Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Upper St. Clair's Amos Taking Her Talents to Duke

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Upper St. Clair's Amos Taking Her Talents to Duke

Article excerpt

Samantha Amos was playing tennis when she first experienced the sport of volleyball.

"My neighbor was Troy Murphy," said Amos, referring to a former setter for the Upper St. Clair boys volleyball team. "I saw him hitting a volleyball off the side of his house all the time. He turned me on to the sport of volleyball. He taught me how to hit and pass. I might still be playing tennis today if I never met Troy."

Amos and her younger sister Alex had been playing doubles tennis at the time she was introduced to volleyball.

"I started playing tennis when I was 7," Samantha Amos said. "I didn't start playing volleyball until I was 11 or 12."

Despite Alex being two years younger, the two became a very accomplished doubles team.

"They played together in USTA [United States Tennis Association] tournaments and won an 18-and-under tournament," said Jodi Amos, mother of Samantha and Alex. "I think Samantha was 15 and Alex was 13 at the time."

Samantha Amos played volleyball and tennis her freshman year at Upper St. Clair, and did well in both sports, but quickly realized her future was in volleyball.

Amos was first-team Class AAA All-WPIAL, then recognized on the PVCA [Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association] all-state team. It's rare that a freshman is voted to the all-state team. In fact, Amos was the only freshman recognized in all three classes.

"I decided to concentrate on volleyball after my freshman year," Amos said. "I still enjoy playing tennis, but my future is in volleyball."

Amos, a 6-2 left-handed opposite, entered her sophomore year at Upper St. Clair with hopes of leading the Panthers to a WPIAL title. But things didn't work out as she had hoped. Upper St. Clair placed second in Class AAA Section 2 and made a quick exit from the WPIAL playoffs.

The team didn't do as well, but Amos was once again voted to the WPIAL and PVCA all-star teams. She also made the always tough decision of where to attend college.

"I made unofficial visits to seven different colleges," said Amos, referring to Stanford, Penn State, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Purdue and Duke. "They were all so beautiful, but when I walked onto the campus at Duke, it found a place in my heart. …

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