University of Pittsburgh at Bradford junior Emily Treat is one of the more notable athletes to emerge from Smethport Area High School in the past few years.
The 2018 graduate was a four-sport athlete who excelled in basketball, cheer, softball and volleyball. In a competitive North Tier League that has featured a collection of talent at all member schools, Treat stacks up as one of the best in recent memory.
She was a team captain in basketball, softball and volleyball in high school in addition to being named a Big 30 cheerleader in the summer leading to her first year of college. She was also a two-time defensive MVP in softball for the Hubbers as well as a first team NTL selection for her standout play on the diamond.
Despite focusing on softball the most at Smethport, she ultimately decided to play volleyball in college. She was recruited by Pitt-Bradford assistant volleyball coach Jeff Kuleck as a high school senior.
Receiving the offer to join the UPB squad meant more to her than just continuing her volleyball career, though.
Being able to play college volleyball for the Panthers meant once again being a teammate of her older sister Katie’s. Katie, who will be graduating from Pitt-Bradford later this year, was a Third Team All-AMCC selection and a former AMCC Player of the Week.
The Treat sisters were also able to experience both an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title and playing in an NCAA Tournament game together while playing for Pitt-Bradford.
“The energy in the NCAA Tournament was nothing like I had ever experienced before,” Emily Treat said. “It was so intense and it was a great experience to play in that environment.”
Last season, the Panthers went back to the AMCC title game once again, but the results were not quite the same. In season No. 3, it was expected to be the last season together for Emily and Katie, but with Katie graduating early and the AMCC moving volleyball to the spring, they never knew that Nov. 10th, 2019 was in fact their last college game together.
“Coming to UPB to play volleyball, I was really nervous,” Treat said. “My sister was the one who had all the belief in me, and with her and my coaches' help, I really grew as a player in my first year. She made my college transition overall much easier. I was hoping for one final season together, but I am just thankful we were able to be teammates for so long.”
Katie is not alone in graduating in December as several members of the UPB volleyball team are scheduled to graduate early in the coming weeks. It will mean Emily’s time to lead this young Panthers team is coming up.
“We are a pretty young team, but we have worked as hard as we could through some tough times. If we do play, it will be a growth year for us,” she said. “We have not had a lot of time to play together with UPB shutting down the campus, so we just need to make the most of it if we are able to play later this school year.”
In her future, the Smethport native hopes to stay around the area and teach preschool or Kindergarten. She had her first experience in a classroom setting just a few weeks ago. It was scheduled to be in person, but it was moved to virtual. Next school year, she will become a student teacher for the first time.
Staying around the McKean County area would also allow her to eventually coach volleyball; something she began thinking about this summer. Despite unconventional, tough times, she is hopeful to return to a sport soon that has given her so much, and yet has a lot left to give her.