Senior outside hitter Tricia Baxley is a silly, yet determined communication major here at Geneseo. Although volleyball is her passion at college, Baxley is more than an athlete. The family-oriented 21-year-old came to this region on New York from St. James on Long Island and never thought that she would one day call herself a Geneseo Knight.
“I’ve always loved Geneseo,” Baxley said. “My parents would take me here when I would have games in Rochester … it was so far away and so academically prestigious that I never thought it would be an option.”
The overall factor that broke Baxley out of her comfort zone, however, was the opportunity to play volleyball at a college level.
Baxley started her volleyball career back in middle school, though she didn’t make the team at first. It wasn’t until one of her older brothers coached her in their driveway that she gained the skills needed to make the eighth grade team. Her family’s strong support system was a crucial part to her success and Baxley is not one to overlook the importance of family in her life. When Baxley isn’t at Geneseo or impressing spectators at volleyball games, she can often be found playing with her two dogs whom she adores.
Don’t let Baxley’s love of family and dogs fool you, though. Under that initial happy and caring shell is a determined and talented athlete. Whether it’s in practice or in a game, 110 percent is the minimum work put in at every moment for Baxley.
Baxley’s main goal is to contribute her skill and determination to better her team and to help them get to the SUNYACs this year. That is the main team goal and Baxley not only has her eye on the prize, but also recognizes the smaller steps that will get them there.
“First we have to get to playoffs and then beat every team we are faced with,” Baxley said.
Baxley is realistic about the work that will go into this, however—all while remaining optimistic that her team is more than capable of a win on this level.
On a more personal note, Baxley’s goal is to get 1000 kills. This goal is extremely close to being completed, since she has less than 50 more to go. This near feat is certainly something to be proud of.
Every athlete faces challenges in their sport, and Baxley’s biggest obstacle is currently troubling her. Earlier in the year, an accident resulted in a broken wrist for the athlete. At first, Baxley thought her college volleyball career was over. With help from her doctor and a little bit of luck, however, she found out that her break would still allow her to play as long as she was casted in a certain way.
While she thought her season was over because of her wrist, Baxley said that the support of her teammates was the main factor that helped her persevere. Luckily, after 10 long weeks, her wrist will be ready to compete without a special cast.
Baxley hopes to go into sports media communication after college and—more specifically—within the National Basketball Association. If she puts forward the effort and determination she shows in her academics and her sport, this dream job will one day become a reality.