WEST SUNBURY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — During the offseason, Aslyn Pry was in the gym. Jumping. Diving. Swinging her powerful right arm over and over and over again.
Working on the fundamentals of her volleyball game. Striving to improve on the stellar season she had enjoyed as a freshman on the Butler County Community College volleyball team.
The Moniteau grad wasn’t satisfied. Good wasn’t good enough.
She wanted to be great. She wanted to be mentioned among the elite in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
All that work paid off.
Pry got her wish.
(Photos courtesy of Butler County Community College)
She recently earned an All-American nod after leading the nation in hitting percentage at .432. She had 301 kills, 125 digs and 42 aces and became an all-around player at one of the best junior college programs in the country.
“I was extremely excited and grateful,” Pry said. “I put in a lot of extra time hitting and working on my defense, breaking down the fundamentals that I needed to work on coming in here. And just having a good team around me. I was really fortunate enough to be on a very successful team with a lot of really talented players. They pushed me every day in practice. We wanted to be good and a good team. That definitely helped me get to that next level.
“It’s just something I’ve worked really hard at these past two years,” Pry added. “The volleyball player I was coming in here to the volleyball player I am now is not even comparable.”
Pry was a raw talent coming out of Moniteau, where she put up impressive numbers despite being rough around the edges.
She drew the eye of BC3 coach Rob Snyder, who has shown a knack of taking high school clay and sculpting it into junior college works of art.
Snyder did it again with Pry, who blossomed in her two years with the Pioneers. The 5-foot-10 middle hitter has parlayed that into a spot on the Slippery Rock University women’s volleyball team next season.
“I’m just grateful that (Snyder) believed in me,” Pry said. “He saw the potential in me since day one, since he saw me in high school. You know, I wasn’t the most talented player, but he saw my athleticism and that I could be something and he treated me very well. I’m really fortunate for that because without him, I would not be in the situation I am today.”
If there was a sport Pry figured would take her from BC3 to a four-year college, it was basketball.
At Moniteau, she was much more polished as a forward for the Warriors. She was virtually unstoppable on the hardwood as a senior, averaging 19.9 points and 14.2 rebounds per game.
In her first season with the Pioneers last winter, Pry was one of the best players in the nation, leading all of NJCAA Division III in rebounding at 19.6 per game and fourth in scoring at 23.2 points per contest.
She was named as an All-American in basketball last year.
Pry is only the second player in BC3 history to be an All-American in two sports. The other is Karns City graduate Mackenzie Craig, who also accomplished that feat in volleyball and basketball.
“I was happy for her,” Snyder said. “To get to that level in both sports, it isn’t an easy accomplishment. Not just having the time, but having the time to train in both during the summer and then to go right from volleyball into basketball, that takes a lot of commitment.”
Pry is already off to a strong start this season for the BC3 women’s basketball team, which is 6-1.
Pry, who had just two practices between volleyball season and the basketball campaign, is averaging 19.6 points and 13.7 rebounds per game on a much deeper roster.
Last year, BC3 had just six players. This year the Pioneers have nearly twice that number.
“Those first few games are always a challenge, mentally and physically,” Pry said of going straight from the wear and tear of a long volleyball season to a brand new basketball campaign. “Not only is it physically a lot different, it’s also mentally a little challenging, which I feel like is not talked about enough going from one sport to another.”
This will be Pry’s final basketball season, which she finds bittersweet.
She’s happy she finally knows what her future holds, playing volleyball in NCAA Division II.
“I’m really excited. I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing at the next level and now being able to, after this year, focus on volleyball and put all my time there and seeing where that takes me.”
But she admits she will miss basketball dearly.
“This is my last season and I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can,” Pry said. “I’m just trying to have as much fun as possible. I love basketball a lot. Volleyball just ended up being the right situation for me. But it’s very sad leaving basketball. I’m just trying to make the most of my last season with basketball.”
Pry was still torn between the two sports until recently. She began reaching out to volleyball coaches in earnest and was happy with the response she received, especially from SRU.
“I didn’t really realize that I had that potential until this season,” she said. “Slippery Rock just happened to work out the best.
“I was just thinking about that today,” Pry added. “How crazy things ended up and working out.”