GSUVB Attacks Breast Cancer in 2nd Dig Pink Campaign

For the second year in a row, Geneseo Volleyball joined forces with the Side-Out Foundation to raise awareness and funds for stage IV breast cancer research and treatment. After a successful inaugural campaign last year, the Knights hoped to double our fundraising goal and bring in at least $2,000…and double we sure did!

In our 2019 campaign, GSUVB raised $3,500 for the Side-Out Foundation through t-shirt sales and sharing our online campaign with friends, fans, and families.

To bring awareness to the Side-Out Foundation and its cause, we hosted a Dig Pink match at our conference match vs Brockport on September 17th. Fans participated in our “Wall of Heroes” and hung ribbons along the entryway to the gym to honor loved ones who have battled breast cancer. Both teams represented the cause with customized “DIG PINK” warm-up tshirts and the crowd was a sea of PINK!

For so many volleyball programs across the country that participate in Side-Out’s Dig Pink campaigns every year, it’s exciting for our competitive spirits to work hard and raise as much money as possible to contribute to this organization…however, sometimes the true meaning behind why we wear pink and hang ribbons and raise money in the month of October can get lost.

This year, our program was fortunate enough to reach outside of our small campus community and connect with so many people in our larger Geneseo and Rochester communities who have been impacted by breast cancer and were thrilled to see us doing our part to battle the disease. Our t-shirt sales doubled this year as community members came in waves to get their hands on one in honor of loved ones lost or still fighting. Our Wall of Heroes started with just a few ribbons on the morning of our Dig Pink match, and by the end of the night, it was raining pink ribbons all across the foyer as our fans were eager to take part in honoring someone close to them. And last but certainly not least, GSUVB had the opportunity to participate in a Breast Cancer 5k in Rochester in October and get a first-hand glimpse at just how many people this disease affects every single day – downtown Rochester was covered in pink ribbons, feathers, glitter, t-shirts, etc. to show its support in the fight against breast cancer.

It’s been an honor for our program to do a small part in aiding the fight against breast with the Side-Out Foundation for the second time — we know that our efforts will help make a difference in the lives of so many who are battling this disease, and we will continue to do our part every single year until we’ve beaten breast cancer for good.

Meet Our First-Years: FY OH/OPP Isabella Imbo


Name:      Isabella Kate Imbo  

Nickname(s): Imbo       Birthday: 8/24

Intended Major(s):  Biology

Family members (parents + include ages with siblings): 

Thomas and Donna Imbo

Bailey Imbo, 24

Julia Imbo, 18

Family members who competed in college or professional athletics (where and when): Bailey competed in track & field at SUNY Cortland, then transferred to SUNY Geneseo his junior year and graduated from here in 2017. Julia currently attends UAlbany and competes on the women’s lacrosse team.

Hobbies/Interests:  I like to cook and spend time with my friends.

Would you like to get involved in any organizations/clubs on campus? If so, what interests you? Any type of sustainability club and/or leadership organization interests me. 

Why did you choose Geneseo? It suits my major and it’s a very beautiful campus and active student life. _____________________________________________________________________


Color:  yellow

Movie: Back to the Future 

TV show: Breaking Bad

Food:  eggplant parmesan 

Musician/artist/band: Tame Impala and Brockhampton

Vacation spot: Montauk

Quote: “start strong, finish stronger”

My idea of happiness is: Being surrounded by people who love me and who I love back.

What motivates/inspires you: My dad. & knowing that others do not have the same opportunities that I do. 

What was the greatest compliment you’ve ever received? My friend once told me I could be a foot model

One thing I have to do before I turn 25: Drive cross country and visit lots of national parks.

