A Thank You Letter- by JR Alex Frank

Hey guys, me here. Being constantly reminded that my senior season is approaching has caused me to be an emotional wreck. I can still remember the first time I picked up a volleyball in 7th grade. So sitting here, reminiscing on my entire athletic career, I knew I couldn’t thank just one person. Playing the sport I love so much created endless opportunities for me to meet the most important people in my life (besides my family… You got stuck with me), so it’s only fair this letter is dedicated to that: Thank you volleyball for giving me the people that mean everything to me. 

Thank you to my U18 Club Syrv Team:

I misE3FC4816-001F-488F-A550-8D19AEABDD16.jpgs you every day. In my six years of club volleyball, I have never had a team this close knit. Twelve girls and eleven different school districts; simple name recognition bloomed into the closest friendships. I miss making Trillers, spending all our money on food, having photoshoots with the new portrait mode on our iPhones, and alarming Rj with how weird we were. We didn’t have to be the best on the court, we rallied behind each other which led us on to tackle the best teams. None of us ever wanted our final season to end, and we did everything we could to stop it. To this day- 3 years later- we still randomly catch up in our group chat named after our favorite coach.

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To Rj, thank you for putting up with us and still being my close friend. Thank you for standing up for me and respecting my love for the game, and thank you for letting me hang out with your daughter whom I will someday train to go D1. To my girls: club volleyball meant everything to me, so thank you for being the best team and giving me the best goodbye I could ask for .       

Thank you Beach Volleyball: 

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Beach volleyball, you are my one true love and I never knew how much you would change my life. I owe my first day ever to my high school teammate who asked me to sub for her high school 4s team. I had never even heard of Sharkey’s, but after my mom dropped me off, one step in the sand and I never looked back. We had a little high school 4s squad that played every Thursday and Friday. I was meeting girls from all over who became some of my greatest friends. I met my now closest friends by constantly being crushed by them… If you can’t beat em, join em:) Josh had a beach court in his backyard, so when we weren’t at Sharkey’s, we were there. Fun 4s turned competitive, and eventually fell into full on doubles tournaments as we got older. We just never stopped playing together, and our Sharkey’s family formed easily. I have no idea how Melissa and I came to be but I am so thankful. She has never stopped pushing us to achieve greatness. Every random tournament she has thrown us into has turned out to be the coolest experience (everyone go look up Pottstown Rumble right now). Her dedication to making us better is the reason I met all the girls we now play pickup with. So thank you beach volleyball (and Sharkey’s) for giving me my happiest times and the people I love with all my heart. IMG_5412.jpg

Thank you GSUVB: 

I wouldn’t want to finish my last chapter of indoor with anyone else. Thank you so so so mIMG_0115.jpguch, volleyball, for giving me my lifetime best friends and the best four years of my life. We have survived the best years of our life together, we have grown together, and we have gotten weirder together. I will forever cherish all the memories, the jokes, and the memes we have shared together. I didn’t get the sense of home at a colleIMG_0853.jpgge until I met you guys. I committed to this school because I wanted to be part of your family. I couldn’t imagine spending every waking moment with anyone else… No, like seriously every waking moment. Thank you for bus rides, Bachelor Mondays, Thursday Greys, Starbucks, and our old study sessions at the lib (RIP Milne). Thank you for having great music taste, showing me Long Island for the first time, and encouraging me to always be myself. I couldn’t imagine college any other way. Picking up that ball in 7th grade led me to you guys and I couldn’t be more thankful.

 

Summer Days, Drifting Away

Helloooo party people:) I am Alex Frank, a rising junior and ds/libero. This summer has been absolutely crazy, and for all the fans who read my blog every year (thank you I love you), I finally have a more interesting life to tell you about.

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IMG_5868.jpgTo start off the summer right (and get super tan before anyone else could), my family and I took a two week trip to Hawaii, visiting Honolulu and The Big Island. If you want to have the most amazing trip please take my mom (expert yelper) with you. Because of her, we went ziplining, horseback riding 92A6169F-7FA2-4592-988D-0E3CA76DF7F4.jpgon a volcano, swimming with wild dolphins (no animals in captivity allowed:)), learned about the history of the islands, and went on a helicopter ride to beautiful places you would never be able to find. It was the most incredible experience that I will never forget.

The next day after we landed home, I started my program to become a CNA. Hope you guys are proud I am finally adulting!! The program was long and intense, and after many sleep deprived days I am finally a certified nursing assistant. This was the first step in being able to find a job that counts as experience hours so I can apply to grad school after my time at Geneseo. I learned so much, met incredible people in the nursing home I was trained at, and developed such a deep respect for all the people in the health care business that work to take care of the people we love everyday. 

