PITTSBURGH — Two days after her collegiate volleyball career at the University of Pittsburgh ended, Angela Seman couldn't sleep.
The Seneca Valley graduate got out of bed, gathered her thoughts and penned an open letter to Pitt and to the city that had embraced her and her teammates.
“Our media relations department wanted us to write 'Dear Pittsburgh' letters,” Seman said. “I was all emotional when I wrote it. I figured I'd write it when everything was still fresh.”
That was a good idea. The letter resonated with many when it finally reached the public in late April. The NCAA took the letter and ran with it on social media, garnering thousands of hits and reactions.
On the University of Pittsburgh website, it was the most visited page — by a lot.
“I was not expecting that,” Seman said. “It was just so cool. I was just happy it was finally getting put out there for people to read it.”
Seman hit on several topics in the letter, from what her teammates and the sport had meant to her during her magical senior season that saw Pitt go 30-2 and reach the second round of the NCAA tournament.
“To the city of Pittsburgh: thank you for believing in us, and for falling in love with the sport of volleyball,” Seman wrote. “From my first year (when my parents were half of the fan base) to packing Fitzgerald Field House for Senior Day, the support has been unimaginable.”
Seman, a libero, spent five years with the program.
She received a redshirt in her freshman season and used that time to study and get acclimated to the college game.
When she finally hit the court at Pitt, she made an immediate impact.
In her first season, she recorded 532 digs to lead the team.
She ended her career with 1,851 digs, which put her second on the all-time list for the Panthers and first all-time in the modern five-set rally scoring system.
Seman played in 131 of the 132 matches in her career — sitting out only once due to a concussion.
Despite an array of injuries, including a torn hamstring during her redshirt-sophomore season, Seman was always able to put on a uniform and hit the court.
“There were some mornings when I woke up and couldn't move,” Seman said. “But I had to play. I was injured a lot, but it wasn't bad enough where I couldn't play. Playing the position I played, those kinds of things are expected.”
Seman, now 23, first began playing volleyball in the fourth grade, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Catie.
At first, Seman played at the net because she was one of the tallest girls on the team.
Eventually, she settled into the libero position.
Seman got to play at Seneca Valley with both of her sisters. She played two seasons with Catie, who went on to play volleyball at the University of Rhode Island, and for one year with her younger sister Bella, who is currently playing at Elon University.
“We never really had a sister rivalry,” Angela Seman said. “I learned from Catie and Bella and tried to help them both, too.”
Seman received one of her biggest honors recently when she was voted Pittsburgh's Female College Athlete of the Year.
“I honestly had no idea I was even nominated,” Seman said. “It's kind of just icing on the cake.”
While her playing days are over, her days in volleyball are not.
Seman is currently the head coach of Pitt Elite's 16-and-under team as she finishes up graduate school at Pitt.
It's the same club team she played for.
“It's been a really great learning experience,” Seman said. “I'm not much of a yeller. Mistakes are going to happen — you can never play perfect volleyball. I only get angry when I have to repeat myself.
“I always tell my team that you're not doing this for yourself. If you play selfishly, you will never be a good volleyball player.”
Seman was never shy about putting the team first during her playing days.