Ellie Burns To Continue Volleyball Career At University Of Pittsburgh (04/08/13)

Ellie Burns To Continue Volleyball Career At University Of Pittsburgh (04/08/13)

Ellie Burns, a standout athlete on the Clarion High School, Lady Cats 2012 State Champion Volleyball Team has committed to take her talent on the court, to the University of Pittsburgh.

Ellie joins the Pitt Lady Panthers just as they are making the move from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Pitt will join the ACC this fall, along with two of their Big East rivals, Syracuse and Notre Dame.

Ellie Burns

Ellie Burns

The Pitt Volleyball Team has a storied history, which includes 9 Big East Championships, 11 Big East Tournament titles and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. The program has over 900 wins.

The Lady Panthers will be coached by Dan Fisher, who took over the reins earlier this year. Before coming to Pitt, Coach Fisher led Concordia University to their first-ever NAIA National Championship title. In two years under Concordia, Fisher guided the Lady Eagles Volleyball program to 75-2 record for a .974 winning percentage, including a 38-0 record this season.  The Lady Eagles were the National runners up in 2011.

Coach Fisher is very happy with his new recruit from Clarion, saying, “We are very excited about Ellie joining the team.

“In the recruiting process, she demonstrated a great passion for Pitt,  and a strong desire to compete at the highest level.  She will battle for playing time at the libero position and it will be fun to see how quickly she develops.”

That strong desire to compete at the highest level, was evident throughout Ellie’s scholastic playing career, as the following highlights indicate: In 2012, Ellie was named to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches (PVCA) the All-State Squad. She was the KSAC MVP and First Team All-KSAC Selection, as well as, the All-D9 Tournament MVP and First Team Libero. Ellie had 376 points, 67 aces, 18 kills, 56 assists and 680 digs and an 86.3 serve in percentage.

As a junior, Ellie was First Team All-KSAC, First Team All-D9 Tournament Team and PVCA All-State.

Ellie shared her thoughts on those who have helped her to achieve the success she has enjoyed and will continue to enjoy in her playing career.

“Most importantly, I am very excited for the opportunity to continue playing competitive volleyball.

“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn and love the game from being in the gym since birth during my mother’s collegiate coaching years at Clarion University.

“I officially started playing in fourth grade on a traveling team called “Black Bandits.” This was an organization out of Redbank Valley with my mother and Matt Darr. The next year Clarion High School was able to put together a traveling team. I am very pleased to say that the girls on this traveling team are the same teammates I played with during the 2012 State Championship season.

“A lot of athletes have a role model or idol that they want to emulate and I knew that mine was my older sister Karly from the start. Karly has supported me even when she suffered numerous setbacks with ankle injuries and surgeries during our playing years. After her injury, I became more determined and played harder for the both of us. Karly has overcome her injuries and is currently playing volleyball at Mercyhurst University but I still play hard knowing how quickly an injury can take you out of the game.

“I continued my career and was able to have the chance to learn more about the game from a former player of my mother’s, Meghan Lucas. Coach Lucas and my mother not only provided me with more knowledge of the game but the ability to be a diverse player. Until I played for Coach Lucas and my mother, I was strictly defense. They wanted me to learn to set and be a multidimensional player.

“I was fortunate to have had a High School team with players and staff that were as dedicated and driven as myself. Many athletes that I know from playing competitive traveling ball don’t have a high school team that is always on the hunt for a win. Coach Campbell and Coach Bevevino have done wonders for our program. I only hope that the girls still involved can keep the legacy going. One of the best things about my high school teammates is that not only are they talented athletes, but they are great people who come from supportive families.

“My past three club seasons have taken my game to the next level. Pittsburgh Elite Volleyball Association is led by Lynda Scahill. Lynda’s love of the game is contagious. She makes you want to work hard every single practice. I would not be where I am today without the Lynda and her son Zack.

“Lastly, I would like to thank my family. My family has been my rock throughout my journey. My parents have given me the gift of opportunity by sacrificing financially and spending many hours driving to and from club practices. I would especially like to thank my Father for the long trips and the emotional support. I admire his altruistic spirit. I don’t think anyone could ever understand how much this man has given up in his life to make everything happen for me.

(Photo by Chris Rossetti) Jodi and Ellie Burns proudly display Gold Medals

(Photo by Chris Rossetti)
Jodi and Ellie Burns proudly display Gold Medals

“My mother is one person that I should give most of the credit. From the start she told me that she would never pressure me into playing volleyball and to do whatever my heart desired. Honestly, she was the reason I fell in love with the game. She has been and will always be there to guide me – not only with my volleyball skills but my life in general. My Mom has given me my passion. Lastly, my grandparents have supported with their constant enthusiasm and love of the game as well.”

(Mom and Dad are Joe and Jodie Burns. Ellie shares another bond with her mother, as both had the experience of playing on State Championship Volleyball Teams, in high school.)

Congratulations to Ellie and best wishes for continued success at the University of Pittsburgh, and congratulations to those who have helped Ellie on this exciting journey!!!