ALBANY — Originally, Tyler Schnaible headed to Sage Colleges to join the school’s men’s volleyball team.
This year, he spent that season watching from the sidelines, but Schnaible — a Shenendehowa graduate — still has a healthy dose of volleyball in his life . . . as well as a couple other sports, too.
Schnaible began his volleyball career as a high school junior. In both his freshman and sophomore college years, though, he added golf and tennis to his schedule. This year, that proved to be too much to maintain.
“As a junior, you start to get more into the bulk of your major,” Schnaible said during one of his tennis team’s recent practices at Washington Park. “Balancing three sports, it was a lot.”
Needing to give up a sport, Schnaible chose the one — volleyball — that he could still be involved in away from college. The Shenedehowa graduate is passing on what he’s learned by helping to coach the JV and varsity teams at his alma mater, and he’s also coaching the Capital Sliders, a volleyball club with ties to the school.
Schnaible didn’t distance himself from Sage’s tight-knit volleyball team, either.
“That’s where I’ve made a lot of my close friends, and I still stay in contact with all of them,” Schnaible said.
By sacrificing playing volleyball, Schnaible has been able to give his schoolwork and other sports the attention they require.
“I feel like since I still played volleyball for the longest time, I still have a huge passion for it,” Schnaible said. “But I have fallen in love with golf and tennis lately.”
Despite being a relative beginner to both those sports, Schnaible has been a huge asset to those teams for Sage. Heading into this weekend’s final matches of the regular season, Schnaible led the tennis team with five singles wins and three doubles wins along with partner Henry Golden.
“I’m really hard on myself,” Schnaible said. “I always tend to forget that I only started two or three years ago. I’m trying to keep that in mind but also holding myself to the highest standard.”
Schnaible also credits his past sports experience with his success in golf and tennis.
“I grew up playing hockey, so maybe I have the swing a little bit for golf,” Schnaible said. “Tennis, probably from volleyball I’ve got a little bit of the hand-eye coordination and the touch.”
It’s been quite the journey that landed Schnaible at Sage College. Born on Long Island, his family moved first to Georgia and then to Canada before settling in the Capital Region. He’s also a dual citizen of Germany, his mother being native to the country.
But when it came time to choose a college, Schnaible decided not to go too far.
“Because I coach, and since I’ve moved around so much, I didn’t really feel like picking up and moving again,” Schnaible said. “It’s nice to be local, so that played a huge part, just being able to be with family and be close.”
It’s a choice he’s not regretting. His teams and coaches have become like a second family to him.
“You spend so much time with them, so it’s almost like you’ve got a couple siblings around you,” Schnaible said. “It’s such a special time being with these coaches and players.”
Schnaible hopes his success this year is just a precursor to his senior seasons.
“I’m looking forward to building on it,” Schnaible said. “Got one year left, so I hope I do some big things.”
Hanna Smith is an intern at The Daily Gazette. Smith is a student at Hudson Valley Community College.