EDINBORO, Pa. -- Amy Medicus of Austintown has developed into a leader in more ways than one during her junior season with the Edinboro University volleyball team.
The Fitch High graduate is one of Edinboro's top players for the third year in a row, is serving as a team captain for the second straight season, and carries a 3.8 grade-point average in elementary education.
"I like taking charge. I am one of those people who likes to be a leader and contribute positive feedback to my team," said Medicus, who shares captain's duties with senior Stephanie Burner for the second straight year. "[Burner] and I get together before the game and talk about strategy and what it will take to win and so forth."
An outside hitter, Medicus (5-foot-7) also leads by her versatility and overall performance. She ranked No. 3 on the team in digs (3.26 per game and 111 in all) and No. 6 in kills (1.94 and 66) through 34 games as of last Wednesday, but said her team role is multi-faceted.
"I play all the way around. My primary role is I am a good passer. My role is to be an all-around good player. I hit and pass and play good defense," she said. "As an outside hitter, I will be doing all these things."
Medicus believes she has improved every year.
"I am playing stronger and I have more experience. I feel like I am becoming more aggressive," she said.
In the process, she has helped Edinboro to a 6-5 record, including 3-0 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West.
"Our record doesn't show how we are doing," said Medicus. "We are very strong this season and we have a bright future. We have the entire team back from last year, and we have a lot of experience with a deep lineup and a positive [outlook]."
Team has top GPA
Medicus also excels in the classroom, but so do most of her teammates. In fact, she said her 3.8 is not the highest GPA on the team, and that her team holds a special academic distinction.
"We have the highest GPA of all the intercollegiate sports at Edinboro," she observed.
By the time Medicus is through playing for Edinboro, she could take her place near the top on the school's career statistical charts. Entering this season, she ranked No. 10 in kills (705) and No. 8 in digs (808).
Last year, Medicus led the Scots with 430 kills and ranked No. 5 in the PSAC with 3.74 kills a game. She also was third on the team in hitting percentage (.235) and second in digs with 467, while ranking No. 5 in the PSAC with 4.06 digs a game.
For these performances, she was named to the NCAA All-Atlantic Region team and was an All-PSAC West second-team selection.
Recruited by Theehs
Medicus recalled that she went to Edinboro because of coach Lynn Theehs.
"The coach [Theehs] recruited me. She saw my tape and saw me play. I personally didn't know anything about Edinboro before," said Medicus.
But on her visit, "I liked the school, the coaches and the team. Also the fact it is a good teaching school and I am majoring in elementary education."
She got off to a strong start as a freshman, leading Edinboro with digs (341) and holding third in kills with 275 and fifth in blocks with 32 total.
Theehs, in her ninth season at the helm, thinks a lot of Medicus.
"She's not big, but she is so powerful and aggressive that she is always a strong offensive threat," said Theehs. "Amy is just a really, really tough player. She leads us in so many ways both on and off the court."
The daughter of Craig and Christine Medicus and Julie Medicus, Amy began playing volleyball in eighth grade at Frank Ohl Middle School, and then played four years at Fitch under coach Tom Case.
While at Fitch, she led the Falcons to a 26-2 record and a final-four appearance in the state tournament as a senior. She was named the District I Division I player of the year and was selected to the Division I all-state first team.
In her junior year, she led Fitch to a 23-1 record and made the all-state second team.