Erica Selfridge To Continue Academic And Volleyball Career At Slippery Rock University
(Signing photos courtesy of Clarion Area) Above: Erica (seated) with (L-R) Clarion Area Head Coach, Shari Campbell; Dad, Ritch, Mom, Tami; Clarion Area Assistant Coach, Tracy Durish.
Clarion Area senior Erica Selfridge, daughter of Ritch and Tami Selfridge, recently signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her education and volleyball career at Slippery Rock University, where she plans to major in Forensic Chemistry.
Slippery Rock Volleyball, an NCAA Division II program, and member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), is mentored by Laurie Lokash, who has been at the Rockets’ helm since 1984. Coach Lokash has recorded 650 wins, guiding the Rockets to at least 20 wins 13 times, 10 PSAC Tournament berths, eight NCAA Tournament bids, five PSAC West division championships and two PSAC Tournament titles.
Coach Lokash was inducted into the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002, has been named the PSAC Coach of the Year on two occasions in 2006 and 1993.
Coach Lokash had this to say about her recruit, “We are very excited that Erica has chosen to continue her academic and athletic careers at Slippery Rock University. Erica is a very good student and a dynamic athlete. She is a well-skilled 6 rotation outside hitter who has the ability to hit a heavy ball from both the front and back row; has a nice jump serve and good ball control skills both on serve receive and on defense. Besides having good skills, she is also a very aggressive player. She most definitely plays to win as opposed to playing not to lose. We are looking forward to Erica joining our Rock Volleyball family.”
As to why she chose Slippery Rock, Erica stated, “I really liked the campus at Slippery Rock. Since I have been in Clarion, I have had the opportunity to meet a number of people who graduated from SRU and they all said really good things about their experience there. All in all, it seemed like a good fit and it’s the institution where I felt I would be happiest over the next 4 years.
I liked that the coaches seemed to care a lot about their team. The girls on the team were nice, it looked like they had a strong bond and got along well with the coaches. In visiting one of their practices, it looked like there was an opportunity for everyone to excel in the gym. I feel like their level of play is achievable for me and I am excited to be a part of their team.”
Erica was a major force for Coach Shari Campbell’s 2020 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class-A State Champion Lady Cats. A Team Captain for Clarion, Erica registered 244 kills, 178 points (50 aces) and 178 digs. She went over the 1,000 career kills mark this year. Among her accolades this past season, Erica was named All-State by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association (PVCA) and was named to the American Volleyball Association (AVCA) All-Region 2 Team, which consists of players from schools of all size classifications, from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Erica shared MVP honors with teammates Brenna Campbell and Korrin Burns on the inaugural D9and10Sports.com District Nine All-District Volleyball Team.
Coach Campbell shared, “Erica has committed to Slippery Rock University to continue her academic and volleyball career. She is majoring in Forensic Chemistry. I am very excited to see Erica take her game to the next level. Slippery Rock Volleyball is gaining a great all-around player.”
Prior to transferring to Clarion Area, Erica played for her mother at Bainbridge-Guilford High School in New York State, which are also Bobcats, and was a member of the 2017 and 2018 New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Class-D State Champions. Erica was named to the New York Volleyball Coaches Association’s (NYVCA) All-State Team for three seasons, 2017-2019. Team Captain for the Bobcats, who finished second in Class D Section IV Post Season play in 2019, Erica was named the Section IV Player of the Year by the NYVCA. Erica was named to the NYSPHSAA Class D All-Tournament Team in both 2017 and 2018.
As the NYSPHSAA and the PIAA are set up differently, Erica actually played for the Bainbridge-Guilford varsity from the middle of her seventh grade year. So as to align her various stats so they compute between the two organizations, we share Erica’s Bainbridge-Guilford totals from her freshman through junior years here: Freshman (2017): Aces – 141, Kills – 153, Assists – 476; Sophomore (2018): Aces – 91, Kills – 257, Assists – 366; Junior (2019): Aces – 157, Kills – 403, Assists – (200); Totals (2017-2019): Aces – 349, Kills – 813, Assists – 1042.
Erica’s Bainbridge Guilford Varsity Coach and mother Tami Selfridge said, “As a coach’s daughter, Erica had grown up coming to practices since she could walk. She wasn’t one to participate in drills and never looked like she was paying much attention but in seventh grade, she came in ready to play. I tried leaving her on JV her seventh grade year but even then her volleyball IQ exceeded most on the varsity team. It was obvious back then that she had a natural gift. She was instrumental in the growth of my program which culminated in back to back New York State Championship wins in 2017 and 2018, which would not have happened without her on the court. Then faced with a rebuilding year in 2019, Erica’s lead by example style carried our young team all the way to 5 games in the sectional finals losing a nail biter to the team which would ultimately win the 2019 NYS state championship.
