East Penn Press

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Pete Madia/Univ. of Pittsburgh Athletics Alexa Campbell is already racking up honors this season for the Pitt volleyball team. Pete Madia/Univ. of Pittsburgh Athletics Alexa Campbell is already racking up honors this season for the Pitt volleyball team.

Campbell is off to a good start for Panthers

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

Alexa Campbell is coming off of a strong junior campaign in 2011 for the Pitt volleyball team.

She played in all 33 of the Panthers matches, and recorded career-highs in digs (260), service aces (26), assists (19) and block assists (5). So there isn't much else the senior outside hitter could accomplish, right?

So far in the young season, Campbell, a 2009 Emmaus graduate, has earned a place on the Pitt Invitational All-Tournament team and to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic team. Her University of Pittsburgh volleyball team also started with an 8-2 mark.

"I feel that I bring a lot of experience to the team," Campbell said. "I've been playing consistently and bring a lot of energy on the court. I just want to be helping my teammates in any way that I can and it's great that we've had such a great start to the season."

The only blemishes on the Panthers record is two consecutive losses to ranked opponents in #21 Northern Iowa, and #9 Purdue.

Finishing the 2011 season in the middle of the pack in the Big East Conference and an early exit to Louisville in the Big East tournament gives Campbell and her teammates some added incentive to this season.

"We're off to a great start this year, especially with our winning streak so far," said Campbell. "Up to a few games ago, we were beating teams 3-0 and not losing a set. This is a good mindset for the future because we see our potential and our ability. We know what we can achieve, and we know what we have to do moving forward. We know what we have to bring to Big East play. I have high expectations for our team, and I think we know we can compete for a championship if we continue to play this way."

Dating back to her senior year at Emmaus, Campbell had plenty of options for her collegiate career, but it seemed to always come back to Pitt.

"I had an academic scholarship to Pitt so that first drew me to it," Campbell said. "And after visiting the campus I knew it was where I wanted to be. I liked the city environment, the atmosphere and my head coach actually came to a couple of my club volleyball tournaments, so I was also able to meet him and the team."

Campbell played at the club level for Philadelphia Volleyball Academy, near the campus of Villanova and run by the Wildcats head coach. Villanova, along with Bucknell and Lehigh were in the mix.

The natural sciences major is also looking to continue her career after the volleyball season by attending grad school at either Pitt or DeSales to major in a Physicians Assistant. She added that time management has been the key to balancing this difficult and time consuming major with the Division I volleyball schedule. She also brought up her roots at Emmaus to being helpful in the preparation and maturation for college.

"Emmaus was actually a really good preparation for college in general," said Campbell. "It's a great school and has a college-like atmosphere.

"In terms of volleyball, our team was always very competitive. We played against some of the top teams at the state level. It provided me with the groundwork I needed to play volleyball in college. It was an important time in my life."

The Panthers begin Big East play on September 22 at Seton Hall.