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COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL: CANDOR’S SWARTZ SIGNS WITH HARTWICK (2022-04-02)

By TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
CANDOR — Candor volleyball standout Shelby Swartz will be taking her talents to Hartwick College in Oneonta this fall.

Swartz signed her National Letter of Intent Thursday and several factors weighed in on her selection.

“I chose Hartwick because I went on a visit and I really liked the campus,” Swartz said. “It's also close enough to home, so if I need my mom and my dad to come, they can, but it's also far enough away where they're not there all the time, so that's kind of nice.

“They have a really nice physical therapy program and just kind of like what I want to do. And also, the volleyball program is really good.”

The senior helped the Indians win a state championship in 2019 and led them back to the state tournament last fall.

During this past season Swartz registered 381 kills in 108 sets and served 213 points, including 85 aces. She also had 30 blocks, 12 block assists, 262 digs and 19 assists.

Candor also won the IAC South Small School and IAC Small School championship all four years she was on the team.

Swartz was named the 2021-22 New York Volleyball Coaches Association Section IV Player of the Year and was selected to the NYVBCA Class D first team for the 2021 season. She was also chosen the 2021 All-Tioga County volleyball "Player of the Year” and is a multi-time all-county and IAC all-star. She also serves as a Section IV representative on the NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

What position she will play will be up to the coaching staff, but she has proven to be a versatile hitter.

“I've played all three hitters positions, so I know I can do all three and defensively, I know I'm not like super tall for a middle, but I think I play defense pretty well, so I think I can help them out defensively, but also be an offensive piece to it.

She likes playing the outside and the middle.

“I think I like the middle because you're always blocking, but I also like outside because you're the outlet for the ball. So you get set a lot, so either one I really like.”

Swartz realizes there are a couple areas of her game that can use some improvement to make her a more effective player at the collegiate level.

“I think since I'm not super tall, I need to get my vertical (leap) a bit higher and also work on my blocking pressing over the net a little bit more instead of just going straight up,” she said. “And then I think learning what offenses they have, what offenses they run, will help a lot once I get there.”

There are some adjustments Swartz will need to make at the college level as well.

“I think definitely I’ll have to push myself a little bit harder, because it’s like I'm the youngest now instead of the oldest,” she said. “I'm going to have to work for playing time and the spots that I get.

“I think traveling is definitely different, but I don't know. I think they're all like good differences. It's new, so I think it's like a good, different type of thing.”

One thing that will be familiar to Swartz is Hawks setter Braelyn Hornick, who played with her at Candor and went to Hartwick following graduation in 2020.

“She was definitely an added bonus to it,” Swartz said of her decision to choose Hartwick. “I had to make the decision on my own. I think if she wasn't there, I would still go there.”

Hartwick posted an 18-4 record last fall and was 7-1 in the Empire 8 Conference.

Swartz is leaning toward an education in physical therapy.

“I originally applied for bio, but I've been looking into their other programs and they have a four-plus-two physical therapy program,” she said. “You get your physical therapy, undergrad there for four years and you get immediately transferred to a graduate school. I think that's kind of what I'm leaning towards right now until I figure out exactly what I want to do.”

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF HOLLY CARLING & BRITTNEY NOBLE.

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