You guys know me way too well to think I’d leave out my usual summer shenanigans. Of course you can still find me at Sharkey’s everyday of the week, but we even kicked that up a notch this year. For the usual, coed doubles is every MIMG_5387.jpgonday, women’s advanced doubles is every Wednesday, and I ref the rest of the week days. This year my partner [Melissa] and I have teamed up with our local volleyball girl gang to play pickup as much as we possibly can during the day too. For all thos7AF5D832-CBA1-47CD-AB71-B65ABF109309.jpge pro athletes that say practice makes perfect, I finally get what they’re talking about. So far, Melissa and I have won two pro doubles tournaments and took the AA championship at Pottstown Rumble- the largest grass doubles tournament in the USA. I also clinched the Alex’s Lemonade 4’s tournament chip for the second year in a row (it has my name on it I have to). With a month or so left, Melissa and I are planning to play in two more grass doubles tournaments, Lollypalooza (4’s grass), and we have one last pro beach doubles tournament left. After that, I’ll be seeing her across the net in the fall:( 

With all of this you could say summer is my favorite season of the year… but jokes on you it’s volleyball season:) That was cringy I know, but even cringier: I miss my boys so much and can’t wait to be working towards a Yacs title with them this season<3 See you all so soon, one more month!!! 

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PS: Please enjoy this picture of Melissa buying 24 donuts from Krispy Kreme before Pottstown

PPS: Coach I swear I am eating healthy this is her fault 

 

A Letter to Who Inspires Me- By SO Alex Frank

Ever since 7th grade, volleyball has been my life. I remember walking into my middle school gym with the 100+ other girls trying out, and just hoping I would be good enough to make our modified team. I never could have guessed how much this sport would change my life in the next eight years, with a special thanks to all the people I have met and the lessons they brought with them on and off the court. Over these eight years, it was the people who were the best teammates and the hardest workers that inspired me the most.

Kendall White-Penn State Libero

Before I get sappy, I have to shout Kendall White out because of how dang cool she is. If you ever watch a Penn State volleyball game, you’ll see a little 5’5 number 3 surrounded by humongous players who has enough spunk to fill the entire stadium by herself. Every5a2cccb3c2dcd.image.jpg game her passion and intensity radiates through the gym and motivates everyone around her, even fans like me watching at home. My absolute favorite thing about her is her reaction when her teammates score a point: screams, aggressively shakes them, jumps, whatever she can do to show how excited she is for her team. I love that. Absolutely fearless. She inspires me to be my teammates’ biggest fan and to let my love for this sport be uncontained.

My Dad

Here’s to one of the biggest team players I know. Hall of Famer in highschool and college, my dad held the record at Ithaca for the most assists for 27 years. His record has finally been broken, but his legacy and selflessness has carried on to every aspect of his life. Lucky me, he’s been my teammate for 19 years and has been dishing out assists since I can remember. He took me to the batting cages, played 1v1 with Maddy, peppered with me outside, and brought me to the beach courts whenever we could. My dad works his butt off doing anything he can to make sure we and the people around him succeed. He inspires me to be the most selfless and devoted teammate I can be. He inspires me to work hard everyday, never doubt what we can achieve, and find any opportunity I can to do what I love.

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The GSUVB Family

I couldn’t have written this without including the people that I have learned so much from for the past couple years. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such unique girls that all bring different views of life to this family. They have taught me how to be a better teammate, friend, and person. One of my favorite lessons my team has taught me is to IMG_9509.jpgtake it one day at a time and let things surprise me. They inspired me to stop planning and to just appreciate everything and everyone around me. They motivate me to pursue what I’m passionate about and never settle. I am so thankful to have the greatest friends and and a community I can truly call my family.

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Summer Daysss:)

Helloooo everybody!! I am rising sophomore OH/DS, Alex Frank, but still always tell people that I am a freshman at the best college ever. This summer has been all about enjoying the sunny days, friendships, and of course the sport I love the most.

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My happy summer started off the day I got home with my best friend, Aimee, being declared officially in remission from cancer!! Since then, we’ve been trying all new things from exercise (totally kidding.. maybe) to Original Grain, and saving up money to go sky diving next year! On top of that, I have been to three country concerts this year- Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and ZBB- with Zac Brown Band being a HUGE Geneseo family reunion with like 50 athletes and my dear teammates, Abby May and Bridget.

As everyone else already included in their blog, most of our team and some of our roommates (shoutout Kelly and Liv) took an awesome trip to long island where we got to experience traffic, bagels, and some needed quality time with the team<3… I already miss them and can’t wait to see them soon!! We got to experience Ralph’s ice cream at Kiersten’s, the sophomores “surprising” us at Shea’s, and Gabby’s beautiful beach.. Oh and Allison being burnt to a crisp.

Besides the adventures, all kinds and any kinds of volleyball are my favorite thing in the summer. You can catch me at Sharkey’s five nights a week reffing or playing (I’m really  not kidding). I’ve been doubles partners with my teammate/BFF, Bridget, for two years and we’ve been constantly pushing each other to be better and learn the game. This year, we won the advanced doubles championship at Sharkey’s as well as competed in NOVA and AVP tournaments. Also, this is my first year ever playing in a grass tournament. We won, I got to see Coach, and I learned that diving on grass hurts way more than diving on sand. Volleyball is just awesome and everyone brings their dogs to tournaments, which makes it even more awesome.