Post-college/career plans: Medical school

Biggest pet peeve: Picky eaters and wastefulness 

If you were stuck on a deserted island, name 3 things/people you’d have to have with you to survive: My dad, matches for a fire, and something to play music on 

Three things you think your closest friends would say when asked about you as a person: “Loyal, gives good advice, understanding, determined, and easy going”

What is your greatest achievement in your life thus far? Wining county championship for the first time in my schools history. 
If you could be ANYONE other than yourself for a day, who would it be and why? Elon Musk because he’s an extremely intelligent and rich man who looks like he meets a lot of interesting people everyday.

What are you most looking forward to in your time at Geneseo? Hanging the banner with the Geneseo volleyball team!

Meet Our First-Years: DS/L Emily Haber


Name: Emily Morgan Haber  

Nickname(s): Haber or Em      

Birthday: September 8th

Intended Major(s):  Undecided but most likely Communications

Family members (parents + include ages with siblings): Robin Haber, Russ Haber, Alyssa Haber – 20 

Hobbies/Interests: American Sign Language, spending time with friends, baking, rock climbing, etc…

Would you like to get involved in any organizations/clubs on campus? If so, what interests you? If i could get involved in any ASL clubs or organizations that would be ideal. I also would enjoy getting into any leadership and volunteer programs around campus.

Why did you choose Geneseo? I choose Geneseo for many reasons. Not only does Geneseo have outstanding academic and athletic programs, but it also has amazing people. The people are so helpful and kind – hearted, and genuinely want you to succeed. The welcoming and comfortable culture and environment that has been created here was one of the main reasons I chose to spend the next four years of my life at Geneseo.

Favorites… Color: Blue 

Movie: Aladdin or Mulan 

TV show: Big Brother

Food:  Mashed potatoes

Musician/artist/band: T-pain

Vacation spot: Disney World

Quote: “Dream BIG. Start small. Be ridiculously faithful. Focus on what you can control.” “Everything will be okay in the end…if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

My idea of happiness is: Spending time with my friends and family.

What motivates/inspires you: My family, friends and peers motivate me, and push me, to be the best version of myself possible. Whether it is on the volleyball court or in the classroom I am always giving 100% effort and attempt to be the best that I can. 

What was the greatest compliment you’ve ever received? The greatest compliment that I have ever received is when people tell me that I am a great teammate.

One thing I have to do before I turn 25: Go skydiving.

Post-college/career plans:  Become a Sign Language Interpreter and Coach volleyball to others.

Biggest pet peeve: Burps

If you were stuck on a deserted island, name 3 things/people you’d have to have with you to survive:

My best friends/family

A Volleyball

Three things you think your closest friends would say when asked about you as a person: Three things I think my friends would say about me is that I am passionate, reliable and dedicated.

What is your greatest achievement in your life thus far? Being able to be a reliable and trustworthy teammate and friend.

If you could be ANYONE other than yourself for a day, who would it be and why? I would be Sam Smith because I would want to be able to sing like him. 

What are you most looking forward to in your time at Geneseo?  Being apart of the Geneseo Volleyball Program and HANGING THAT BANNER!!!!

Meet Our First-Years: S Grace Thomas


Name: Grace Marie Thomas 

Nickname(s): GTom, GT 

Birthday: December 13 

Intended Major(s): Biology 

Family members (parents + include ages with siblings): Darlene and Todd Thomas, Courtney 27 and Zachary 23. 

Family members who competed in college or professional athletics (where and when): My sister Courtney played at Broome Community College 2010 & 2011. 

Hobbies/Interests: Riding horses, playing basketball, spending time with my family, playing board games, watching movies, performing in musicals, and Guiding Eyes for the Blind. 

Why did you choose Geneseo? I chose Geneseo because it reminds me of my home town and it makes me feel like it’s a home away from home. Also everyone here is very nice and compassionate towards others which makes me feel more comfortable to be living here. One more thing is the volleyball team, they feel like a second family to me and support me in everything I do and help me when I may be struggling. So over all Geneseo is a great place to be. 

Favorites….Color: Pink or aqua blue 

Movie: Disney Movies 

TV show: Full House 

Food: Chicken Pot Pie 

Musician/artist/band: George Strait 

Vacation spot: Intercourse, PA 

Quote: Everything happens for a reason 


My idea of happiness is: With my family, when I am stress free and worry free, enjoying a nice relaxing day. 

