Waynesburg University Women’s Basketball Head Coach Sam Jones was on a mission to recruit a standout basketball player at a 2017 PIAA Girls’ Playoff game. The game featured Bishop Canevin High School and West Shamokin High School, a game in which Jones was scouting a Crusader from Bishop Canevin.
The Crusaders won the game by a score of 43-39, but Jones’ recruiting intentions took a turn after he noticed a very talented, crafty senior from the West Shamokin Wolves.
“There was another coach there, and she was already committed to another school,” said Jones. “I remember thinking, ‘I would love to have that kid.’”
That player was current Waynesburg senior guard Andrea Orlosky, who became the 12th Yellow Jacket to be inducted into the thousand-point club in Waynesburg Women’s basketball history on March 6, 2021.
From an early age, the Shelocta, Pennsylvania native has always been an athlete and always had an unchanging love for sports.
“My parents always put me in a bunch of sports,” said Orlosky. “Even when I was younger, I realized that I was pretty good.”
Orlosky was a four-year letterman in basketball during her tenure at West Shamokin High School, achieving a Heritage Conference championship, a Division 6 championship, and a PIAA State Playoff appearance as a Wolf.
After high school graduation, Orlosky had plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and play basketball for the Bobcats. It was only an hour drive, and her mother was an adjunct professor at the university.
The Pitt Greensburg Women’s Basketball coach, however, vacated before Orlosky could join the team.
Hearing about the coaching change, Jones reached out to Orlosky to encourage a visit to Waynesburg University. Orlosky decided to make the two-hour drive and see the campus.
One visit made Orlosky want to become a Yellow Jacket.
“It kind of all fell into place with how amazing the Criminal Justice department is here,” said Orlosky. “As soon as I came, I had that feeling like this is where I’m going to be. I knew when I visited here.”
In her first season with the Women’s Basketball team, Orlosky scored 125 total points, but the 2018-19 season yielded 450 points in her sophomore year, leading the team with just over 17 points per game.
“A lot of it was opportunity and then just her hard work and better understanding of the college game,” said Jones.
Orlosky would average just over 11 points per game and close to 8 rebounds per game in her junior season, being the second leading scorer for the Yellow Jackets.
As a senior, Orlosky led the Presidents’ Athletic Conference in rebounding, averaging just under 12 rebounds per game and ranked fifth in PAC scoring with close to 17 points per game.
“She’s so good at getting to the basket and drawing fouls,” said Waynesburg Assistant Coach Jess Vormelker. “She’s just a tough kid. She’s hardworking [and] hard-nosed.”
Off the court, Orlosky expressed that she has made incredible relationships with her coaching staff and teammates throughout the process. Elena McDermott, who is the second and only other senior on the 2021 Waynesburg Women’s Basketball team, has appreciated the comradeship that these two best friends have built over the years.
“We always love playing together; we always encourage each other,” said McDermott. “We knew that we’d stick together [those] next four years.”
Leading into the 2020-21 season, the 1000-point club was in plain sight for Orlosky, but COVID-19 and a shortened nine-game season was putting a challenge on the senior’s shoulders.
This challenge, however, would be overcome on March 6, 2021 in a senior day home game against the Thiel College Tomcats.
Coming into the game only needing 14 more points, Orlosky made it to 10 points in the first half, just four points shy of making Waynesburg history.
In the fourth quarter, with 12 points on the afternoon, Orlosky shot a fifteen-foot jump shot from the right elbow. When the ball swished, the bench erupted, along with her jubilant parents, and the wait was finally over.
“It was such a huge deal to me,” said Orlosky. “It was such a huge blessing the way that it happened with my parents being there and having my teammates run up to me.”
Orlosky has been known as a quiet leader amongst her teammates and coaches over the past four years, but they know that her actions certainly speak louder than her words.
“Andrea can be a little quiet sometimes, but underneath, she is very knowledgeable and a
great person,” said McDermott. “When you’re in the crunch time and you need someone, Andrea will be there, and she’ll do it.”
Jones understands the shoes that need to be filled when the next basketball season rolls around.
“I would definitely put her in the top 10 of talented kids that I’ve coached,” said Jones. “It’s been an absolute joy to coach Andrea, and we will miss her here at Waynesburg.