Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pratt and Volz sign NLIs at Lansingburgh

Meg Volz (right) and Becca Pratt (left) sign their National Letters of Intent in the Lansingburgh High School library Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Mike McMahon - The Record).

TROY — Lansingburgh High School seniors Becca Pratt and Meg Volz both put pen to paper Wednesday afternoon on National Letters of Intent to compete athletically in college at the Division I level.

One will be staying close to home and the other will be going far, far away.

Pratt, the captain of Lansingburgh's varsity bowling team for the past two seasons, has committed to bowl at the University of Nebraska, one of the nation's elite collegiate programs.

Volz, who captained the Lansingburgh softball team this past spring, will join a host of former Section II standouts at Siena College.

“I've really been looking to go to Nebraska. It's my dream school,” said Pratt, pictured at right. “I can't believe it's actually happening.”

Women's bowling, which was established as an NCAA-sanctioned sport in the fall of 2003, has just 29 participating schools at the Division I level, 15 more in Division II and six in Division III. Nebraska, which finished as the runner-up to Farleigh Dickinson last season, has won three national titles since 2004.

Pratt's statistics intrigued the Cornhuskers, as she rolled a 219 average en route to a Colonial Council MVP season in 2010. She also has a 300 game to her credit and was listed in Bowler's Journal Top 30 High School Prospects in 2009 and 2010.

Pratt led the Section II All-Star team to a New York State title in March, scoring a high six-game tournament total of 1,320.

Outside of high school competition, Pratt won the Troy Annual Prestige Tournament each year from 2007 to 2010 and won the Maria Rapp Award as the City Tournament all-events champion in 2009 and 2010.

The challenges of long-distance recruiting required Pratt to send video clips of her form and technique to Nebraska, which led the Huskers to offer her an invitation for an official visit.

“We did team bonding and they took me to a football game and we just had a lot of fun,” she said. “I just felt really comfortable at the school.”

On her visit, she met Alney Tobias, a former star for the Lansingburgh cross country and track and field teams who currently runs at Nebraska. His recommendation helped seal the deal for Pratt, who plans on double majoring in business law and Spanish.

“It was amazing there,” Pratt said. “Like the coaches said, as long as you have the red 'N' on you, everyone is going to be cheering for you.”

For Volz, at left, a catcher on the softball diamond, Siena, which has heavily recruited local players in recent years, was a natural choice. This summer, Volz played with a pair of former Troy High stars who currently shine for the Saints in the Empire State Games. The Adirondack team took home the bronze medal.

“I played with Shannon Jones and Courtney Brinkman on the Empire State team and they're just awesome to play with,” Volz said. “It definitely played a part.”

Volz's varsity career began in seventh grade at Catholic Central High School, but she transferred to Lansingburgh for her freshman season. She helped lead the Lady Knights to a Section II Class A title in 2009.

“Basically what they told me is you earn your spot, so that's what I'm going to try to do,” Volz said. “Just earn my spot, whether it's outfield, infield or catching. As long as I'm playing, I'll play wherever the team needs me.”

A first team All-Area selection by The Record in 2009 and 2010, Volz batted .474 with 37 hits – 14 for extra bases – and 17 RBI during the 2010 high school season. She was a second team All-State selection this past spring.

Volz, like Pratt, is in the top 10 in her class at Lansingburgh and plans to major in business and minor in psychology at Siena.

2010 high school stats
POS., NAME, AB, R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, BA, SB
c, Meg Volz, Jr., Lansingburgh, 78, 24, 37, 8, 2, 4, 17, .474, 1

2009 high school stats
POS., NAME, AB, R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, BA, SB
c, Meg Volz, So., Lansingburgh, 92, 32, 47, 9, 7, 3, 23, .511, 3

2008 high school stats
POS., NAME, AB, R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, BA, SB
DH, Meg Volz, Fr., Lansingburgh, 68, 20, 30, 5, 4, 3, 25, .441, 0

Former Section II players on Siena College softball roster:
Courtney Brinkman, Troy
Sara Gallacchi, Schenectady
Shannon Jones, Troy
Mandy Ferro, Shenendehowa
Lindsey McKeever, Mechanicville
Taylor Guerin, Shaker
Pitching coach, Abby Arceneaux, Mechanicville
Assistant coach, Stacy Simpson, Shenendehowa
Head coach, Bill Lajeunesse, former head coach at Waterford, Shaker and Cohoes

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