Murcko doubles her fun for St. Vincent


Howland grad also plays volleyball

By Dan Hiner

dhiner@vindy.com

Howland graduate Cassie Murcko made a name for herself at on the volleyball court and the bowling lanes.

Now the St. Vincent College freshman has become a starter in both sports.

But it never would have happened if it wasn’t for a joke.

“I originally joined the bowling team when I was in high school because my math teacher was the coach and he said I wouldn’t go out for the team,” Murcko said. “So I had to prove him wrong and went out for the team and I made it.

“I didn’t actually didn’t actually do it because I wanted to do it. I did it because he said I wouldn’t.”

St. Vincent in Latrobe, Pa., began its inaugural women’s bowling season on Nov. 3.

St. Vincent originally scouted Murcko as a volleyball player, but when the athletic department told her of the new bowling program, she committed to the Bearcats.

“We looked at it for a couple years and we made the decision to add women’s bowling,” said Jeff Zidek, St. Vincent bowling coach and sports information director. “We’re a brand new, first-year team. Cassie was being recruited for volleyball very heavily, long before we even knew we were going to have a bowling team.

“But what happened was Cassie bowled in high school and wanted to find a college where she could do both.”

St. Vincent was the only school at that offered both sports. She had offers from Baldwin-Wallace and Westminster, but only for volleyball.

Zidek said Murcko has been consistent so far. He said high school bowlers tend to struggle during their freshman year because of the changes in lane conditions.

In her first volleyball season, Murcko started all 29 games and led the Bearcats in kills (262). She also was second on the team in digs (295) and service aces (24).

Sue Hozak, St. Vincent volleyball head coach and associate athletic director, said Murcko still hasn’t realized how dominant she could become.

“I think Cassie’s one of those athletes that doesn’t realize how good she really is,” Hozak said. “She played a couple different positions for us. She hit outside in the beginning of the season and played in rotation and then she also hit middle as the season went on.

“She’s a very versatile athlete and she adjusted well as a freshman to the college game.”

Murcko has goals for her collegiate career. In volleyball, she wants to reach her 1,000th kill and wants to bowl a 245. She achieved both at Howland and wants to break those records with the Bearcats.

Hozak said Murcko is a talented athlete and will develop into a great college athlete.

“I think once she gets confortable in that position, realizing her true potential, I think she’s going to be really outstanding for us,” Hozak said. “She’s the type of player that can change the momentum of a match.”

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