A letter(s) to someone who inspires me. A blog by FY Jackie Borland

Hi all! First year Jackie Borland here. I don’t want to go too far off course especially because this is my first blog post EVER, but I decided that instead of writing just one letter to someone who inspires me, I decided to write 6 smaller letters, each one to a different person who almost perfectly models one of our team values of excellence.


( Respecting all aspects of the game by staying humble and having integrity)

Dear Steph,

While I have only known you for a year or two, you have always approached things with a humble attitude. In fact, I didn’t even know that you played for a national Canadian volleyball team until a year of us knowing of each other! You have accomplished so many awesome things in your life, but I admire how you never highlight your successes because you respect other people and are considerate of their circumstances. You also stick to what you believe in and stand up for others who can’t which shows strong integrity. Thank you for not only modeling how a volleyball player should treat their teammates and opponents, but also how a person should treat others.


( Being passionate about the opportunity to be a part of the Geneseo Volleyball program)

Dear Papa,

If there is one thing that I have learned from growing up as your granddaughter, it is to be proud of the things and organizations that you are involved in. No matter what the activity or group is, you have always given all of your effort and never miss out on the opportunity to tell someone how passionate you are in whatever you are doing. Thank you Papa for modeling that it is great to be proud and passionate about  things that you really care about.


( To be relentless in the pursuit of our goals)

Dear Candice,

As long as I could remember you had your goals set on working at Disney. With the many challenges you faced a lot of people thought that goal would be out of reach. But you focused on your dream and though you had many setbacks along the way, you never wavered. Thank you for modeling what it looks like to never give up and never give in to those who say it’s impossible.  


( No matter your role, always serve the team’s interests before individual interests)

Dear Melva,

You are the epitome of someone who has a servant’s heart. Not only do you put others’ needs ahead of your own, but you do it without seeking or expecting rewards, recognition or even gratitude. You are a grandma to four of my favorite kids, have been a nurse for more than half of your life, you foster and adopt dozens of animals, and lovingly volunteer to assist children with disabilities. And of course you know all of this, but it never ceases to astound me that none of the things you do are out of selfish nature, but instead the opposite; they are done out of pure love. 


( The responsibility to hold self and teammates to our values of excellence at all times)

Dear Harry,

Because you set such high standards of character for yourself, you bring out the best in those around you. Rather than judging others, you humbly model faith and excellence. As a result, those  around you automatically want to be better people. You believe in us so much, that we don’t want to let you down by being less than we can be. 


( Enjoying every moment and embracing every experience)

Dear Len,

You are 93 years young and loving every minute of your life. You are never seen without a positive attitude and a smile on your face no matter the situation. You enjoy the moment that you are in and it shows by the joy you have while doing so. You are excited to talk with others and check in on the people you love, always willing to listen and offer encouragement. Len, thank you for modeling what it looks like to be happy and grateful for the things and people you have in life.

Crazy 8

Hello fellow Geneseo Volleyball fans, my name is Gabby Ayzenberg a junior, libero/DS and I am back with another blog. I hope in these crazy times everyone is staying safe and healthy. So for this week I want to write a thank you letter to the 7 amazing people I started off with in this program and started this whole crazy thing called college with. Mary, Erina, Kiersten, Alex, Bridget, Allison, and Moose this one’s for you guys.


Mary, thank you for bringing your love and support to me throughout the past 3 years. We once were strangers who decided to live together freshman year and it turned into one of the best friendships in my life. Thank you for showing me it is okay to feel emotions and be who I am on and off the court, even if others do not appreciate it. Thank you for ALWAYS being just a little bit weirder than me and constantly telling us the weird things that happen in your life (sometimes they really aren’t that weird). 

Erina, thank you for always laughing at anything I do even though half the time I don’t even think it’s funny. Thank you for being the reasonable one in the friendship and reminding me things aren’t as big of a deal sometimes. Your laugh literally can make anyone else in the room laugh even when they don’t know what it’s about. If you guys ever need to know the name of a song or movie or tv show hit her up. Thank you for always being down for a nice episode of New Girl at any random time of the day. 

Kiersten, thank you for being the most responsible person in the friend group and reminding us all to sit down and study. Thank you for your competitive energy on the court and willingness to show others how hard you work each and everyday. That competitive energy also comes into march madness and everyone needs to be quietwhile Duke is playing. Thank you for always helping me with any school problems I had and taking the time to help when I had no idea what was going on. 

Alex, thank you for always being just as competitive as me and pushing me every day in practice to be better. Your fire and love for the game motivate so many others around you. Thank you for being wild and being the randomly artistic one and always writing things or drawing things for me when I can’t make it look nice. Thank you for understanding me and respecting me as a player and growing our friendship. 

