- The Frostburg State University volleyball program continued the winning tradition it started since joining the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference in 1997. The Bobcats went undefeated in the AMCC (12-0) for the second straight season on their way to winning their sixth AMMC title in the conference’s seven-year existence.
Led by junior Lauren Petrick (North Caroline/Denton, Md.), the AMCC Player of the Year, and a cast of experienced and athletic players, the Bobcats rolled to their third-highest winning percentage in program history, finishing the season 31-4 (.886). The Bobcats were rewarded for another stellar year by earning an invitation to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons.
“Going into each season our ultimate goal is to get a birth in the NCAA Tournament,” said AMCC Coach of the Year Jeff Billington. “It provides a great deal of satisfaction to set a goal and to achieve it. Obtaining goals help to develop confidence, belief, and trust in the coach’s philosophy.”
In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Bobcats dominated Rutgers-Newark, winning 30-18, 30-21, 30-22. However, FSU fell in the regional semifinals to national powerhouse Juniata, the top-ranked team in the nation. Juniata rolled through the regular season going undefeated and dropping only seven games all season.
Out of the 48 teams that made the NCAA Tournament this year, only five teams were state institutions and only three advanced to the second round.
“We as a program took another step in the direction of competing for a national title,” said Billington. “We gave ourselves a better idea of what we need to do to compete at that next level.”
Similar to Juniata’s domination, the Bobcats dominated their regular-season opponents, putting together some of the best runs in school history. FSU twice posted 14-match win streaks, with a loss to Division II Pitt-Johnstown the lone blemish in a 29-match stretch. During that streak, the Bobcats also put together two separate game winning streaks that rank as the top two streaks in program history.
Beginning with a 3-1 victory over Carnegie Mellon, the Bobcats won 27 straight games until Grove City was able to take the first game of a 3-1 victory for FSU. With one run complete, the Black and Red began a new streak against Penn State Altoona, who was the only team in the AMCC to take a game from the Bobcats all season. Over the next 11 matches, FSU did not drop a single game for a school record 33-game win streak.
With just four losses on the year, the 2003 Bobcats tied the school mark for fewest defeats in a year set by the 1998 & 2000 squads. On the season, FSU won 95 of its 115 games, and the 20 games lost surpassed the former program record of 24 set in 1998.
The Bobcats had no trouble repeating as AMCC champions as they dropped only one conference game all season. As host of the AMCC Tournament, FSU swept both Pitt-Bradford and Penn State Altoona to take home the crown.
Also highlighting the season was FSU’s roll through the first annual Maryland State Division III Tournament. The Bobcats defeated McDaniel, Hood and Goucher in three games to earn the top seed and then swept Salisbury and Johns Hopkins to claim the tournament championship and proving that FSU is the top Division III volleyball program in Maryland.
Individually, several Bobcats put together impressive numbers and received many well-deserved honors. Petrick, who set a single-season record with 88 service aces in 2002, topped the career mark as well with her 206th service ace on October 27th against La Roche. She finished the season with 71 service aces to bring her career total to 219. Late in the season, she also reached the 1,000-kill mark and currently ranks third all-time in Bobcat history with 1,098 kills.
“Lauren is the most dynamic player in the conference and has shown significant improvement each year,” said Billington. “The individual accolades that she receives are deserved and a tribute to her dedication and hard work in the classroom and on the volleyball court.”
Junior Sam Seyfferth (Broadneck/Annapolis, Md.), who was named to AMCC Player of the Week for her performance in the conference tournament, recorded a league-high 488 digs on the season, which is the third-best single-season total in school history. With 1,002 digs in her career, she trails Amber Waltz’s school record by only 410.
Junior Carrie Ness (Francis Scott Key/Taneytown, Md.), who was named to the All-AMCC first team, recorded 945 assists to move her into second place on FSU’s all-time list with 2,908 assists, ranking behind Christy Mann’s 4,105.
The Bobcats received great seasons from many new faces as well. Freshmen Amanda Hernandez (Gaithersburg/Gaithersburg, Md.), Kelly May (Fort Hill/Cumberland, Md.) and Lauren Weller (Gaithersburg/Gaithersburg, Md.), along with junior transfer Jodi Carpenter (Linganore/Mt. Airy, Md.), helped guide FSU to a great AMCC season and will continue to contribute in the future.
Carpenter made an immediate impact as she led the team with a .349 hitting percentage, which is the fifth-highest single-season total in school history. She also made her presence known in the middle, as she led the team with 93 total blocks (65 assisted and 28 solo).
Carpenter also contributed on the attack as she recorded 251 kills (2.85 a game), second on the team behind Petrick.
Hernandez, May and Weller were all among the team leaders as Hernandez was second with 385 assists, May was second with 73 blocks and Weller was second with a .310 hitting percentage.
Losing only one player to graduation, FSU will again field a quality team with a lot of depth and experience, as four seniors and four juniors are slated to return. Mix in some young talent and Frostburg State should once again be ready to battle for yet another AMCC championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303