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Juniata women's volleyball announces seven commitments for 2011 season

(Posted May 19, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College has received commitments from seven young women's who will continue their education at Juniata while competing as members of the two-time NCAA Division III national champion women's volleyball team.

The seven newest members of the Juniata women's volleyball are, in alphabetical order, Stephanie Dodson (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area), Amelia Kepler (Kane, Pa./Kane Area), Kelci Scannapieco (York, Pa./Eastern York), Catherine Scholl (Austin, Texas/St. Michael's Catholic), Christine Sumner (Dublin, Ohio/Bishop Watterson), Rachel Szeyller (Santa Ynez, Calif./Santa Ynez Valley Union), and Brittani Young (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield Area).

"I believe this incoming class has a very nice blend of size, athletic ability, quickness, and maturity," said Juniata head coach Heather Pavlik. "We addressed some positional needs and rounded out an already-competitive roster with not only great athletes, but some great students as well and future Juniata community leaders."

Stephanie Dodson, a 5-4 defensive specialist and libero, is a two-time First-Team All-State selection in the AAA division. She is also a three year First-Team All-District 6 honoree and a three year Independent Volleyball League All-Conference Team selection. She has served as captain for the 2009 and 2010 Altoona teams, and holds the all-time career digs record (1877) at Altoona High. Also on her resume is a distinguished career with Altoona Juniors Volleyball Club. Stephanie is the daughter of Bernie and Michelle Dodson and will be pursuing a degree in biology at Juniata.

"Stephanie is a wonderful athlete whose speed and explosiveness will be an immediate asset for us defensively," stated Pavlik. "She has also become a very good passer over the last couple of years. What has always impressed me the most is the passion and intensity with which she plays the game. Because of these qualities, she is a perfect fit for this program."

Amelia Kepler, a 6-0 hitter, has been a three-time District 9 All-Star and in 2009 was named the District 9 Player of the Year. That same year she was named to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association (PVCA) All-State team. She is also an accomplished track athlete; in 2009, she finished second in the District 9 high jump championships and was a state qualifier that same year. Also on her resume is a distinguished career with the JAVA Volleyball Club. Amelia is the daughter of Jeff and Jane Kepler and will be pursuing a degree in chemistry at Juniata.

"Amelia is a wonderful blend of athletic ability, length and intelligence. She has just barely begun to scratch the surface of her abilities which is very exciting for the future," said Pavlik. "She is the perfect fit for this institution and our program. Amelia's versatility will add tremendously to our team right from the start."

Kelci Scannapieco, a 6-0 middle hitter, was a an All-State and All-District selection in 2010 and well as an All-County honoree in both 2009 and 2010. She was named All-League and Player of the Year for the York-Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association in 2010 as well. On her resume is a distinguished career in basketball at Eastern York where she was a four year letter winner and was named All-County in 2010. Kelci is the daughter of Joe and Jodi Scannapieco and will be in Juniata's exploratory studies program to begin her freshman year.

"Kelci is a tremendously gifted all-around athlete who is just scratching the surface of her potential in volleyball. Her quickness, length and jumping ability will add to this team immediately. She has already been coached very well in high school and I am looking forward to expanding upon that development over the next four years," said Pavlik.

Catherine Scholl, a 5-11 opposite, was a First Team All-State and All-District Selection in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons as well as being named the MVP for the last two years. She was a Second Team All-District selection in 2008 and was also named a TAPPS All-Star in 2009. On her resume is a distinguished career with both the Austin Juniors and Austin Performance volleyball clubs. Catherine is the daughter of Peter and Mary Beth Scholl and will be exploratory in her major at Juniata.

"Cat has the gift of an enormously powerful arm and will certainly make an impact offensively for this team," said Pavlik. "She also blocks the ball well and has a background setting so it will be fun to watch her all around game be incorporated with the rest of the group"

Christine Sumner, a 6-2 middle hitter, has been named All-Conference the lasts two years and All-District in 2010. She is also an accomplished swimmer for Bishop Watterson as well. Also on her resume is a distinguished career with the Columbus Volleyball Academy which finished fifth at the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships in 2010. Christine is the daughter of Neal and Karen Sumner and will be pursuing a degree in biology at Juniata.

"Christine has been exposed to very good volleyball both through her high school career and with her club. This fact along with her natural ability and her high volleyball IQ will make her a force to be reckoned with right from the start," said Pavlik.

Rachel Szeyller, a 5-10 outside hitter, was named to the All Los-Padres League team in 2008 and 2009 and was named the Co-MVP of the league in 2010. She was also named First-Team All-Santa Barbara County in 2010. Her team won the Los Padres League Championship in each of the last three years with Rachel serving as their floor captain in 2010.

Rachel has also enjoyed a very accomplished career in track and field where she was a California Interscholastic Federation finalist in discus in 2010 and semi-finalist in 2009. She was also a CIF semi-finalist in both shot put and discus in 2008. Her personal record in the shot put is 34-1 and 116-0 in the discus. Also on her resume is a distinguished career with the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club. Rachel is the daughter of Edward and Joann Szeyller and is undecided in her major at Juniata.

"Rachel is a wonderful all around volleyball player and positive life force," said Pavlik. "I am impressed with her command of the game and her ability to positively affect those around her on each and every play. These skills will put her in a position to make an immediate impact in the gym."

Brittani Young, a 5-3 defensive specialist and libero, is a 2010 All-State selection and a two-time District 3 All-Star earning second team honors in 2009 and first team honors in 2010. She has also been named to the Section I All-Stars for three consecutive years. Brittani's 2010 Hempfield squad is the AAA state champions and she was named the Defensive MVP for the championship. Also on her resume is a distinguished career with Yorktowne Volleyball Club. Brittani is the daughter of Tony and Barb Young and will be pursuing a degree in biology at Juniata.

"Brittani is a wonderful blend of athletic ability and ball control. She is an assertive and gritty player who will bring a confidence to the court due to her experience playing in big matches. Her passing and defense will immediately make an impact in the gym," said Pavlik.

The Eagles are led by Heather Pavlik, former three-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American setter and longtime Juniata associate head coach, who is in her first year as head coach after taking the reigns of the program from former head coach Larry Bock in January 2011. Since joining the Juniata staff as an assistant coach in 1996, the Eagles have posted a record of 493 wins against only 63 losses.

As Bock's top assistant, Pavlik helped lead Juniata to NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball national titles in both 2004 and 2006 - part of Juniata's amazing run of 30 consecutive conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances, 25 appearances in the national semifinals, and eight appearances in the national championship match.

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