May 24, 2012 – Synergy’s Morgan Lowe, a 17 Orange outside hitter whose offensive firepower matches her fiery red hair, has committed to Lehigh University, where she will join the Mountain Hawks Division 1 volleyball program for the 2013 season.
The 6’0″ junior has amassed a string of academic and athletic accolades during her high school and club volleyball career. This fall, she led her Hempfield High School Black Knights to the 2011 PIAA Volleyball State Championships, where her team finished in second place. For her efforts she was named a Prep Volleyball All-American and was nominated for Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year. For the past two years, Lowe has been named to the PIAA State AAA Championships All-Tournament team, All-State and 1st Team All-District, and received numerous other all-team tournament honors.
With 1,042 kills in her high school career and still one year left to play, Lowe is on track to becoming Hempfield’s top all-time kills leader. (She is currently in 4th place.) Last year alone, Lowe posted a stunning 433 kills, 43 blocks, 30 service aces and 309 digs.
At Synergy, Lowe played on the standout 15 Orange team that won 3rd place in the National Division at the 2010 USA Junior National Volleyball Championships in Reno, where she was also named to the All-Tournament team along with her teammates Alexis Rhein and Nicole Lott. More recently, her 17 Orange team won the Keystone Region’s national bid to the 2012 U.S.A. Volleyball’s Girls’ Junior National Championships in Columbus, Ohio.
Synergy head coach Richard Johnson said that Lowe is one of his most consistent players, but with her slim build, she is often underestimated by opposing teams.
“Teams look at her and see a skinny, little red-headed girl,” said Coach Johnson. “They don’t think she can hit the ball as hard as she can. But that girl gets up. She’s been turning and hitting the ball down the line this year. Her stock has risen.”
Coach Johnson said that while Lowe gets noticed for her powerful hits, she is equally important to the team on defense.
“She does everything for us, defensively and offensively,” he said. “She’s a good defender, good at serve receive, great defensively. She gets more balls that other girls can only dream about getting to. She reads the ball so well and reacts, and is a very fluid player.”
Although several Division 1 coaches expressed interest in Lowe during the past year, Lowe said she chose Lehigh for its focus on academics as well as it’s great volleyball program. Lowe, who plans to major in business, recently was inducted into the National Honor Society and has received the President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence, among other honors.
In choosing Lehigh, Lowe also joins legendary NCAA volleyball coach Bob Bertucci, who recently signed on as head coach of the Mountain Hawks, and in his first season led the team to a 10-5 record in the Patriot League and 19-10 overall record for the season.
“”I really like the coaches and the players,” said Lowe. “When I was on the campus, it just felt right to be there.”
Former Hempfield High School coach Patrick S. Shawaryn, now assistant men’s volleyball coach at Juniata, said Lowe is relentless and determined, and is one of the best players he has ever coached at the high school, college or national level.
“You want the player who never hangs her head, determined to win, always pushing to be better, winning every single point, never quits, stays positive, and leads not only by example but also with their actions,” said Coach Shawaryn. “Morgan embraces all of these qualities and more. I wish every player I had in my gym worked and acted just like her. Not being able to coach Morgan anymore is something that I know I am truly going to miss.”