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As much as I love summer, I can’t wait to be back in the gym with my boys working hard for all our goals. I miss you and love you all!! Until then (33 days but who’s counting), I’ll be playing and living it up:) Find me at Sharkey’s if anyone reading this ever wants to play pickup and please bring your dog!

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PS. Enjoy these sunglasses I made for my dog.IMG_8065.jpg.   IMG_8023.jpg

 

 

 

What is my Why? By FY Alex Frank

Close your eyes and imagine this: not so little 7th grade me trying to match bright blue cheetah spandex with my red tye-dye socks and a red jersey… oh and did I mention the extreme side ponytail? I’ve always been a kid that wants to make a statement, but as the years have passed I’ve focused my statement on being just like all the underdog sports movies… I want to make history (not just the first to be able to rock that outfit)IMG_6297.pngMy high school was never a top dog in our league, but my junior year we made it to the sectional championship, losing by a couple points in the fifth set. The disappointment of watching the other team run and hold up the banner we wanted so badly motivated my team to work even harder for next year. It was my senior year, my last year to make a statement, and we beat our rivals in 3 sets to clench our schools first sectional title in 41 years. That feeling when you realize you achieved something extraordinary is so moving, and all any of us could do was IMG_5657.jpghug each other and cry. I bet you have a movie scene playing in your head where a team does the impossible then runs and celebrates together, man what a feeling. I will always share that moment with my girls.

Trying to make a statement didn’t end there. In my sophomore year, my club team was one of the first out of our organization to make it to Nationals. Since then, my club has sent numerous teams and we’ve all embraced and represented our neon orange jerseys to put Syracuse volleyball on the map. Being remembered didn’t always have to be about the world remembering us though. In my senior year, our club team was so incredibly close we rose above anything and played together, beating teams no one thought we could. We had the chance to go to Nationals again, but more than that, my coach (shoutout RJ) said he would always remember us because we made him so proud. That feeling was better than Nationals; it made my “why” more than wanting to be remembered by our accomplishments… I also wanted everyone to remember how special our team was.

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My dad inspired this ‘want’ in me. Everyday in high school, I would walk through the doors and see his face in the hall of fame, but the most important thing I saw was that he was with his team. Achieving amazing accomplishments means nothing to me without having a team to accomplish them with me. That last point. That last kill. The only thing any of us wanted to do was dogpile and cry of happiness after the sectional game and after club ended, we couldn’t stop hugging each other and making plans to hangout.

I never thought I could find a team closer until I came to Geneseo. These girls are my best friends, my inspiration, and my family.  I couldn’t imagine my college experience or playing with anyone else. We depend on and play for each other, and in the end, I know it will allow us to achieve our goals.

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I play for that, I play for the people who believe in us, and I play with the most incredible team that’s going to be remembered.

 

Summerrr:)

Hey friends:) I’m Alex Frank from Syracuse, NY and I will be a freshman this year!! I am so excited to be playing volleyball and basically living with you guys in less than a month. This summer has flew by and I’ve even started a count down on my wall..  33 days until we’re on the court winning the SUNYACS!!

I haven’t been up to a lot this summer but it’s still been relaxing and fun. A majority of my time is spent at Sharkey’s, which is a beach volleyball sports restaurant. I play coed doubles with my boyfriend on Monday, women’s advanced doubles with Bridget Lougen (another Incoming freshman) on Wednesday, and advanced 4s on Friday. Some day I hope to get started in AVP tournaments with Bridget but the last one is actually today (I’m writing this in the car as I go). Beach volleyball has always been a huge part of my life and I’ve met a lot of pros while playing here (the owner used to be an Olympic player in Italy!).  If I’m not playing at Sharkeys’s, my boyfriend has his own beach court where all our friends come and play pickup or mini tournaments.

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Advanced 4s champs! (In a thunderstorm) 

On the less fun side, I have been working two jobs this whole summer. I’ve worked at Marshalls since January so if you ever need a guide around the crazy store I can help:) My other job is refereeing at Sharkeys on Tuesday and Thursday nights (so yes, I am there 5 nights a week).

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Bridget’s grad party 🎉 

B19C078D-9015-45F4-BD9A-697166396DB5In my free time, I love hanging out with my bestfriends and traveling. All my traveling has mostly happened in the winter (I went to Europe and California) but this summer I got to visit UNC because one of my cloesest friends is going there. My favorite thing to do is hiking or explore new places so my friends and I hiked Chittenango Falls for a day, and will hopefully go to Salmon River Falls next week.

I’ve seen pictures from you guys of Letchworth State Park so I really hope we can go as a team there!! If hiking didn’t give it away, I love the outdoors and have spent a lot of time fishing and being around animals.

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Also, my friends and I went to Zac Brown Band and Chance the Rapper. I can listen to any music you guys want but I love country music and old hip hop.

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Chance The Rapper

I’m so excited for college and to be with all you guys. Besides my bio major, SUNY Geneseo is going to be the best four years of my life with the best team ever. I hope you guys have a great summer love you all:) 💖💖