The Holy Family University senior has been averaging at more than 18 “kills” per game.
It didn’t take long for the coaches to recognize Chase Wassel was something special.
Wassel, a senior at Holy Family University, had about two years experience playing volleyball when she joined the Infinity Volleyball Academy club team. One of the directors with Infinity was Jeff Rotondo, now the volleyball coach at Holy Family.
“When I joined there, the directors helped me a lot,” said Wassel, a graduate of Lansdale Catholic. “They helped me a lot. Playing club helped me a lot with high school, and it’s helped me a lot with college.”
Rotondo and his staff must be great coaches. And Wassel is proving to be a great volleyball player.
Last week, she was selected the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 30. It was the third week in a row she picked up that honor and the sixth straight week a Tiger earned the award.
The Tigers are now 16–5 overall, 10–1 in CACC play and, according to Wassel, are having the best year of her stint at the school. And the Tigers have been plenty successful during her first three years.
“This year is definitely special,” Wassel said. “We’ve had good years here, we’ve been to the playoffs every year and last year we advanced past the quarterfinals. This year, I think we can do that and even go further.”
Wassel has been a key factor in the team’s success.
The 6-foot-1 Wassel leads the team with 358 kills (think spikes). She’s also been playing exceptionally well as of late, averaging more than 18 kills in her past eight games.
While those points add up and give the team momentum, she’s quick to volley the praise around to her teammates and coaches.
“Kills are good, you can definitely feel the excitement from everyone on the court and on the bench,” Wassel said. “But it takes a lot to get them. You need to have good setters and we have that. And we have great coaches who put us in good position.
“I won those player of the week awards and they’re great, but they’re more of a team award because we’re playing well as a team. It’s not one player.”
One person whom Wassel has found instant chemistry with is freshman Morgan Silks, an Archbishop Carroll graduate.
It can take time for a setter to find the perfect spot for an attacker, but this combination has quickly jelled into a great tandem. On the year, Silks has 848 assists.
“She came in right away and I could tell she was a little nervous, but she played great right from the start,” Wassel said. “We’ve worked really well together. She has great hands and she always sets it up perfectly. And I always know where she’s going to put it.
“It’s great when you have someone like that. It makes it so much easier. The whole team is responsible, but she does a really good job.”
Success on the court is nothing new to Wassel. In fact, during her days at Lansdale, she finished her career with three straight championships, as the Crusaders finished 55–8 during her three-year varsity career. She earned All-State honors as a junior and was a three-time District 12 All-Star.
“I think playing in the Catholic League really helped me,” Wassel said. “It’s a great league, and there are a lot of good players there. We won a lot of games and three championships, but it was great competition.”
Wassel is now preparing for life after Holy Family.
While she’s 100 percent focused on her senior year, she is starting to eye a future, which could include volleyball.
Ideally, she’ll find a perfect job where she can use her communications degree, but she’s not closing the door on the sport just yet.
“I’ve talked to my coaches and I will look into playing overseas,” Wassel said. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities here, it’s mostly overseas, I know London is a possibility, but the №1 goal is to get a job and then it’s playing volleyball.
“I think I would like a job where I’m able to do social media. I’ve had a lot of people in my family work or have worked in communications. I think it’s something I would enjoy.
“I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m focused on school and volleyball. Then I’ll worry about those things.”
Now she’s just hoping the help the Tigers wrap up a CACC championship.
“I really think this is a special year,” she said. “I feel it in my gut. We’re playing very well, and we have everything we need.
“People are excited. We’re doing well, and people are starting to get excited, not just on the team but around campus. It really could be a special year.”