LOCK HAVEN – Senior Jess Scordino has been named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week after winning the field at Lehigh University's Paul Short Run on Saturday.
It marks the second time this season that Scordino has been selected to PSAC Athlete of the Week honors.
Scordino became the first Mountaineer to win the prestigious Paul Short Run to lead the Mansfield women to a best-ever eighth place finish at the event. Her time of 21:13 was 11 seconds faster than the second place finisher. The senior has finished first in back-to-back races after winning the field at the Lock Haven University Invitational two weeks ago.
Saturday's field consisted of 45 teams, including 15 Division I programs, with 365 total runners. As a team, the Mountaineers defeated seven Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) teams including No. 20 California (Pa.)
Sasha Zavadska '13 to Play in Slovakia's Premier Volleyball League
Elmira, NY -- Recent Elmira College graduate, Sasha Zavadska '13, has signed on to play professional volleyball overseas in Slovakia. Zavadska, Elmira's second all-time leader in career kills and third all-time leader in digs, will be playing this year for MSK VK OKTAN Kezmarok of the Women's Extraliga League, Slovakia's premier women's volleyball league.
Zavadska played an integral role in the success of the Elmira College women's volleyball team over the last four seasons. She guided the Soaring Eagles to three straight 20-plus win seasons, an accomplishment that had not been completed in over 10 years. She also led the Purple and Gold to two Empire 8 Championship runner-up finishes, four straight appearances in the ECAC championship match, and brought home one ECAC title. Her play on the court garnered multiple awards including AVCA All-American honors, AVCA All-Region honors, Empire 8 All-Conference honors, and the 2011 Empire 8 Player of the Year award.
Despite all of the success and honors Zavadska received during her time with the Purple and Gold, she was not satisfied with having her playing career end upon commencement. Instead, during her junior year at Elmira, she made the decision to pursue a dream she has had since she was nine years old – to play professional volleyball.
Although professional volleyball was always on the radar, Zavadska credits her time at Elmira College to her realization of her true passion for the game. "I came in to college just looking to play four more years of volleyball, but during my time at EC I found my love for volleyball" said Zavadska. "Working through the years, I learned so much from [Coach England] and [Coach Faunce]. They always told me that I was good, but that I had to keep working harder so that good things could happen. They taught me so much, not just about volleyball, but about life too."
After commencement in June, Zavadska began training to achieve her goal, hitting the weight room and practicing in hopes of landing a spot on a professional team. However, a late start in the process almost derailed her from continuing her volleyball career.
"The professional teams have a tryout period, but I missed the tryouts because of when I started the process" stated Zavadska. "I was in contact with a couple of the coaches I knew from long ago and they told me to be ready for when the call came. I stayed in shape and kept practicing and they finally called me to come to practice. I went to four practices and played in one tournament with the team that weekend." Following the tournament, Zavadska was informed she had completed her life-long goal as she had been selected to play with the team as a full member.
Upon hearing of Zavadska's new role, Coach Rhonda Faunce had nothing but praise for her recently departed star. "I am overjoyed that Sasha can continue to play the sport she loves post-college. It's an amazing opportunity that many women before her have not had and I feel she is paving the way for future players to fulfill their dreams. I expect nothing but great success for her. She is the most talented player I have had the opportunity to coach and certainly has the skill set to play with the best."
With her professional career already underway, Zavadska will get to use all that she learned at EC. Last weekend, she participated in her first professional regular season match, helping her team to a 3-1 upset win over last year's third place team. Although her chance came late in the process, there was no way Zavadska was going to pass up an opportunity to play professionally.
"I'm only 23 years old, grad school can wait, it isn't going anywhere" said Zavadska. "If I had a chance to play professional volleyball, it was a chance I had to take. I get to do what I love, I get some money for it, I get to meet great people, and I get to travel. It's a great experience."