By Jenna Swank
UPPER BURRELL, Pa.—The athletics department at Penn State New Kensington is one that is constantly changing and expanding. Among the sports offered, volleyball is one that has been a continuous success for the campus. The program has produced six conference titles, second only to the 13 championships by the men’s basketball program.
When the position of Head Women’s Volleyball coach at Penn State New Kensington became available for the 2014 season, Springdale native, Amy Sigmund, applied without hesitation. “Everyone loves Penn State volleyball,” said Sigmund when asked what drew her to the position; “Penn State New Kensington has such a great reputation… didn’t even have to think twice about it.” Sigmund brings with her a wealth of experience not only coaching the sport, but playing it as well.
Sigmund has six years of coaching experience under her belt. She coached all of those years at Springdale High School. For five years, she was the head JV coach and in her final year she was the interim head varsity coach. In her year as the interim varsity coach, she led the team to the second round playoffs, but lost to the WPIAL champions. That was the first time in 15 years that the girls volleyball team made it to playoffs.
As far as playing the sport goes, she was an outside hitter, middle hitter and setter, respectively, for Springdale on section championship teams from 1997 to 1999. She earned All-Section honors as a middle hitter and setter in high school. She continued her playing career at Waynesburg as a defensive specialist. She continues to be active in co-ed and women’s competitive leagues throughout Pittsburgh. Although she has played every position on the court, Sigmund says her favorite position is outside hitter.
Being a new coach to the campus, Sigmund has big plans for the volleyball program. She hopes to be able to get more high school girls to the campus during the season to watch the team in action. “It’s all about recruiting and getting out into the community” says Sigmund. She believes that as the team improves year after year, more players will seek to come to PSNK to be a part of a solid, winning tradition. Even in her first year as head coach, she has gained the respect and admiration of her team. Dakota Pastovic, a sophomore from Highlands, says “Coach Amy is very inspiring, even when we are at our lowest she finds a way to pick us back up. As long as she can see that we tried our hardest, that is good enough for her.”
Although volleyball is a large part of her life, coaching the sport is not how she makes a living. Sigmund graduated from Waynesburg with a degree in Communications and a minor in Marketing. She gained an MBA from Salem International University with a concentration in International Business. Sigmund is currently a senior district manager at ADP TotalSource in Pittsburgh. In her job, she works with small to medium business owners and non-profit organizations in the Pittsburgh area. ADP provides business processing solutions, including payroll, talent management, human resource management, benefits administration, and time and attendance. Sigmund is engaged to Brian Kostek, who is otherwise known as “Wookie” on the country music radio station Y108. The two are set to be married in November of this year.