What motivates/inspires you: My family motivates and inspires me, whatever I do, I do it for them. 

What was the greatest compliment you’ve ever received? When one of my high school teachers said “That one day when I have a daughter I hope she is just like you.” 

One thing I have to do before I turn 25: Travel somewhere other than the east coast. 

Post-college/career plans: To become a veterinarian or a job that works and benefits animals in some way. 

Biggest pet peeve: When people don’t say thank you. 

If you were stuck on a deserted island, name 3 things/people you’d have to have with you to survive: My family, my pets, and a ball of some sort to entertain myself. 

Three things you think your closest friends would say when asked about you as a person: She is very kind and compassionate, she is respectful and responsible, and she is a perfectionist. 

What is your greatest achievement in your life thus far? When my high school volleyball team won the NYS Championship. 

If you could be ANYONE other than yourself for a day, who would it be and why? It would be my dog because I have always wanted to live a day as my dog. All she does is sleep, eat, and get pet all the time. So it would be nice to have a relaxing day where I didn’t have to do anything. 

What are you most looking forward to in your time at Geneseo? Making lifelong friends, and enjoying the whole college experience.

Meet our First-Years: MB Jackie Borland


IMG_0773Name: Jackie J Borland

Nickname(s): Jackie

Birthday: 05/17

Intended Major(s):
Anthropology/ SocioMedical

Family members (parents + include ages with siblings): Tammie and Dave Borland, Adam Borland (16)

Hobbies/Interests: Playing the drums and piano, hiking in the ADKs, baking, kayaking, snowboarding

Why did you choose Geneseo?
The environment was one of encouragement and no judgement. Geneseo also is turning my minor into a major and no other school I was looking at had that specific major.


Favorite…Color: Sky Blue
Movie: Oceans 8
TV show: Parks and Rec
Food: Bread!
Musician/artist/band: Lauren Diagle
Vacation spot: San Diego CA

Quote: Bible verse– Romans 5:3-8 : Not only so, but we also glory in our
sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

My idea of happiness is:
When everyone around me feels loved and accepted

What motivates/inspires you:
It’s hard to put into words because it’s hard for me to really understand, but I think what motivates me is my faith. I want to honor God in all that I do. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be saying a prayer in the middle of my hit, it means more along the lines of that when things get hard and I want to give up, I remember the life and sacrifice that Jesus endured for all of us and don’t give up, but push harder. It means that I run to the far side of the gym to pick up that ball even when I just played an hour of volleyball, and it means supporting, uplifting, and
encouraging my teammates.

What was the greatest compliment you’ve ever received?
My contagious enthusiasm and love for life and others

One thing I have to do before I turn 25:
Go on a missions trip

Post-college/career plans:
Get my masters and then a PhD in public health and maybe work for the CDC

Biggest pet peeve:
When things aren’t put back where they belong after someone is done using it

If you were stuck on a deserted island, name 3 things/people you’d have to have with you to survive: Bible, Knife, Water Filter

Three things you think your closest friends would say when asked about you as a person: Confident yet modest, hard working, kind-hearted

What is your greatest achievement in your life thus far? Hiking all of the ADK 46 highest peak or making it into the Honors College at Geneseo

If you could be ANYONE other than yourself for a day, who would it be and why?
Joy Huseland because she is the most selfless, loving, patient, understanding, and inspiring person that I know. She devotes her life to 72 girls a week for 8 weeks every summer and is such an important role model in these girls lives. Never has she ever said one mean thing about another person and she is so wise and a great listener.

What are you most looking forward to in your time at Geneseo?
Everything! Volleyball, learning about science and culture and medicine, making friends that I can someday call my life long friends, and being a part of the great Intervarsity organization.

