BUTLER, Pa. (EYT/D9) — The day after Aslyn Pry returned from Rochester, Minn., and the National Junior College Athletic Association volleyball championships, she found herself trading kills for baskets.
Volleyball one day at Butler County Community College. Basketball the next.
That game at Lorain County, Ohio, was a grueling one for Pry, a Moniteau graduate and freshman at BC3.
She battled a nasty case of shin splints during the volleyball season and hadn’t practiced at all with the women’s basketball team before taking the court with the Pioneers.
Understandably, things did not start well.
“I already couldn’t do a lot of conditioning with my shin splints,” Pry said. “I was already even further behind than I thought I was going to be. It was definitely frustrating.”
To complicate matters even more, college basketball is a big change from high school. It’s two 20-minute halves instead of four eight-minute quarters. With only six players on the BC3 roster, Pry and her teammates have few opportunities for rest.
Between her sore shins and lack of basketball conditioning, it taxed the 5-foot-8 forward immensely early this season.
“At halftime I was like, ‘We have another half?’” Pry said, laughing. “Midway through the second half I was like, ‘I’d be on the bus by now.’”
Pry battled through those early weeks of the season and still put up huge numbers for the Pioneers, who have won five of their last seven after an 0-4 start.
Pry has been a big reason for that resurgence. She’s dominated inside, averaging 22.4 points and 19.1 rebounds per game for BC3. She is second in NJCAA Division III in scoring and first in the country in rebounding.
Not bad for a player who wondered, “What have I gotten myself into?” in November.
“That first game,” Pry said, “I was definitely like, ‘I don’t know if this is a good idea.’ But it definitely was. I just needed to get back in the groove.”
She certainly was in the groove at Moniteau, where she also posted some gaudy numbers during her standout career there.
Pry averaged 19.9 points and 14.2 rebounds per game as a senior to earn Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference and District 9 player of the year.
She was also selected to the all-state team.
Pry scored 1,046 points and pulled down 871 rebounds in her career with the Warriors.
She’s off to a splendid start at BC3.
“We knew at the beginning of the season that we could get a lot better,” Pry said. “We were definitely rusty. I know I was very rusty. I came right in from volleyball, so I knew I was definitely not doing as well as I could have been at that point.”
Pry had a monster game in the second meeting against Lorain County, scoring 37 points to go with 25 rebounds. She’s pulled down 20 or more boards in six of the 11 games the Pioneers have played this season.
What caught Pry’s attention, though, was a 74-72 overtime win over Jamestown Jan. 14.
The first time Pry and BC3 played Jamestown, they lost 93-59.
“I’m very proud of how we’ve been playing recently,” Pry said. “We’ve definitely improved since the beginning of the season.”
Pry also improved during the volleyball season at BC3 and enjoyed a big campaign for the Pioneers in the fall.
Pry recorded 199 kills, 59 blocks and 25 aces for BC3, which finished sixth at the national tournament in Minnesota.
She was named to the national tournament team.
“I was definitely not expecting the national tournament team,” Pry said. “I didn’t even know that was a thing until they announced it, so that was really crazy. There’s some of the best girls in the nation on that team, so it was a real honor to be selected.”
Pry was on BC3 volleyball coach Rob Snyder’s radar for years, ever since she saw the gangly Pry at a camp.
“She was all arms and legs,” Snyder said. “But I could see her potential.”
He told her as much.
When it came time to chose where she would begin her collegiate career, Butler County Community College was an easy choice for Pry. The Pioneers afforded her the opportunity to play both volleyball and basketball.
“I think so highly of Rob,” Pry said. “I’m so fortunate to be able to play and learn from him. When I first came to visit, he said that he saw potential in me, and that he knew he could make me a good player. It’s nice to hear a coach say he can see potential in you.”
Pry is working for Snyder, who is also the BC3 athletic director, as part of a work-study program.
“I want to become a gym teacher, and I want to coach some day, so it’s great that I’m getting that experience at school,” Pry said. “I get to work with Rob and see everything he does behind the scenes.”
Pry isn’t just a gopher, either. Snyder is delegating real responsibility to her.
“She’s so smart and really capable,” Snyder said. “She’s been excellent. As a freshman, she’s very mature and can sit in a room with a bunch of administrators and talk to them naturally and hold her own.”
On the volleyball court, Snyder said Pry has really just scratched the surface on how good she can be .
“Once you’ve seen it in that first year and you understand what you need to do, you usually make a pretty good-sized jump,” Snyder said. “She has a lot more potential in her.”
Pry was also at her best toward the end of the season, despite not practicing much while resting her painful shins.
“She really showed up at the end in the big games against the best teams,” Snyder added. “That’s what you want to see from your players.”
Her success in volleyball and basketball has presented Pry with quite the conundrum when her time at BC3 is over.
She wants to move on to a four-year school and play there for two more years. Question now is, in which sport?
“I always would have chosen basketball,” Pry said. “But here I’ve really grown to love volleyball, and I’ve really improved. I look forward to working hard during the offseason on volleyball and basketball because I know at the end of next year, I’ll be saying goodbye to one of them.”
Pry doesn’t even want to think about making that choice at the moment.
“I’m not emotionally prepared for that,” she said. “I know it’s coming up, though. I’m going to have to make that decision. I’m going to work really hard and see where it takes me.”