“As a parent coach, I have always struggled with awarding my own, even when they clearly deserved it. When the NYS volleyball coaches association awarded Erica with Section IV player of the year for our 2019 season, I couldn’t have been happier. She was recognized by coaches from across the section for her exceptional skills and volleyball IQ, chosen for top honors from the masses of players regardless of school size.
“If things had been different and there had been no pandemic to cloud Erica’s senior year, I’d like to think that Erica and her Bainbridge Guilford teammates had what it took to bring home a 3rd NYS championship title but we’ll never know what might have been. Instead I congratulate Coach Campbell and the entire Clarion Area volleyball team for their 2020 PA State Championship title in the midst of a crazy pandemic year. If we didn’t have the opportunity to play in NY, I’m thankful that fate brought Erica to Clarion for her senior year. I have seen Erica’s game expand in ways that I didn’t even think possible and I am confident that her senior year here in Clarion has acted as a great stepping stone for Erica as she transitions from high school to collegiate competition!”
Erica had this to say about her family and teammates, “I would like to thank my parents for supporting me through my high school years and also being there when I needed them. Thanks to all the coaches I’ve ever had, who believed in me and pushed and shaped me into the person/player I am today.
“Last, but not least, I would not be where I am today without my many teammates over the years. Teammates who pushed me to be better, played alongside me as we pulled each other up together, celebrated the wins and consoled each other on the loses …. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them! Probably my most influential teammate over the years has been my sister, Abi. She set the bar high for me and our chemistry on the court was undeniable. Winning two state championship titles with her definitely are memories we won’t forget!”
Parents Ritch and Tami shared, “We were all forced to make changes over the past year due to the pandemic, but that is what it takes to survive; the ability to adapt and overcome challenges. We are so proud of Erica’s ability to embrace that changes that faced her this past year, and so thankful that the Clarion Area School and community adapted to the changes required by the pandemic, and how they accepted Erica and our family as part of their family.
“Last summer when we moved to Clarion, the girls on the volleyball team immediately opened up and welcomed Erica to the team, and quickly become her new network of friends. Further, we are also thankful that the Clarion Area High School administrators quickly helped us to register Erica, resolved all the challenges and issues that arose with this transfer from a New York High School, along with their constant efforts to keep the Clarion Area open and safe for all.
“One of the reasons that Clarion ended up being the perfect spot was because coaches’ kids are a unique bunch. Having to have a parent coach you can be a blessing and a curse, sometimes at the same time. Kids who haven’t experienced it don’t understand the pressures and drama it can create. But here in Clarion, there are more who knew first-hand what being a coaches’ kid meant. It was no surprise that Brenna Campbell and Erica were instant friends, having shared this same experience through the years. But she was not along, several other girls on the team also have parents who were coaches …. The Burn’s and the Best’s both knew what it was like as well. We think that this common experience helped Erica adjust to Clarion quicker.
We are so proud of Erica’s outstanding performance this volleyball season on this awesome State Championship team, as well as her continued outstanding academic performance. We know that both of these achievements required a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. We are pleased with her decision to continue to volleyball career and academic studies at Slippery Rock and we hope that she continues to thrive in the same way she did after we moved to Clarion. While we never would have influenced her college choice, we are excited that she has chosen SRU since their volleyball team is a travel partner for Clarion University where our other daughter plays. We are excited to continue chasing both daughter’s volleyball teams and love that they will at least be going in the same direction for games. Now the only dilemma is who we cheer for when the two teams play each other!”
Erica currently is a member of Clover-Serendipity, also led by Coach Campbell. Erica participated in the USAVolleyball (USAV) High Performance Program with the Iroquois-Empire Volleyball Association (IREVA) team as an Outside Hitter in 2017 (Fort Lauderdale) and 2018 (Tulsa), and a Setter in 2019 (Fort Lauderdale).
Congratulations to Erica and the whole Selfridge family, Clarion Area, Bainbridge-Guilford, Iroquois-Empire Volleyball Association, Clover-Serendipity and Slippery Rock University!!!! Erica you make us all proud!!!!
(Thanks to all for their photos!)