Athlete of the Month: Erika Bistran

athlete-of-the-month-erika-bistran-picBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore senior volleyball outside hitter Erika Bistran was selected All Regional for the second time in her outstanding four-year career.

Daughter of Lori and Rob Bistran, Dunmore, Erika, 18, is a team player all the way.

Hard working and humble, she was quick to praise teammates, opponents and coaches when she heard about her selection.

“I was shocked and did not expect it,” she said. “It is quite an accomplishment and takes a lot of hard work. There are a lot of great players in our league, so you don’t know if this is possible. We have great coaching and it’s a team game. Volleyball is point by point. It is play by play. You play as a team. I have great teammates here who all work hard.”

Erika finished the season with 268 kills, 60 digs, 67 aces and 107 serving points. She finished her career with 415 kills, 135 digs, 139 aces and 381 serving points.

She was also an All Regional selection in her freshman year. She was a first-team all-star as a freshman.

Coached by Sue Dempsey, the Dunmore girls’ volleyball team finished a splendid season with an 18-3 record. Dunmore finished second in its division and lost the district title game to Holy Redeemer.

“We had a nice year,” said Erika. “We were young and a little inexperienced, so we had to come together as a team. We had to get the job done and make it happen. It was a lot of hard work, but we played as a team and really put it together.”

Erika has a 3.6 academic average and aspires to become a Physician’s Assistant. She has applied to Kings College for the Physician’s Assistant program.

Erika, well rounded in all aspects of academics, clubs and sports, is president of the Spanish Club at Dunmore. She is secretary of the TACT Club and a member of SADD, the French Club and National Honor Society. Her favorite subject is history.

Erika is also a four-year member and two-year starter as a forward on the Dunmore girls’ basketball team. She averaged over six points and over eight rebounds per game last season.

She has been a Dunmore football cheerleader for the past two years.

She talked about what it takes to be a good volleyball player in high school. “It takes a lot of hard work. You have to practice hard both in season and out of season. You have to push yourself to be the best. And you really have to love the sport.”

Erika said she has learned a lot from coach Dempsey. “She always teaches to be a team player and a leader. When you are down, pick everyone up. Volleyball is a team sport, not an individual sport.”

Erika, who is a big fan of Carrie Underwood and would like to see her in concert, talked about her future goals. “I definitely want to focus on school and become a Physician’s Assistant. I might play volleyball in college. In the end, it is all about school.”

The talented scholar-athlete lives by the Beach Boys song, “Be True to Your School.” Erika loves Dunmore High School.

“I love it,” she said. “Dunmore High is a great place to be. The environment is great. The environment is like no other school. The Friday night football games are amazing. Dunmore is one of a kind. I love it here. I have great experiences with great people.”

Dunmore volleyball player receives high honors

Athlete of the Month: Izzy Cooper

By Steve Svetovich

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Photo Credit: Rich Banick/Rich Banick Photography

Dunmore senior Izzy Cooper was named Times-Tribune volleyball player of the year and selected Class AA All-State by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

Cooper also helped lead the Lady Bucks volleyball team to the Lackawanna League championship.

She joins Jillian Korgeski, a two-time Times-Tribune player of the year, and Kimberly Dempsey as the only players from the Dunmore Lady Bucks volleyball program who have achieved All-State honors.

She is a three-year starter and three-time All-Region selection. She dominated league play in her senior year and was also chosen by the coaches as the Lackawanna League Most Valuable Player.

The talented senior totaled 279 kills with a 54.5 kill percentage, 114 service points with 33 aces, 14 blocks and 217 assists.

For her career, she is second on the program’s kill list with 600. Korgeski is first with 847.

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Photo Credit: Rich Banick/Rich Banick Photography

She also had career totals of 328 serving points, 103 aces, 36 blocks, 81 digs and 812 assists.

In Cooper’s three seasons, Dunmore had a 75-6 overall record. She was a part of a District 2 Class A title in her sophomore season,

Her sister Vivian was an All-Region volleyball player in 2012.

She credited her teammates for all making key contributions to a championship season.

Lauren Slavoski, Amanda Curcio and Courtney Kijek of Holy Redeemer were also chosen Class AA All-State.