By Megan Miller
What happens when you spend as much time in the as you do in your own home? You develop superior skills and gain respect. For Sarah Wozniak, 17, of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, playing volleyball is part of her daily routine. Wozniak hopes all of her dedication will earn her a spot on a collegiate team this fall.
Her devotion to the spot has led her to tow FCCA All Country Honors during her Junior and Senior years, a position as a captain during the 2015-2016 season at her high school, and over 10 tournament wins throughout the Ohio Valley Region. She has also been named to the All Section team twice during her high school career and has earned four varsity letters.
“Off-season” is not a word in Wozniak’s vocabulary. In the summer, she works out with her high school’s team and participates in the Uniontown YMCA’s summer volleyball league. From August through October, she plays for her high school as a starting varsity middle hitter. In the winter, Wozniak is a member of an elite regional travel team at Penn Highlands Volleyball Club. “I don’t really have a favorite team or favorite season,” she admitted, “it’s more about being the best player for the team you’re on at the time. High schoool challenges me to be more of a leader, but at Penn Highlands you have to work harder to earn your place on the team. Skill matters as much as attitude does.”
Recently, she has decided to look at Volleyball from a new perspective— as a coach. “I’m really glad I have the opportunity to teach younger girls to love volleyball as much as I do,” she said. According to Uniontown High School’s athletic director, Mr. Aaron Scott, ” Sarah is responsilbe and knowledgeable about the sport.” He assured the coaches of the middle school team is his school district that Wozniak would be an asset to their program. She assists with their team for 4 days every week. On Fridays, she volunteers her time to Penn Highlands Volleyball Club as the head coach of one of their youth teams. The girls she coaches are age 6 to age 13. “They all have so much potential and I’m excited to see how the seasons end up,” Wozniak said of both of her teams.
In addition to coaching and traveling with her team at Penn Highlands, Wozniak also participates in track and field events on her school’s team, attends weightlifting at NLAD gym in Uniontown multiple times per week, and is taking 5 AP classes during her senior year. “My schedule is stressful,” she admitted, “but giving something up just isn’t an option.”