With almost 100 members, Geneseo women’s club volleyball program is one of the largest club organizations on-campus and has grown exponentially since its conception two years ago, when it had approximately 10 members.
Due to such a wide variety of athletes, the club is split into four different teams. Players are grouped based on skills and experience, which helps organize the team overall.
“This keeps practices as competitive as possible for everyone,” junior president Kayla Kucerak said.
In addition to athletes who have played volleyball previously, the club team is also incredibly welcoming to those who have no prior experience.
“We have about 30 girls who are totally new to volleyball,” Kucerak said. “They have separate practices and the captains serve as coaches to teach them about the game and to help them improve.”
“I love that girls who have never played before have an environment to support each other as they learn something brand new,” sophomore captain Annie Nobling said. “That’s what college is about.”
For women who have more experience with the sport, club volleyball offers a competitive space to play where they can continue to improve their skills. At the highest level of the club, players travel to other colleges to compete in tournaments almost every weekend, including a recent trip to SUNY Fredonia.
In just one semester, the team jumped levels in the tournament system and now plays against colleges with well-established clubs.
“We were competing before and now we’re competing and we’re winning,” Kucerak said.
This success can be attributed to both the hard work of veteran players and the presence of new players. Initially, the club had few players and inconsistent practice schedules, but it has grown incredibly since then.
The number of girls on the team has doubled since the spring of 2017 semester. More athletes allow the club to expand and do more on campus, as well as perform better at off-campus tournaments.
The club also helps cultivate friendships. The teams often practice early in the morning, some players waking up to practice and then going straight to 8:30 a.m. classes.
“It’s really great because no one complains about the time and everyone wants to be there. Everyone really wants to play,” Kucerak said.
“I have 90 plus new friends and it doesn’t stop either because every semester new girls join and new connections are made,” Nobling said.
The club has especially helped freshmen find a place they belong.
“The freshmen have gotten really close and spend a lot of time together,” Kucerak said. “I think it’s a really cool thing that I get to help facilitate that.”
The added freshmen have also helped bring a new energy and vigor to the club, and they are already making a difference in an organization on campus in their first semester at Geneseo.
The team won a tournament at St. Bonaventure University on Sunday Nov. 12, .
“This was the first ever tournament win for the [club volleyball] team” senior Erin Mozingo said, “It was an emotional and proud accomplishment for all the returning players.”
The women have experienced first hand the impressive growth from starting a club to now being among nationally ranked teams in the Northeast Region.
The best aspect of club volleyball is that it appeals to all different types of athletes; for players who were serious about the sport in high school, they have the opportunity to play in college at a competitive level. For students who want to try something new and meet people, there are practices they can attend to learn and grow in the sport.