Bridget, thank you for being someone I can always go to with any issue and get some sense talked into me. Thank you for always laughing and having a good time together even when we may not be doing anything. Thanks for the constant breakfast runs sophomore year and being my bus buddy for the first two years. Thank you for being an absolute baller on the court and owning it cause you should. Thank you for teaching me that some alone time is really healthy and good for you.  

Allison, thank you for being absolutely wild and not changing for anyone.You know exactly what you want and go right after it. Thank you for showing all of us that we shouldn’t care what others think of us and we should always do our own thing. Thank you for the random small talk conversations that turn into hour conversations in the hallways.

Moose, thank you for your constant support and honesty with all of us. You know that if someone needs to be told something it’s for the better. Thank you for your beautiful closet and directions on how to pose properly or smile properly. Thank you for always being down to go grab some pizza at any point of the day.


Why Geneseo?- By SO Morgan Michalski

Hello blog readers! This is sophomore setter Morgan Michalski coming at you live from… my house. I am currently home for spring break but hope to return back to Geneseo (aka my favorite place to be) soon. While I know the world is having a rough time dealing with the situation at hand, I hope the GSUVB blogs are brightening up your day. So with that being said, I think the best way to express my love for Geneseo is to first tell you how I chose Geneseo.

Let’s start with the first time I went to Geneseo. As my junior year came to a close, my parents encouraged me to begin looking at potential colleges. Since I knew I wanted to play volleyball, I found that the easiest and most enjoyable way of looking at colleges was to attend their summer volleyball camps. Geneseo was the last camp I attended. As the saying goes, I certainly saved the best for last. So my mom and I packed up the car and made our way to Geneseo. We got to campus with plenty of time so we decided to get lunch and walk around Main Street. I still remember walking past the Big Tree Inn, Mamma Mia’s, and the fountain. As I walked, I immediately could imagine myself spending my free time shopping and walking around this beautiful place. After experiencing Main Street and all it has to offer, it was time to play some volleyball.

Move in day freshmen year!

As I stepped into the gym, I was met by the members of the class of 2020. It was crazy to think that this encounter was almost two years ago. I could immediately tell there was something special about this team. Spending the time walking around campus talking to the players, who I did not know at the time would be my future teammates, felt right. The campus was exactly what I envisioned when I thought about what my perfect campus would look like. At the end of those two days, I knew that Geneseo was the place I wanted to attend. While I visited a few more schools, my desire to attend Geneseo remained unchanged. I chose to apply for early acceptance, and I still remember that day I got home from school and opened my acceptance letter. I was excited to call myself a Knight.

My sophomore year roomies!!!

Each day I am reminded of how grateful I am for my decision to join the Geneseo community. While I recently made the important decision to change my major, I was met with much support from my coach, my academic advisor, and my professors. The experience emphasized that I am in good hands when it comes to my education.  Geneseo has given some of my best friends. I have had the opportunity to work as an orientation leader (OL) and share my love for the school with incoming freshmen. My favorite thing about being an OL is that I can share my experiences both in and out of the classroom. I also can not forget to mention the incredible people that make Geneseo even more AMAZING, my team of course. The people of GSUVB are “my people” and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to have them as both teammates and friends. Each time that I put on the blue and white uniform I am reminded of how happy I am to be at Geneseo. Geneseo is my second home and I will always be proud to call myself a Knight.

The best team in the world

With all this in mind, you may still be asking  “why Geneseo?” My most basic answer would be that Geneseo is a place full of opportunities. A place to receive a supportive yet challenging education. A place full of organizations, clubs, and events that allow students to try new things and meet new people. Lastly, it is a place where everyone in the community will hold a door open for someone even if they are 10 feet away from entering the building. I have found a place where I belong and I hope I have convinced you of that 😉 The school slogan that “there is no place like here” says it all. 

Thank you for reading!

Morgan Michalski

A Letter to My Younger Self – Mary Bartkus


Hey Little Mary,

YO! Mom gave birth to you on November 28th, 1999. But let’s skip forward because you obviously can’t read yet.

Hungry baby Mary

You’re 6 now. You moved to a new school and just asked some girl to be your friend on the third day of 2nd grade. You’re embarrassed, I know. But don’t worry, she’ll be one of your best friends for a very long time, even through COLLEGE. Ew! College? You mean the place your sisters are right now instead of hanging out with you? Don’t worry, when you get older you can hang out with them whenever you want.

Awkward 9 year old Mary

Elementary school! Cool! I don’t remember much but I do know your 4th grade teacher will be your only friend in your class that year but honestly you’ll be fine with it because you were weird. Your 5th grade teacher will show up to your volleyball senior night and send you a card for high school graduation, so give her lots of hugs for me.


