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W. Shamokin star Edinboro bound

| Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, 11:41 p.m.
Jill Glover brings the ball upcourt during a West Shamokin basketball workout on Thursday, July 12, 2012. Glover, an incoming senior, will attend West Shamokin for the second time in four years because the Armstrong School District closed Elderton, which Glover attended as a sophomore and junior. Photo Bill West

By the start of her senior year, Jill Glover had drawn enough attention in basketball and volleyball to earn full scholarship offers from Division II college programs in both sports.

A good problem for the former Elderton and current West Shamokin star? Sure — at least until her preferred volleyball program gave her a one-week deadline to verbally commit just as West Shamokin's preseason team camp started.

“I really couldn't decide between (the sports) because I like both of them a lot,” the 6-foot Glover said. “I was just really stressed.”

Driving distance made the difference for Glover, who gave her word to Edinboro for volleyball in mid-August and passed on a basketball career at Le Moyne, located almost six hours away in Syracuse, N.Y. She committed as an outside hitter.

“I feel really good now that I know where I'm going and that I'm not waiting and still trying to figure everything out,” said Glover, who plans to sign her letter of intent during the early period that begins Nov. 14.

Her accolades began to accumulate as a freshman at West Shamokin — Elderton was closed for the 2009-10 school year. She received all-WPIAL volleyball honors and led the school's basketball team in scoring.

The past two years, she earned Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association all-state recognition at Elderton. And in basketball, she averaged a team-best 15.2 points.

“At first, I thought I'd play basketball in college because I'd been playing AAU for so long,” said Glover, whose involvement dated back to seventh grade.

AAU basketball prevented Glover from joining the Armstrong Indiana Volleyball Association club team run by Elderton's coach, Dan Spencer. But in the past year, Glover's parents finally gave their daughter a chance to double-dip. Glover's participation in club volleyball paid dividends immediately.

This spring, the AIVA club won a 16-team tournament at Edinboro by tearing through a series of higher-seeded squads from the Ohio Valley region. Glover performed particularly well, Spencer said. Edinboro's coach took notice and left a recruitment packet with Spencer, who passed it on to Glover.

“For the longest time, I thought (volleyball) was a second choice at best, and my only encouragement to her was, ‘Don't close any doors,'” Spencer said. “She's athletic, she's long, and those are qualities that immediately make her a great plus, whether it's basketball or volleyball.”

Point Park offered Glover a chance to play both sports. The senior entertained the opportunity but declined.

“I thought I'd always get behind,” she said. “I want to be 100 percent committed to one program. I didn't want to be giving 50 percent to one team and 50 percent to another because I'd feel like I was letting both down.”

Glover believes she has a shot at playing time as a freshman at Edinboro, especially if her back-row passing improves.

Spencer sees Glover as a gifted player who possesses a selfless drive to reach greater levels.

“Jill is a rare mixture of personality, skill and work ethic,” Spencer said. “I've seen all extremes in all those different areas, and I'd say she's one of the ones who had the entire package, and that made her special.

“You don't usually get kids who are that good but don't wear it on their sleeve.”

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at wwest@tribweb.com or 724-543-1303 ext. 1321.

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