By Rob Centorani Staff Writer
The Daily Star
---- — Oneonta High senior-to-be Brittney Herrick recently committed to playing Division I volleyball for Siena College.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing Division I or Division II volleyball,” said Herrick, who added that she also gave strong consideration to attending Division II Lock Haven and Division I University of Hartford. “Siena had everything I wanted.”
A 6-footer with excellent jumping ability, Herrick said the Saints coaching staff was impressed by her blocking ability.
“They want me to play on the right side because that’s a big blocking position,” said Herrick, who will major in physical therapy.
Herrick, a two-time all-state selection in volleyball, said she feels relieved to have made the decision.
“It’s nice to have that off my shoulders and have that all decided,” she said. “Now I can just focus on school work and playing volleyball.”
Siena, located just outside of Albany, went 21-11 last season, including a 14-4 mark against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponents. The Saints’ season ended with a 3-2 loss to Fairfield in the MAAC championship.
Herrick earned Fourth Team all-state recognition following a junior season highlighted by team-highs of 179 kills and 60 blocks. She led the Yellowjackets to a 14-5 record that included losses to Owego in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference final and the Section Four Class B title game.
Overall, Herrick has 350 kills and 126 blocks over two varsity seasons. She ranks second in OHS history in both categories behind 2013 graduate Kelsey Baker, who finished with 371 kills and 134 blocks.
“She has an amazing ability to jump,” said OHS coach Lee Ferrara, adding he’s pretty positive that Herrick is OHS’ first D-I player in volleyball. “Her vertical is at the upper levels for a high school senior. She hits very hard and she blocks very well. Those things, along with vertical, make her a standout.”
Herrick said she started playing volleyball as an eighth-grader, when she made the junior varsity team.
“I worked hard on it that summer and really fell in love with it,” said Herrick, who added she won’t receive a scholarship as a freshman but might in following seasons.
This past winter, Herrick traveled to Albany three days to play on a club team that competed in tournaments in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Herrick said that because she’s made her decision to attend Siena, she’s not going to play for the club team this winter, which will free her up to play basketball.
“Last year, I was upset I couldn’t play,” said Herrick, who played varsity basketball for the Yellowjackets toward the end of her sophomore season. “I’m very excited to play basketball again.”
Herrick is also a standout high jumper for the Yellowjackets, qualifying for the state meet the past two years. She cleared a personal-best 5-4 in the spring.
“I’ve received letters from colleges in track, but volleyball is what I wanted to do,” she said. “Track is more of a hobby.”
OHS’ volleyball team will begin practice Monday. The Yellowjackets, who are dropping to a Class C school this season, will begin the season Sept. 4 at Chenango Forks.
Rob Centorani can be reached at email@example.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 209.