North Xtra: Deer Lakes' McTigue having a busy summer
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Deer Lakes graduate Sean McTigue had hoped to find a summer job prior to beginning his first year of college.
Finding a job, however, is a little tough when your schedule is booked for most of the summer.
"It would be nice to have some extra money for college, but there aren't many employers who would allow me to take time off for volleyball," said McTigue, a four-year letterman and three-year starter during his career with the Lancers.
McTigue, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter, traveled to Dallas, Texas last Saturday to compete in the USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships, which concluded on Wednesday.
"The first day was brutal," McTigue said. "We played a total of 13 games, which included two tiebreaker games. We finished in a three-way tie for third place in our five-team pool. We played 10 hours and only got one break because of the tiebreaker. Everybody was so exhausted that we came back to the hotel and passed out."
McTigue was playing for an 18-and-under team from the Pittsburgh Volleyball Club.
"They have an Open Division and a Club Division," McTigue said. "We were one of 56 teams in the Club Division. We faced some of the best competition in the country."
McTigue and his teammates played seven more games on the second day of competition, and were scheduled to play at least six more games on the last day. McTigue and his father, Tim, returned to Pittsburgh on Thursday, but were not staying home very long.
"We leave for California on Saturday," said McTigue.
McTigue has been invited to a USA Volleyball High Performance Camp, which will begin Monday and continue through next week at Long Beach State University. The camp is run by Long Beach State coach John Crutchfield.
"I was invited to a tryout, then extended an invitation to the camp," McTigue said. "I'm really looking forward to this because approximately 100 of the top players in the country in my age bracket will be there.
"We have two days of practice, then the coaches hold a draft to pick teams. The teams then play in a three-day tournament against each other. It will be really tough, but also a lot of fun."
McTigue will be joined by his father and brother.
"We're actually going a few days early so we can visit with two cousins who live in the San Diego area," McTigue said.
McTigue's invitation to the high-performance camp stemmed from last year's trip to Tuscon, Ariz.
"I played for a Pennsylvania team at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships," McTigue said.
"Playing in that tournament opened the door for me to be invited to the High Performance Camp."
McTigue cannot relax when he returns to Pittsburgh. He must start training for his college career at Medaille College.
"My coach gave me a four-day-a-week conditioning and training program that I must do until I begin classes on Sept. 1," McTigue said. "I'm also hoping to pick up some odd jobs, like cutting grass and babysitting. Anything to earn a few bucks."
Medaille College is an NCAA Division III program located in Buffalo, N.Y.
"Medaille is ranked among the top ten in the country every year, so it's a very good program," McTigue said. "They have an opening in the starting lineup, but it's not set in stone. They are not going to hand it to me. I've got to earn it."
McTigue has been warned about the winters in Buffalo.
"The winters are supposed to be rough," McTigue said. "They measure snow by feet, not inches. I'm not looking forward to that, but it's only 31/2 hours from Pittsburgh, so it will give my parents a chance to see me play."
Deer Lakes won WPIAL and PIAA titles in his junior year at Deer Lakes, but things didn't go as well his senior year. The Lancers placed third in the WPIAL and were upset in the first round of the PIAA Tournament.
"We had four starters injured during the season and were never able to have everybody on the court at the same time," said McTigue, who was one of the four injured players.
"I fractured a vertebrae in my back just before the season started. I had therapy almost every day during the season. It was painful at times, but I played through it and didn't miss a game all year."
The Lancers 3-2 loss to Cochranton in the PIAA Tournament was especially painful.
"We had a 2-1 lead and lost 26-24 in the fourth game," McTigue said. "We fell behind 11-3 in the fifth game and rallied back to where we were down by only two points at 13-11.
"Unfortunately, the rally came up short. It was really tough to have my high school career end that way."
First Published July 6, 2012 12:00 am