A small campus feel paired with a specific major offered at Mount Aloysius College turned out to be an ideal combination for Portage senior Caitlyn Papcun. The 6-foot middle hitter recently committed to playing volleyball for the Mounties.
“I met Coach (Brianna) Baker a little bit before she actually offered me to come play. She came up to a camp at the school and she was very nice,” Papcun said. “She just told me they had a position there for me. Mount Aloysius also has my program that I want to go to college for, which not all colleges do. I was excited about that.”
The all-time and single-season kills leader at Portage will major in forensic psychology starting this fall. Papcun finished 2019 with 199 kills and 31 blocks, earning a spot in the 33rd annual Johnstown Area vs. Somerset Area All-Star Match in November.
“It is a great opportunity for Caitlyn to continue to learn and advance her skills in volleyball,” Portage volleyball coach Lauren Cordwell said. “She is a hard worker and has great passion for the game. Caitlyn is very deserving of getting to play at the collegiate level.”
Last season, the Mounties went 18-10 with an 8-2 mark in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. Led by Baker, a Windber graduate heading into her 13th season in 2020, Mount Aloysius is fueled by local products Machala Gibbons (Bishop McCort Catholic), Ava Myers (Bishop Carroll Catholic) and Ashlee Parrish (Northern Cambria).
“I also got to meet mostly everyone on the team. They’re all very nice, it’s a great team,” Papcun said. “I really liked that it was close to home. It’s a pretty small campus so it’s really easy to find my way around. I’m also used to playing at that gym for basketball games and volleyball games that we would play over the summer.”
Papcun earned four letters in volleyball, three in track and field and one in basketball at Portage, where she totaled 480 career kills. She will bring needed height and length to the Mounties.
“I believe Caitlyn will continue to work hard for Coach Baker,” Cordwell said. “She is a quick learner and once she starts practicing, she will fit right in. Her height and agility will help to provide a great block against other teams.”
Volleyball has always been Papcun’s favorite sport.
“I love that it’s such a team sport,” she said. “You really just get to work together with everyone on the team so much. You get to make so many friends, it’s so great.”
During this coronavirus pandemic, Papcun has been training on her own in anticipation of carving out a role this fall.
“Coach Baker actually sent out workouts for over the summer and for now that we can be doing,” she said. “It includes running and workouts we can do at home.”
Papcun is the daughter of Keith and Sara Papcun, of Portage.