Success keeps varsity hopes alive for volleyball

The women’s club volleyball team completed a successful season last week when it took second at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association’s (NIRSA) Volleyball Championships in Salt Lake City.

The Lions defeated Ithaca College and the University of Massachusetts before falling to SUNY Binghamton in the championship match. The Lions entered the national tournament ranked 24th in the Women’s Division II section.

The NIRSA tournament took place on April 13-15. The Lions struggled through the first two days of the tournament, winning only one of their matches.

“Many members of our team were either sick or injured (at NIRSA),” Jenna Melissaratos, sophomore nursing major, said.

“We had some difficulty finding a rotation that worked out,” senior captain Allie Osborne, chemistry major, said.

Even though the results of the tournament were not quite what the Lions had expected, they did manage to win two matches, the most they have won at this tournament in their history. The trip also gave the team a lasting experience.

“The trip was phenomenal,” Melissaratos said. “It was everything volleyball, meeting other students who love volleyball as much as you.”

The Lions played their way into the tournament through successful play in the Northeast Women’s Volleyball Club League (NWVCL).

The Lions defeated SUNY Cortland on the final day of competition before Duke University eliminated them.

Another first for the Lions this year was having a player named to the NWVCL All-Star Team. Osborne, a leader for the Lions throughout the season who would often take a coaching role during practices, won all-star honors.

“I enjoy being the captain and helping run practices,” Osborne, who has been playing volleyball since the seventh grade, said. “I feel that I’m pretty knowledgeable about the game, and I can help the younger players.”

Osborne remained humble about the all-star honors despite being the only player in the club’s history to be named to the team. “It’s nice to be named to the all-star team, but one person’s accomplishments don’t mean much outside of the teams,” Osborne said.

Osborne also emphasized how important her teammates are to her personal success, noting that volleyball is truly a team sport.

The future looks bright for the club volleyball team, as only two players will graduate this spring, keeping the team’s nucleus intact. The club hopes to have volleyball become a varsity sport at the College, but it will have to wait because of the budget.