Originally published on October 28, 2010.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is proud to congratulate Coach Eric Gerko and players Lauren Brant and Kelsey Poborski on their stellar achievements this season. Coach Eric Gerko, a Richland High School Graduate and Juniata College Alum, has been named Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference (WPCC) Coach of the Year. Lauren Brant, a Richland High School Graduate, and Kelsey Poborski, a Conemaugh Valley Graduate, have been named to the All-Conference Team for the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference (WPCC), which participates in Region XX of the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Lauren Brant led the team with 101 kills, 101 digs, 30 service aces, 21 solo blocks, 11 assists, and 4 assisted blocks in 40 games played. Kelsey Poborski contributed 66 kills, 67 digs, 12 service aces, 5 assisted blocks, 4 solo blocks, and 3 assists in 26 games played. Kelsey was a force to be reckoned with until an ankle injury sidelined her for 3 matches. During Kelsey’s absence, Lauren Brant rose to the occasion and propelled the Lady Black Bears to the fourth seed of the WPCC Tournament in Pennsylvania Highland’s inaugural season.
In the first round of the WPCC Tournament, The Lady Black Bears of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College easily defeated the Titans of the Community College of Beaver County in three straight games: 25-17, 25-8, and 25-13. Pennsylvania Highlands then faced number one seeded Butler County Community College Pioneers in the semi-finals, who were the pre-season ninth ranked team in the nation in NJCAA Division III Volleyball. After an intense match, the Lady Pioneers defeated the Pennsylvania Highlands Lady Black Bears in three straight games: 20-25, 8-25, and 14-25, en route to the conference championship where they defeated Potomac State College of West Virginia.
The Lady Black Bears, in just their first season, finished conference play with a 6-6 record, tied with Westmoreland County Community College for third place, but ended up ahead of them because of games won (4-3) and in head-to-head points (160-133).
The Lady Black Bears featured players from Bishop McCort, Conemaugh Valley, Forest Hills, Northern Cambria, and Richland high schools. Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is proud to offer student-athletes the ability to continue playing volleyball at the collegiate level.