’18-’19: A Look Back

Good afternoon, Knights fans! We hope you’ve been enjoying the holiday season with friends and family. The fall always flies by so fast, so we do our best to unplug this time of year and spend some quality time with those who have spent the last few months supporting us so well.

Just in time for the new year to roll around, we thought it would be a good time to look back on the successes of our 2018-2019 season. We’ll keep it short, sweet, and to the point — here’s a quick look back on our great year!


With the historic season of ’17-’18 under our belts, the 2018-2019 campaign was even more exciting, competitive, and successful than its predecessor. With a returning squad of one senior, five juniors, six sophomores, and three first-years, this experienced and hungry team made waves in the SUNYAC Conference, our New York region, and left us even hungrier for more. Here’s a look at what the Knights accomplished this season:

  • 9-0 in SUNYAC play – first time in program history
  • 2x SUNYAC Offensive Player of the Year (Grace Cergol)
  • First athlete in program history to achieve 1,000 Career Dig + 1,000 Career Kill Club (Grace Cergol)
  • JR Libero Samantha Mendelsohn reaches 1,000 career digs
  • SR Setter Emily Ast reaches 3,000 career assists & sits at 2nd in record book with 3,453 career assists
  • First Knight to be named Rookie of the Year in 8 years (Maddie McLaughlin)
  • Four All-Conference Team Members (Cergol, Mendelsohn, Ast, Lougen)
  • #1 seed in SUNYAC Conference Tournament
  • Led SUNYAC Conference in kills/set (Cergol – 4.18) & service aces/set (Alex Frank – .64) for entire season
  • Ranked Top 10 in New York Region
  • Raised $2,800 for Side Out Foundation in Inaugural Dig Pink Match

It was a year full of success, grit, competition, and leaving it all on the court. We will say goodbye to one of our fearless leaders, senior setter Emily Ast, and are ready for 2019 to make its way to us. As we’ve said before, the culmination of our season left us a bit sad, very humbled, and more than anything, hungry for more.

So here’s to a great year and an even greater one to come. 2019, we’re ready for you.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! GO KNIGHTS!

Senior Letter Series: Emily Ast

A letter to all of my teammates,

Over these past four years I have had the incredible opportunity of meeting so many wonderful people. Some of the most important people I have met have been the teammates I have gotten the privilege of sharing Schrader Gym with over these past four seasons. So, to the teammates I had when I came in as a Freshman to the teammates I have now, I want to say thank you. Thank you all for having the most incredible and significant influence on my collegiate years. Thank you for your kind hearts, open arms, and loving souls. And thank you for being some of my best friends that I know will last a lifetime, whether you’re in NY, Florida, or even the Netherlands.

So to start, I want to begin with the leaders I aspired to be when I was just a little baby freshman. So, to Pendles, Po, Lizzy, Beth, and Jia, thank you for being the most incredible role models for me, from my first day of preseason. I remember my first day meeting all of you on my recruiting visit and then again walking down to our team meeting before beginning our 2015-2016 season. Playing with you I remember your intensity and drive to win, but also the love you had for each other and everyone of your teammates. You showed me what it meant to be a part of Geneseo volleyball, which was so much greater than just a team but a real family. You watched out for us freshman every step of the way and made sure we were always taken care of, and never left behind. Thank you for being the start of what this program has become, and welcoming me into it, making Geneseo Volleyball feel like home.

Next to Trish, Courtney, Dani, Emma, Maddie, and Jess. One of my first memories with you guys was when you took Bain and I to the lake during preseason to see how we were doing and to get to know us since we would barely talk during practice. You never failed to make me laugh from the weird voices and dad jokes, to the just totally random things that would come out of your mouths. So, Emma, thank you for all of our slumber parties and late night chats, especially the ones that involved a lot of candy. Thank you to Trish and Maddie for being my mentors and someone I can always talk to when I need advice. Courtney and Dani, thank you you for always having my back and being genuinely great friends and people. And Jess, thank you for being the sweetest and most selfless, determined, and hardworking girl I have ever met. I will never forget all of your kind words and all of the laughs we shared so thank you for being such an incredible piece of my collegiate years and for staying in touch even though you’re not in Geneseo anymore.

