Initially for sophomore basketball player Andrea Orlosky, Waynesburg University wasn’t even on the radar for post-secondary education and athletics.
She had committed to attend Pitt-Greensburg, but after their head coach departed, she realized that there were more possibilities to receive a quality education while continuing to play the game she loves.
“I realized that I didn’t look at all my options,” Orlosky said. “[Head coach Sam Jones] then reached out to me and I visited here, they have a great [criminal justice] program and I [realized] this is what I want to do.”
For Jones, recruiting Orlosky proved to be an interesting story.
After watching her in the state semi-final game her senior year of high school, he knew he wanted to continue watching her play, but her commitment to another school stood in the way.
“I gave her a quick phone call, she came on campus,” Jones said. “And then a little bit later she made up her mind to come to Waynesburg.”
The rising sophomore has proved to be the cornerstone for the Yellow Jackets this season but only after an adjustment period. Coming in as a freshman, playing time wasn’t always there, especially with seniors Mackenna Drazich, Rachel Eng and Addy Knetzer all in the starting lineup. However, Jones saw potential in Orlosky even as freshman.
“She was a great off the bench, [a] high energy kid who played hard and did some good things for us,” Jones said. “She played a position that’s not her natural position and filled a need for us.”
According to Orlosky, her natural position is a guard, but she often plays the role of a forward because of Waynesburg’s lack of depth. She also said that it was not the easiest of transitions.
“I’m definitely more of a guard,” she said. “Since we don’t have that big of a bench, I’ve adjusted to playing a post.”
Due to her height, Orlosky is often times at a mismatch when it comes to guarding opponents, but she said Jones has helped her learn the position so she can be as effective as possible.
“Coming into this year, he really pushed me to be stronger,” Orlosky said. “Especially because I am smaller, he taught me different moves and positions to play to help with my size.”
In her new role, Orlosky currently ranks third in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference in scoring. Along with her 16.5 points per game, Orlosky also contributes around eight rebounds per game which ranks her fifth in the conference.
“She plays with a high motor,” Jones said. “Cleary she can score, but she gets the greasy ugly buckets. It’s her hard work and high motor.”
This season has been one of rebuilding for the Jackets following the graduation of Eng, Drazich and Knetzer. Orlosky said she felt as if she was thrown into a leadership role. Jones however, feels she has handled the responsibility well as an underclassman.
“She is the more quiet type,” said Jones. “But you can’t question the work ethic and she leads by just working hard.”
Orlosky knew she needed to step up in helping to improve a young team.
“Especially since Monica [Starre], Erin [Joyce] and Julie [Deklaven] were the only ones coming back,” Orlosky said. “Even though I’m younger, I can have a voice.”
Jones said that Orlosky has been a joy to coach the past two years and has even dubbed her with a special nickname after he had an encounter at a golf match with one of her old high school friends.
“Her official nickname is ‘Little Snacks,’” Jones said. “Carlow has a gentleman on their golf team that is 6 feet 8 inches and they call him ‘Big Snacks’, and then I come to find out that he went to same high school as Andrea. Clearly, she is not 6 feet 8 inches so we call her Little Snacks.”