So far this season, the volleyball team has “relied heavily on [the] first-year players,” head coach Amber Dunn said. With a rigorous start opening in a tournament in Alliance, Ohio, the team saw extreme talent early. They played against some of the top 25 best teams in the country and they’ve brought back that experience to Geneseo and their regular season games. Geneseo volleyball currently has six freshmen players on their 15-player roster, so it’s safe to say these incoming players have had quite an impact on the program this season. Many of these freshmen are seeing playing time on a regular basis, which is often considered atypical in collegiate sports. Dunn believes, however, that they are adjusting to the faster pace and higher level of play well. Of course, behind these successful freshmen is a solid foundation of returning players, all of whom have been invaluable to the team, both on and off the court.
“The current senior class has been doing a great job of utilizing their strengths to be the best leaders for the program,” Dunn said. “Again, they are really excited about the program and its development. I don’t question whether they’re here for the right reasons or not.”
Having such an enthusiastic team has definitely impressed Dunn, who speaks about her team with pride. “Our small group of returners have done a great job guiding our underclassmen and showing great character values to lay the foundation of Geneseo volleyball,” Dunn said.
Other teams are at risk to underestimate the Knights because of their youth and relatively inexperienced players. The team, however, is prepared to shatter expectations. They anticipate improvement as their freshmen become increasingly comfortable with this new atmosphere. Dunn believes that the potential is certainly there, and with a little more sharpening this team will be even stronger.
“There is a great deal of teaching and learning taking place in the gym right now and each day we add another skill to our tool box,” Dunn said. “We are still learning and developing our game plan at this point. Staying consistent and continuing to strengthen the plan moving forward is just what we plan to do.”
The Knights are also very grateful for the support they receive from the Geneseo community. They love playing at home because it eliminates travel time, but also because when playing in Geneseo’s gym they have a fan base, primarily consisting of family and friends.
The team is also lucky to be bonding not only with fans, but amongst themselves, for they have been both cultivating team sportsmanship and friendship. Dunn was happy to say that she does not need to mandate many team bonding activities.
“They are such a close-knit group that a lot of the team bonding takes place without the coaching staff asking the team to spend time together,” Dunn said.
Bearing that in mind, the Knights look to work as a team when they take down SUNY Fredonia at SUNY Potsdam on Friday Sept. 23, competing for SUNYAC Pool Play.