Senior Letter Series – Grace Cergol

Welp. I’m a senior. It’s happening. Kat, Sam and Abby – we are old…yikes. It all hit me like a ton of bricks the first day of preseason this past August. I only have three more months to competitively play the sport I fell in love with 11 years ago. That is absolutely wild. This entire experience has been absolutely wild.

I am overcome with emotions trying to write this senior blog and quite honestly have no idea where to start. But I guess I’ll start with every person who had shaped my athletic career in some capacity: Tricia, Courtney, Emma, Dani, Luca, Kaci, Madison, Emily, Bainski, Abbey Scheff, Shea, Kendyll, A May, Kat, Sam, Kiersten, Gabby, Erina, Moose, Mary, Allison, Bridget, Alex, MK, Morgan, Maddie, Babs, Imbo, Jackie, Haber, Grace, the entire athletic department, the trainers, Coach Dunn, Coach Kenz, Coach EO and Coach Hunter – these are the people who have positively impacted my life forever and I cannot thank them enough for it. My experience at Geneseo wouldn’t have been even close to the same without each and every one of you.

The biggest thank you I have to give is to my family, Mom, Dad and Mia. Mom and Dad thank you for putting Geneseo on my radar and for convincing me to visit this school. Without your incite and recommendations, I would never have even thought to go to college 7 hours away from home, where it is absolutely freezing and the only thing you can see for miles is grass :). For real though, Geneseo is a pretty cool place (no sarcasm there lol). Mia, thank you for supporting any decision I made along the way and being my biggest cheerleader – it’s time for me to be yours.

Now I would just like to name a few pivotal moments that defined each season since 2016:

Freshman Year 2016-2017 – With a 5-4 SUNYAC record, our team went on to play in the quarter-finals in the conference playoffs for the first time since 2006. We were matched up against Fredonia, who had previously beat us that season, in their home gym. We ended up sweeping the Blue Devils 3 sets to 0 and moving on to the semi-finals to play Brockport where we put up an incredible fight.

Sophomore Year 2017-2018 – Being a young team, with no seniors and only one junior, we had our doubts. Little did we know, we would go on to achieve one of the most successful seasons that the program has seen in the past five years, including beating a top 25 team. After losing in the semi-finals to Fredonia, we were definitely hungry for more.

Junior Year 2018-2019 – Coming back with the same team as before, with the addition of three talented freshmen, we wanted to change history for Geneseo Volleyball – and we did just that. We went on to being the first team in program history to achieve a 9-0 conference record and host the SUNYAC tournament IN OUR OWN HOUSE BABY. We rose to the occasion and beat the team, who had swept us the year prior, in 3 sets to 0 to move on to the conference finals. No one could’ve predicted what was to happen that final game. Nerves were high, expectations were set and the ligaments in my knee sure did not want to cooperate that day. Leaving the gym with a loss and uncertainty about if I could even return for my final season, made me more determined than ever. This injury pushed me to work my hardest when I was at my worst. The motivation to play again helped me get through some of the toughest obstacles and here I am 8 months later despite a predicted 12-18-month recovery.

Senior Year 2019-2020 – Hey, I’m no psychic but I think I can sense a new banner being hung in our gym ;).

Lastly, the amount of valuable lessons I’ve learned through athletics, academics and my relationships here at Geneseo are limitless. The most important one that I’ll share with you readers is to be vulnerable and open going into any situation. Don’t be closed off to trying new things just because you’re scared of the outcome. Break down all your walls and barriers but don’t lose sight of who you are. Finally, go after what you want because if you never take that chance, then you’ll never know what could’ve been.

I wish there was a way to start all over again but unfortunately the ball must deflate. Thank you for the all the memories, the people I’ve come to call my family and the best ride of my life GSUVB. The ninja turtle glasses will live on forever.

Crying in the club

xo Grace Cergol

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