Chartiers Valley senior headed south to continue lacrosse career
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When Chartiers Valley senior Camille Scumaci began looking at schools to continue her education and athletic careers, lacrosse players told her she would know the right school when she was there.
That school turned out to be Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.
“It had a really homey atmosphere,” Scumaci said. “I got that feeling walking on campus where I wanted to go there. I knew it was where I should be.”
Belmont Abbey College is 15 miles west of Charlotte and competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Conference Carolinas. The conference is made up of private colleges in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Other members include Barton College, Converse College, Erskine College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, Mount Olive College, North Greenville University and Pfeiffer University.
Belmont Abbey went 8-9 last season and reached the conference tournament semifinals.
While Scumaci was tempted to play at the Division I level, she said visiting smaller colleges opened her eyes to the level of the compeititon.
“In seventh grade, I was all about going to a big Division I school,” Scumaci said. “But then I started seeing the smaller schools and realized the players at that level were really good.
“The (Conference Carolinas) is a real good league.”
Scumaci said she strongly considered Seton Hill.
A factor for Scumaci was being able to study entrepreneurship, as she hopes to run her own business.
“I had a set plan of what schools matched what I wanted to study,” Scumaci said. “A lot of schools didn't offer it because it is a newer major. I am thinking of minoring in international business as well.”
The warmer climate didn't hurt, either..
“Coach (Jenn) Flaherty texted me and said ‘it's 76 (degrees) and sunny here today,'” Scumaci said. “The idea of not seeing snow again isn't that bad.”
With the decision out of the way, Scumaci can focus on her senior season this spring. The defender — who made the Pittsburgh team for the US Lacrosse Women's National Tournament the last two years — will be one of 10 seniors on the Colts' roster in the 2014 season.
Chartiers Valley has been one of the strongest programs at the WPIAL Division II level the last three years but has lost in the title game each season, including a 15-14 loss to Shaler last year.
After feeling that heartbreak for three straight seasons, Scumaci is certain the team will finally bring home the gold in her senior year.
“The seniors have been through so much together,” Scumaci said. “It is probably the greatest group of girls to be around. We need to push each other and ourselves.
If we play as hard as we have the last three years, I know we will win the title. It is all I want.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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