NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Commitment and passion will be the cornerstone of this year’s Penn State New Kensington women’s volleyball team under the direction of new head coach Jim Beck.
Beck, a longtime volleyball player and referee, inherits a team that made the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) playoffs the past two seasons under former coach Amy Sigmund Kostek. Last year, the New Kensington Lions finished the regular season with a 9-6 record and earned the fifth seed in the PSUAC championship before falling to Penn State Beaver in the opening round.
With the core of the team returning, Beck expects to continue the postseason run. Led by sophomore outside hitters Bethany Weiblinger and Brittney Wolford, the veteran New Kensington Lions know how to win.
“The returning players have good skills and experience,” said Beck, a resident of Freeport, Pennsylvania. “They are committed to playing competitively and being leaders.”
Beck stresses to the players that hard work leads to improvement as individuals, as a team, and as a program. Playing within the realm of their capabilities and outworking opponents will be the key to a successful season.
“We will play to our strengths and be creative offensively,” said Beck, who played volleyball for 35 years. “We also will be fit to win the long rallies and be tough-minded defensively.”
Prior to joining the New Kensington campus community, Beck served as an assistant coach for the Knoch High School girls’ volleyball team. He also refereed college and high school games.
“Volleyball is a great team sport,” Beck said. “Diverse individuals playing within specialized positions must all work together toward a common goal. Being a part of that teamwork is a wonderful experience, but it does not just happen without passion and leadership.”
For more information, visit http://psnkathletics.com/sports/wvball/index.
(Katie Miskanic, a senior communications major and intern in the Alumni and Public Relations office, conducted the interview and contributed to the story.)