Amy Sigmund has been selected as the new women's volleyball coach at Penn State New Kensington. This was announced recently by Dave Murray, director of athletics at the campus.
Sigmund, who takes over for Dave McGeary, was tapped to continue the rebuilding of the program and move it to the next level. McGeary stepped down after four seasons as head coach. He took over a moribund program that had shutdown in 2009 and made it a contender for the conference playoffs. Murray expects Sigmund’s leadership experience and coaching pedigree to breach the playoff barrier.
“Amy is well connected with the volleyball coaches in the Pittsburgh area, and, as a result, we are looking forward to her recruiting a robust freshman class,” Murray said.
A native of Springdale, Pa., Sigmund joins the New Kensington athletic staff after a season as interim head coach for Springdale High School. She led the Dynamos to a first-round victory in the WPIAL playoffs, the first time the school earned a post-season berth in 15 years. Prior to moving to the varsity, Sigmund was the head coach of Springdale’s junior varsity team for six years.
“I'm excited to bring my skills and years of coaching to Penn State New Kensington to continue to develop a solid, reputable volleyball program,” said Sigmund, a resident of Harwick, Pa. “Penn State has always been known for its volleyball programs, and that tradition and ambition will certainly carry over to the campus."
Besides coaching experience, Sigmund brings a wealth of playing experience to the position. She was an outside hitter, middle hitter and setter, respectively, for three Springdale section championship teams from 1997 to 1999. She earned All-Section honors as a middle hitter and setter in high school, before becoming a defensive specialist at Waynesburg University. She continues to play competitively in volleyball leagues throughout Pittsburgh.
Sigmund graduated summa cum laude from Waynesburg with a bachelor’s degree in communications and earned an master of business administration degree from Salem International University. She is a district manager for sales at Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) in Pittsburgh. ADP provides business processing solutions, including payroll, talent management, human resource management, benefits administration, and time and attendance.
The first challenge for Sigmund is recruiting, but she will be in familiar territory. The Alle-Kiski Valley is fertile recruiting ground for volleyball, and local high schools such as Freeport, Burrell, Kiski Area and Springdale have strong, competitive programs. Sigmund is starting locally and plans to extend the prospective player base.
"I'm ready to hit the ground running, recruiting a powerful freshman class and even some players from campus," said Sigmund, who also played tennis at Waynesburg. “We will be a top contender in the conference."
Women's volleyball is one of the campus' most successful athletic programs, winning six conference titles, second only to the 13 championships garnered by men's basketball. The team competes in the 13-team Penn State University Athletic Conference.
In addition to athletic prowess, the New Kensington Lady Lions also are one of the campus’ top academic teams. Last year, four student-athletes on the women’s volleyball team earned Academic All-America honors, the most of any campus sport.
The campus is affiliated with the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association. The USCAA provides athletic opportunities to small colleges — those with enrollments of less than 2,500 — and sponsors 11 national championship tournaments in men's and women's sports. Established in 2001, the USCAA was incorporated to provide an opportunity for members to compete on an equal level of competition with schools of similar size and athletic programs. Headquartered in Newport News, Va., the organization has more than 82 member institutions in 24 states, stretching from Maine to California.
National honors have been a staple of the campus athletics program since it joined the USCAA in 2005. In the past seven seasons, five student-athletes have been named to the All-America team: Mende Hicks, women’s volleyball (2006-07); Jeremy Hurt, men’s basketball (2007-08); R.J. Hurt, men’s basketball (2007-08); Matt Miller, golf (2008-09); and Adam Stawski, golf (2012-13 and 2009-10).
For more on New Kensington athletics, visit http://www.psnkathletics.com/landing/index.