EBENSBURG – Central Cambria seniors Ashley Grimes and Sydney Shaffer earned several accolades together with the Red Devils, including back-to-back Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference championships in volleyball.
As they depart Central Cambria, the two will be able to share more success at the next level.
Grimes and Shaffer both signed their Division III Celebratory Letters on Tuesday to continue their volleyball careers at Mount Aloysius College.
“I wasn’t really sure what school I wanted to go to but having the offer to play was something I couldn’t turn down,” Shaffer said. “I love the game, and I’m really excited to play. There’s a lot of local girls there that I’m going to get to play with. It’ll be fun.”
As libero with the Red Devils, Shaffer played a pivotal role on the defensive side of the ball. She picked up 382 digs during her senior year, which was her first season in the varsity lineup.
“I like to think that I’m a good teammate,” Shaffer said. “With volleyball, I’ve learned to work hard. You have to be willing to work hard if you want to succeed in this sport.”
Shaffer is majoring in medical imaging and is the daughter of Brian and Melissa Shaffer.
Not only will Shaffer have someone to help navigate through college athletics together, but the two are also set to study similar majors. Grimes plans to major in medical imaging, radiology and sonography.
“I’m really excited to pick a school that has my major and a good volleyball program,” Grimes said. “Taking a lot of the same classes will make it a lot easier for the both of us and more fun, too.”
While the proximity to home and having someone to help her along the way was certainly a plus, Grimes chose Mount Aloysius for the similarities the program has to Central Cambria.
“I went and watched them play last season and saw them pull together as a team,” Grimes said.
“They’re a very good program for Division III. I’m really excited to play for them.”
Grimes picked up 272 kills and 140 blocks last season as part of one of the most dominant front rows in the conference. She produced over 500 kills in her career.
“I want to help them defensively and with blocking,” Grimes said. “Their coach said they needed some more people to get blocks. I’m excited to do that for them.”
She is the daughter of Daniel and Janet Grimes.
The Central Cambria duo will play for Mounties coach Brianna Baker, who is entering her 12th year at the helm of the Mount Aloysius volleyball program. Mount Aloysius finished 2018 with a 17-11 record, which included an 8-1 mark in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.
Red Devils coach Jason Layman said that after witnessing both players excel on the court and create a winning culture at Central Cambria, he has no doubt both future Mounties will succeed.
“I’m very proud of both girls. It’s very nice to see players go on to the next level,” Layman said.
“I have no doubt they are both going to be very successful there and do great things. They get to be a part of their winning program now, too.”