Geneseo’s volleyball program has had its share of up-and-down seasons. Now, Geneseo has hired a new head coach in Amber Dunn. Dunn has begun her first year at the helm of the Knights’ volleyball team and she could not be more excited about it. “The expectations coming into the season were high because where I come from in the Midwest, volleyball is played all the time at an intense level,” Dunn said. “I am excited to see what the players bring to the table and I want them to give me everything they have—and I am going to give it my best.”
Dunn came to Geneseo after being the assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She left a team that was always a top contender in the NCAA Tournament, including reaching the Final Four the past two seasons. Dunn explained that this is a different challenge not only for her, but also for the players and the Geneseo community.
“In terms of where we are at, there are going to be a lot of changes, but we are well on our way to rebuilding the foundation of the program,” she said. “We want the community to know that this is a fresh start and that we are going to put our best effort out there every game of the season. It will not be easy, but we are ready for the obstacles ahead and it’s about finding our identity during this season to set the standard for the future.”
Dunn has a lot of returning players; there are only four freshmen and no sophomores. The rest of the roster is filled with experienced upper-class players. These players will also have to face the adjustment of a new coaching system, one that is drastically different than previous years’.
“The biggest difference between this year’s team and other teams I have been on is that players are used to the old way, so trying to get them to learn the new way can be difficult, but we are definitely getting there,” Dunn said. “The advanced skills are all there, but some of the foundation and fundamentals still need to be improved on until they are second nature.”
The Knights look to improve on an 18-9 record, but they lost seven out of 10 games at the end of the season. Conference play does not look any easier, but with players who are eager to learn and achieve and a coach steering them in the right direction, the Knights will be a team to look out for.
“I could not be more blessed with the players that I have. Every day, they show up with a positive attitude and show that they want to put the work in to be successful, which definitely makes my job a lot easier,” Dunn said. “I think this is a special team and I am excited just as much as the rest of the Geneseo community to see what we can accomplish this season.”