Beach volleyball recruits from Pa. to set foot on sand in fall
January 19, 2020 | Lynchburg, Va.
Two beach volleyball partners from Christian high schools in Pennsylvania — 5-foot, 9-inch middle blocker Sydnie Metzker and 5-9 outside hitter Rylee Urban — have committed to join Liberty University's Club Sports program next fall.
"They both have played quite a bit of beach and grass doubles, so we are excited about their base knowledge coming into our program," Liberty Head Coach Kaleb VanDePerre said. "We are excited to get them into the gym and go over our systems and think they both will make an impact right away."
Metzker and Urban, who played together in open beach and AA grass tournaments in Delaware, Pottstown, Pa., and New Jersey as well as a collegiate beach showcase in Florida last summer, visited Liberty in the fall semester, when they signed letters of intent to play for the Lady Flames.
"I loved the campus and the atmosphere," Metzker said. "Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I'm super excited to be able to expand my volleyball skills and to make close friendships with the girls on my team that will help me grow my relationship with Christ."
Urban, who plans to major in accounting, said she was drawn to Liberty by the on-campus culture where she can serve God and others with a joyful attitude, both on and off the court.
"I love how Christ-centered Liberty is and all the amazing opportunities they give their students," she said. "The campus is absolutely beautiful and the students and faculty were very welcoming and loving. Coach Kaleb and (Assistant) Coach Jess (Nelson) are amazing people and coaches. They both are very knowledgeable about the game and have a ton of experience and I could see how much they love their players and how they truly want them to succeed."
Metzker, who helped lead Upper Bucks Christian School's indoor team to a 22-1 record and league championship this past fall, is considering majoring in exercise science.
She said her athleticism enables her to juggle offensive and defensive responsibilities on the sand, contributing sets and spikes as well as blocks at the net and diving digs in the backcourt.
"I love everything about the beach game, especially how you get to play all the positions on the court," said Metzker, who strives to be a team player at all times. "I try to encourage my teammates as much as I can and always help them if they need it and help make them better players."
Likewise, Urban, who started playing beach volleyball at an early age, is excited to grow as a player and person as a member of the Lady Flames.
"I want to increase my skill in beach volleyball, but still have a fun time playing for an amazing team and for amazing coaches," she said. " I am constantly working on different techniques and I love that part of volleyball. I also love the friendships I have made through the sport and just the pure fun of playing it."
A four-year team captain and first-team all-conference and all-tournament player on her indoor volleyball team at Valley Forge Baptist Academy, Urban has developed a passion for the game.
"When I play, I give it my all," she said, describing herself as an optimistic and dedicated player. "I love to just have fun when I play but yet still be competitive. I try to keep a positive and happy attitude as I play, and do all I can to help my team."