got into it a lot," Vincenzini said. "I started looking around at colleges, and actually Michael Crane emailed me one day. I came out here to see the campus, loved the campus, so it was a good fit for me."
Now Vincenzini finds himself a co-captain of the Battlers.
"Our team has been very good about taking our leadership role well and not just being our peers. It's, I guess, a new experience because it's different kind of leadership," said Vincenzini.
A-B showcased the team at home for the first time during the Blue-Gold Match on Nov. 29.
The team will compete this season as an independent, proving that volleyball isn't just for girls.
"Men's volleyball is huge verticals, fast speed, a lot of power behind every swing, a lot of moments when fans should be standing up and cheering," said Coach Crane.
The Battler's season will continue in January. The team's home opener has yet to be determined.