You’re in middle school! Already. You feel so grown up. Truthfully, looking back, you are a typical annoying, bratty little kid still…but you own it. You are loving life, school is a breeze, and you are a three sport athlete. Good for you! I wish I had that kind of energy now. Honestly, I don’t know how you went to three different practices some days. But hey, here’s a sneak peek…volleyball is going to be the one that changes it all.

Even more awkward middle school Mary

High school! It feels like I was just you yesterday. But it really has been a long time. You stopped running track (no longer a running girl, huh?), but keeping up with basketball and starting to put your heart into volleyball was a very good choice.

Look at that, the same friends you made 10 years ago are still with you. They are going to be in it for the long haul. Be thankful for your tight-knit class, your friendly teachers, your coaches, and especially mom and dad. They are all rooting for you and want you to do great things!

And look, you will survive AP Biology and Calculus. You are doing all the right things.

Senior year class trip to Virginia Beach with Chloe and Alexander, the friends I made in 2nd grade!


You are looking at the right colleges. Thank god you listened to mom on the way to that Rochester volleyball tournament about SUNY Geneseo and reached out to the coach. That is going to end up being really important.

Now, I don’t really have much advice for you, young Mary, because I truly believe every decision you made brought me to be in the place I am now. I’m sure the only thing younger me would want to know is what I’m doing now…

I’m a JUNIOR in college. How. Weird. You decided to continue playing volleyball in college too, just like you dreamed of. You decided to stick with science, as expected because you were always good at it (…but it got a lot harder so please pay attention in class).

You’re still going to be the same weird person you’ve always been, sorry about that one. Fortunately, you decided to go to SUNY Geneseo, where you could make friends just as weird as you. Believe me when I say, those people at Geneseo are going to be there for you for everything. Pretty much you are going to have the best time in college, just like everyone keeps saying.

Mom and dad are doing well and they moved back to Long Island! Look at how it all comes full circle. That girl you asked to be your friend when you were 6 is still around, and still one of your besties. You scammed some other punks throughout the years to be your friend and they seemed to stick around as well.

Here’s some random facts you may also want to know about the future:

-No one says “swag” anymore besides you in 2020…that went out years ago.

-The world did not end in 2010…obviously.

-You will get a few small tattoos, oops.

-Jenna Marbles still makes YouTube videos for some reason.

-There is a new app out called TikTok that is more addicting than Vine. Spoiler alert!! Vine is gone now, like the app is gone forever.

Before this gets any more ridiculous, I am signing off. In all seriousness, don’t worry about the future and growing up. There are so many good things to come.

A Thank You Letter by SO Emily Bablin

Hello everyone, Babs here! There are so many people I would like to thank for helping me get to the place I am now. HOWEVER, I can be a ranter and will rant so am restraining myself so this is just a blog, not a book.

Firstly I would like to thank my rock, my family. Growing up in a big house meant that mom and dad were not always going to be there to help you in everything (though they sure came pretty close). My sisters have always and will always be my best friends. We have carried each other through life and I cannot imagine a world where a single one of them is not there. They pushed me to not only be a better person but better athlete and volleyball player as well. My younger sister, Katy, would constantly be out in the front yard with me peppering until it was too dark to see the ball anymore. All of them found their way to one of my games last season despite being extremely busy and dealing with school too. The real MVP’s are my parents. Despite having 7 kids, these two managed to go to nearly every game, tournament, or practice for all of us. I don’t know what kind of sorcery that is as it seems impossible yet they do it daily. My parents were the ones who made me take up volleyball in the first place (picture 6 year old me on a theater stage with tennis balls). While initially it was not my favorite activity by a long shot, I grew to have a deep love of the game which would never have been possible without them. Thank you for being my coaches, cheerleaders, therapists, and most importantly, thank you for being mom and dad.

Now I would like to thank my current team and teammates. It is so crazy thinking back to a year ago. I was a scared second semester freshmen about to try out for this team. Unsure of myself, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and give collegiate volleyball one last shot. To this day this decision has been one of the best choices I have ever made. Not only did I find myself a fantastic team, I found a family who would stand by me no matter what. While obviously I do love balling with my bros as that’s the name of the game, GSUVB has given me so much more than I could have ever asked for. Each and every individual on this team is fun, unique (yes definitely VERY unique), hard working, and most importantly good people. I am so thankful to every teammate who greeted me with open arms (even though apparently everyone thought I was a sophomore last year for the longest time). I cannot wait to share the next two years with this team and be absolute UNITS on the court and goofballs off.

I believe that is all for now or else I WILL make myself cry. Over and out,

Babs ❤