The dream of any collegiate athlete is to go down in the history books as one of the greatest their university has ever seen. For most this dream is only that: a dream. Slippery Rock women’s volleyball senior defensive specialist Courtney Oberlander is of a different mold after she turned her dream into a reality.
The Waterford, Pennsylvania native finished her senior season strong, a fitting end to an all-time great career, after setting the all-time single-season record of 665 digs. Oberlander finished with 1,904 digs at 5.61 digs per set, second and first respectively for each category in Slippery Rock history. Oberlander, while being one of the best defensive specialists in women’s collegiate volleyball, excelled in academics and was rewarded for her efforts by being named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team.
A 3.96 GPA in exercise science has helped Oberlander in being considered for CoSIDA Academic All-American status which will be announced on December 12th. Prospective student-athletes hoping to be selected for CoSIDA Academic All-District team must be considered a sophomore student academically, hold a GPA of at least 3.30, and have significant athletic achievements. The sport information directors from each district nominate and vote for the student-athletes they deem worthy.
“I never expected it to be like this coming in, even transferring in, I was just expecting to play and have fun,” Oberlander said. “I just keep working toward getting better each day.”
Back to back selections to the All-PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference), third team her junior year and second team her senior year, along with the aforementioned CoSIDA Academic All-District team have Oberlander as one of the most decorated players in Slippery Rock women’s volleyball history.
Oberlander, originally a transfer student from Lock Haven University, played in all 35 matches her sophomore year. She played in all 32 matches her junior year and along with all 30 matches in her senior year; Oberlander missed only four of the possible 344 sets in her Slippery Rock career. Her standout senior season concluded with Oberlander finishing second in the PSAC in digs per set and fourth in the PSAC in total digs, fourteenth and eleventh respectively in Division II volleyball.
Moving forward, Oberlander plans on attending graduate school to become a PA (physician’s assistant) and is not really looking at coaching but wants to stay involved with the sport of volleyball recreationally.
“Coaching does not interest me right now, I have plans to go to a PA school after I graduate,” Oberlander said. “but, I’m still going to play beach volleyball during the summer, pick up leagues during the year, because I don’t want [volleyball] to be done.”
Oberlander finishes her career at Slippery Rock as one of the most decorated and accomplished women’s volleyball players of all time. She recorded career totals of 44 aces, 186 assists, and 1,906 digs at a rate of 5.61 a set. Oberlander played in every possible match at Slippery Rock, 95 out of 95 and only missed a total of four sets, 340 out of 344.
“I wish I would have started here my freshman year,” Oberlander remarked when asked about a reflection upon the entirety of her career at Slippery Rock, “but, I’m glad I did transfer here. I love it here, I love my teammates! It was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made […] coming here.”