Slippery Rock’s Women’s Volleyball 2014 season left and took some familiar faces with it, but with the 2015 season quickly approaching some new faces are appearing on the roster and some of them have the credentials that could lead the team to a promising future.
Slippery Rock gained two sophomore transfer students this season who made a mark on the court at their respective schools.
Courtney Oberlander, a defensive specialist from Seton Hill University, and Brooke Bostwick, a middle hitter from Roanoke College, are very similar on the court as they both played as freshmen and are very passionate about their sport, but they both have a different story on how they got here.
Oberlander attended Fort Lebouf High School(Waterford, PA), which is about an hour and a half away from the university. In high school she was a 4-time letter earner, all-district, all-region, all-state, and the 2012 Region 5 Player of the Year that lead her team to a state championship. Those accolades led her to an opportunity to continue her athletic career at Seton Hill University where she started in 5 of the the 38 matches she played in.
She contributed to SHU’s 2nd place ranking in the PSAC West with 322 digs, second highest on the team, but could never find her happiness there. That is when she turned to Slippery Rock without any intent of playing volleyball.
Oberlander said volleyball was not her main concern, being happy was. They were just two very different schools. She loves how big the campus is and it was closer to home so SRU just became a fit for her. Volleyball was not an option, but when the opportunity came she said it was worth it.
“I didn’t know if I wanted to play volleyball yet,” said Oberlander. “I’m glad I did.”
She is fitting right in with the team. She said she loves the bond that they have and appreciates the effort of her new coach to focus on defensive skill. Her last coach was not helping her progress as much as Coach Lokash has been. Oberlander really just wants to give back what was put into her. She said that she brings the intensity and communication that her coach is looking for from the team.
Bostwick on the other hand, came to The Rock with the opposite approach. Coming from Auburn High School (VA), she knew nothing but volleyball when she came to Slippery Rock.
In high school she dominated the volleyball court leading her team to two state championships and receiving state and conference player of the year honors in 2013. From there, she went on to Roanoke College (VA) where she led her team with 74 blocks and 253 kills. Her conference recognized her talents and awarded her with second team all-conference honors and the conference rookie of the year, but she sought out for more.
Bostwick came to Slippery Rock with the mindset that she wanted to compete at a higher level than where she was. She came to SRU knowing nothing more than it was a division up from where she played prior to. In fact, the first and only time she got to see the area was when she got here and is still unfamiliar with the area, but she is making the most of it.
“Transferring is a weird process,” said Bostwick. “It’s one of those things when the opportunity comes just have to take it.”
She says everything is almost foreign to her. She speaks with an accent compared to everyone else and compared to the farm she grew up on the cities around her look a lot different, but it does not stop her game. She said she just finds a way to adjust.
Slippery Rock was meant to be be for her, Bostwick said. She loves the team, the coaches, and the atmosphere.
She said she needed to have early morning workouts before class and off season preparation to get the feeling that she was working hard and giving her all to be the best that she can possibly be for this team. Though she is still getting adjusted and the team still has some aspects of their game they need to get better at, she sees them having a promising future.
Coach Lokash could not be happier with these two ladies and see promising futures in both of them. She spoke highly of Oberlander’s ability and said that she was one of the best defensive specialist they have right now. She does not think it hurts that she is also familiar with the league. She feels has great potential. She is raw, but fixes any correction thrown at her immediately she said. She is really waiting for the season to see how they really fit in because it is more than ability for this team.
“It’s not all about skill level,” said Lokash. “It’s about cohesiveness as a group.”