Green and gold run in Rozier’s family genes

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

Monroeville native Jazlyn Rozier is one of four freshman on the 2017 Point Park volleyball team and is one of three family members to commit to the green and gold uniform.

And she has two left feet.

Friend and teammate Camryn LaMonaca recalls Rozier tripping and stumbling while walking up the stairs, but no one would never expect that from the Rozier that appears on the court.

The “ditzy and clumsy” middle hitter sits among the top five attackers on the team recording 145 kills this season as of Oct. 22, averaging 1.54 kills per game.

During her junior year of high school, Rozier reached out to head volleyball coach Greg Lockley for college advice in the pursuit of a collegiate student-athlete career.

Rozier began to second guess her decision at the start of her senior year when a teacher claimed the open position as head coach without any real knowledge of the game.

“Sometimes I was like, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ because transitioning with a new coach was hard, but I stuck with it,” Rozier said.

Sticking with the sport through the tough times worked out in Rozier’s favor.

Rozier joined the Pioneers as one of 13 new players suiting up for the fall season.

“I’m really pleased with her transition to the game,” head coach Mike Bruno said. “Her focus and mental toughness, I’m really pleased with those two areas of her development, and she’s showed leadership qualities at a young age.”

LaMonaca agrees Rozier is young but independent.

“She doesn’t need anyone to tell her what she needs to do,” LaMonaca said. “She just goes out there and does what she needs to do. Especially as a freshman, that’s a weird trait to have.”

Bruno and assistant coach Bridget Bielich welcomed the newcomer with “full arms” and eased her fear of transitioning to a college sport, according to Rozier.

“I was like walking on needles is what I felt like when I was out there, and now I just go out there and play,” Rozier said. “I was so in my head in the beginning.”

Although the Student Center gym is unfamiliar territory for the Gateway High School graduate, Rozier looks to Bruno and fellow teammate Jada Jones for a familiar face.

Rozier and Jones played under Bruno prior to their arrival at Point Park. Bruno was their assistant coach for the Pittsburgh 3 Rivers Volleyball Club.

“They got a head start on some of the things that we teach and our philosophies,” Bruno said.

Before committing to Point Park, Rozier considered other Division II and
Division III schools including Westminster College, Saint Vincent College, Slippery Rock University and other schools as far as North Carolina.

Ultimately, Rozier based her decision on the scholarship offered and her love of the city.

And her parents.

Rozier’s father, Ty Rozier, played on the men’s basketball team from 1995-1997.

Jana Orlofske, Rozier’s mother, was inducted into the Pioneer Hall of Fame in 2008. Orlofske played for the volleyball team from 1994-1997 and earned a plethora of honors and awards during her career at Point Park.

“I don’t want that to get to me because if I don’t live up to it, I don’t want to be sad that I didn’t live up to it,” Rozier said. “I think I’ll be okay playing all four years and getting better myself.”

Orlofske is a former head coach for Gateway’s volleyball program, and Rozier recalls attending tournaments, summer camps and practices by her mother’s side.

“I was like the little sister to all the older girls,” Rozier said. “Obviously I didn’t know how to play volleyball. I didn’t even know how to hit the ball, but I was just always around the game.”

Rozier began playing at Gateway her freshman year. Despite not making the starting lineup, Rozier saw a lot of playing time. The versatile hitter then started the following three years.

The All-WPIAL Class AAA athlete played all three positions at the net in high school: outside, middle and right side. The Pioneers utilize Rozier as a middle hitter and blocker.

“I kept getting taller and no one else did, so of course I was going to be a middle,” Rozier said, chuckling.

While Rozier is aggressive on the court, according to LaMonaca, teammate Ashley Taylor compares Rozier to her little sister.

“She is very sweet and fun, always puts a smile on my face and I think it’s awesome that even though she’s a few years younger than me, we can turn to each other for anything,” Taylor said.

Before volleyball, Rozier participated in softball and basketball. The flexible athlete began playing basketball around the age of eight and quit her junior year of high school. She also ended her softball career before entering high school.

Off the court, Rozier studies sports, art and entertainment management and plans to pursue a career concentrated in sports.

Rozier is heavily involved on campus in the Black Student Union, the Center for Sports Media and Marketing and various mentoring programs.