Jordan Sitler has enjoyed a standout volleyball career for the Warren Dragons, the type that gets you noticed by college coaches.
The Class of 2021 senior played a pivotal role as a sophomore in helping the Dragons reach the state championship match, and had her pick of schools.
She has decided to stay close to home, committing to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, where she will play for head coach Tom Roof.
In many ways, she is your typical high school senior – just one that happens to have a special gift on the volleyball court.
“For people that don’t know me, I love animals (my favorite animal is a pig), my favorite color is purple, and my favorite food is pasta,” she said. “Some things I don’t like are heights, winter, and running. With my free time I am either hanging out with friends, working at my job at Allegheny Outfitters, or watching TV.”
So what made her choose the Panthers?
“I was mainly looking to go to a smaller school closer to home and Pitt-Bradford offers both,” she said. “When I visited the campus I thought it was so beautiful and loved how everything was close together, and when I met the volleyball team they were all so nice to me and made me feel welcome.”
Her soon-to-be college coach reminds her a lot of her high school coach, Mike Dolan.
“When I met Coach Roof he reminded me of Mike in a way which made me feel comfortable and secure, because Mike has been my coach for so long,” she said.
Of course, she counts going to states one of her favorite memories, but more than that, it’s the relationships she’s built and the bonds she’s formed with her teammates.
“Some of my favorite memories as a Dragon are going to states my sophomore year and getting to bond with everyone in the hotel before the state championship,” she said. “Spending every year being partners with Hannah (Shattuck), messing around with everyone off the court, and becoming the ‘older girl’ that I would always look up to when I was a freshman.
Of course, the memories of that run in states, which included the first District 10 title in program history, will be long-lasting.
“It was the best opportunity I have ever been a part of,” she said. “It made us all so much closer and we were all so grateful for all of the support from the town. It was such an exciting experience.”
And, while she still has her senior season in front of her, she’s very much looking forward to building those relationships and making new memories at Pitt-Bradford.
“I am so excited to meet my team and instantly have so many friends that I will get to do pretty much everything with for my four years,” she said. “And I am excited to decide what I will major in so I can learn about something I enjoy.”
In her own words, Sitler has grown from the up-and-coming underclassmen to one of those ‘older girls,’ a senior leader that her teammates can look up to.
“I have learned that everyone makes mistakes and all you can do is learn from them and move on,” she said. “I have become a better leader and am more outgoing, and Mike has made me an all around better player by encouraging me and giving me so many great opportunities.”
The build up to her senior season has been very different, as it has for all student-athletes. Because of the ongoing pandemic, everyone, especially athletes, were unsure what exactly what this season would look like.
And despite some changes, which includes empty gyms, Sitler is still very much looking forward to her final season as a Dragon and still has plenty of things she wants to improve upon.
“This season I am looking to grow as a team and watch others and myself improve. I am hoping to get better as a back row player and an outside and to work on better ball placement when I hit,” she said. “It will be very weird without fans, and I am very sad my family can’t watch me for my senior year. I will try to make the most of it and am still excited for this season.”