Casey Bohan is a serial killer.
At Wyoming Area she killed 549. At Wilkes University only nine killers in the nation have killed more than Casey. In the backyard of her parents' home in Harding they've lost count.
Casey, 20, a 6-1 junior middle hitter for the Wilkes University women's volleyball team, is ranked 10th in the country in kills per set and fourth in points per set.
Her sisters Mallory, a 5-6 junior, and Gabby, a 5-8 senior, are right and left side hitters for the Wyoming Area girls volleyball team. We make up a whole front row, Casey said.
The sisters grew up playing family volleyball games in their backyard with their parents – Patrick Bohan who played basketball at Nanticoke and their mother Judy – and a large extended family that includes their cousin Nick Romanowski, the founder of the Wyoming Area ice hockey club, and cousins Lauren and Megan Wysocki, who is a freshman player at Wyoming Area. We even got grandma to play, Casey said.
When they were little the girls had to sit and watch until they were about eight before they were allowed to play. That's how it all started, Mallory said.
Mallory said the backyard games are competitive. It has to be equal, Mallory said. If not, there's a big fight about it.
To make the games equal, Casey, who is a ringer in the backyard, has to be on a team opposite Mallory and Gabby.
They're vicious, the girls mother Judy said of the backyard games. If you're picked last and feel bad about it, well, who cares?
When Casey graduated from Wyoming Area in 2010 she left as the volleyball program's all-time kills leader with 549. Her sisters got to see most of those hits. Mallory was on the first-year team and Gabby was a freshman.
Asked if they look up to Casey as a role model, they said they did, though just a little reluctantly. Yeah, I guess, Mallory said. She's good at volleyball and school and that shows you can balance it out. We should try to do that, too, in high school.
Casey is a pharmacy major.
Gabby said, Sometimes we get a little jealous, but it makes us work harder.
With three daughters playing on two different teams Judy sees a lot of volleyball. From August to November we have no life but volleyball. We don't even eat at home, but I live for it. I don't ever want to miss a game.
Eight times this season Wyoming Area and Wilkes had games on the same day. The minute the Wyoming Area game is over we drive over to Wilkes to see Casey play. It's always a close call.
Her husband goes with her when he is not working.
The sisters all agree that volleyball is an underrated and under appreciated sport, both at Wyoming Area and in general.
Our school is all about football, Mallory said. Some kids think volleyball is like a joke, but we take it seriously.
The sisters said most kids don't grow up playing volleyball as they did and that's the problem. There's no real elementary program, Casey said. Little kids play baseball, basketball and soccer.
The sisters were all basketball players when they were younger. I started basketball at the YMCA in second grade, Casey said. I was definitely more of a basketball player. I started volleyball at Wyoming Area in seventh grade and by my freshman year I was more of a volleyball player.
Mallory and Gabby made a similar evolution from basketball to volleyball. Mallory said it's more exciting than basketball. You get more of a rush because you have to get to 25 to win.
Gabby had to choose between soccer and volleyball this season when the PIAA moved girls soccer from spring to fall. It was an easy choice. Volleyball is number one, she said.
Asked if they are likely to play at the college level, Mallory, who is 5-6, said, I'm probably not tall enough.
Gabby said she wants to go to Temple and realizes she's not good enough to play at a Division I school.
That doesn't mean they are done with the game.
The backyard will always be there, Gabby said.