Freshman Emma Lannon held common standards when searching for a college: academics, athletics and a small town. But she also thought, “How can I get out of Florida?” Growing up in Gainesville, Fla., Lannon said she became sick of hot weather and sunburn. She experienced big-school athletics, living just six blocks from the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. She was used to the nearly 50,000 students that flooded her town year after year.
Lannon was ready for a change. It seemed inevitable that for her next big trip – moving to college – she would end up somewhere besides Florida. Fortunately, for her and her brother, their parents encouraged them to do so.
“My parents always pushed my brother and me to not do the same thing as everyone else, so both of us went really far away for school,” Lannon said.
Nevertheless, the distance from Gainesville, Fla., to Geneseo can’t even compare to Lannon’s previous travels.
Through numerous trips, the 18-year-old has become a world traveler. Lannon most recently toured France, England, Spain, Italy and Malta, but she was first exposed to traveling due to aunts and uncles living in England, the Philippines, United Arab Emirates and at one point, South Africa. When she comes across different cultures, she said she enjoys going beyond what she called “typical tourism” by living in the same communities as citizens.
Lannon is still new to the Geneseo community, but it isn’t her first time in Western New York. She has spent time in her dad’s hometown in Phelps, N.Y. and at her family’s lake house on Keuka Lake.
Lannon first heard of Geneseo through family who raved about Geneseo’s academics. She looked at SUNY schools and a few colleges in Pennsylvania, but Geneseo’s reputation prevailed, convincing Lannon to attend because of its academics. But the volleyball program also played a key factor in her decision-making process.
“This was somewhere I could do both,” she said.
Lannon said her previous volleyball experiences and the program at Geneseo are pretty similar, even despite the lack of upperclassmen. When she was a freshman in high school, there was only one senior on the team.
“I’ve never really had a bunch of seniors playing the role,” she said.
Another freshman, Tricia Baxley, stepped up and received All-Tournament honors at the Ducks Classic on Sept. 13 and 14 at Stevens Institute of Technology. Baxley led the Knights with 44 kills and 10 digs over the weekend. Geneseo defeated Fairleigh-Dickinson University College at Florham, but fell to Stevens and Kean University.
Although Lannon said she enjoys spending time with the volleyball team and settling into Geneseo, she is already considering her next adventure.
She’s never been to Africa, but with family roots in South Africa, she said she hopes to visit the southern coastline next.
“It’s just so, it’s just so different,” Lannon said. “It’s just so cool that they have in that country and everything that they have gone through, they still have such a strong culture.”
The women’s volleyball team faced Keuka College on Wednesday Sept. 18. The Knights lost 3-2.