Now to Grace, Sam, Kat, Shea, Abby, Kendyll and Scheff. The year your class came in was the year everything changed. You guys brought a spark to our team and pushed all of us older than you to be better. And now, we’ve had the last 3 years to get to know each other and I could not imagine playing a game without you guys by my side. You are the ones I can look to when I need advice on the court, the ones who challenge me to be better, and the weirdest group of friends who never fail to dance like maniacs or quote weird vines and make me laugh. Being your teammate reminds me why I love volleyball so much, and it is just the opportunity to go play the sport you love, and to have a fun time with your friends while doing it. So to all of you, thank you for being great leaders, for pushing this team to areas it had not been before, and for never forgetting to laugh and dance along the way.

Next, my little baby sophomores, Mary, Gabby, Bridget, Alex, Kiersten, Allison, Erina and Moose. I can’t even begin to explain the love I have in my heart for each and everyone of you. I literally see you guys in the gym and I can’t help but light up and smile. You fill my days with lots of hugs and never fail to make me feel special. You are all loads of fun, and some really insanely talented volleyball players. You came into the program filling big shoes, and never let our team skip a beat. You guys are leaders on the court, and honestly the real deal when it comes to being student-athletes. You push me to give 110% everyday because that is what every one of you gives everyday. You truly fill me with joy and have made practices and games such a fun and exciting place to be, filled with your competitive energy and fun-loving spirits. So, to each of you, thank you for all of the hugs and smiles you’ve brought to me over these last two seasons.

To the little freshman, Morgan, MK, and Maddie. Your excitement to learn and to be a part of Geneseo Volleyball is refreshing and pushes each of our teammates to challenge themselves to be better everyday. The way each of you has improved in just a few weeks is actually incredible and it makes me so happy to leave the program knowing such incredible people and players like you have just become a part of it. Even though you were all a little quiet at first, it’s been so fun to see you guys open up over the last few weekends and for all of us to really start having some fun times together as a team. So, thank you guys for your excitement to play and learn, and for reminding me that it is never too late to get better, even if I only have a few weeks left. I am so proud of everything you have done in these last few weeks- I can’t wait to come back and watch you play on your senior night.

Now Luca, I didn’t really know where to squeeze you in here so you will get a little paragraph for yourself. First, I want to thank you for taking a chance on a small college in upstate New York and for deciding to come play volleyball. I can’t imagine my sophomore season without you and the insane competitive edge and athleticism you brought over here with you. Thank you for being brutally honest sometimes, because at the end of the day sometimes that’s just what we needed. Thank you for consistently pushing me, for helping me find my voice, and for teaching me that it is okay to be firm, and to stand up for what I want/believe in. Thank you for opening up a door to a whole new world, and for always staying in touch, even with a postcard from India. And Luca, I promise you, I will come over and visit soon.

Now lastly, to my absolute best friends that I have met. Kaci and Madison , thank you for being the absolute coolest and funniest people I know. Thank you for such a genuine friendship, and for the endless laughs, late nights, Byrne Dairy runs, and never failing to be by my side and to help me crack a smile or laugh. Thanks for being weird with me always. And last but certainly not least to my best friend Sarah Bain. Even though you decided to graduate early and get ahead on being a real life adult I will never forget all of the fun memories we shared living together for 3 years. Thank you for always hitting up the vending machine with me, singing our favorite musicals at all hours of the night, for all of the cuddles, and being the one person I know I can count on for anything in this world. Thanks you guys for being by my side through these last 4 years and for a friendship like no other.

So, thank you to Geneseo Volleyball for bringing me the most incredible people and for filling my four years with plenty of smiles, laughter, sing alongs, inside jokes, and friendships that will last long beyond my time here.

Love, your teammate,

Emily Ast