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



Meet a First-Year: MK Saladino

Name: Mary Catherine Saladino  

Nickname(s): MK       

Major(s): Accounting

Class Year: Freshman

Family members: James Saladino (dad), Mary Hartill (mom), Joseph Saladino (brother), Jessie Saladino(sister), Madelyn Saladino (sister)

Hobbies/Interests: Going to the beach, playing with my dogs

Why did you choose Geneseo? I chose Geneseo because I love the atmosphere and knew that I would fit in great here.


Color:  Purple

Movie: Grease

TV show: The Office

Food: Baked ziti

Musician/artist/band: J. Cole

Vacation spot: Montauk, Long Island

Volleyball drill: two touch

My idea of happiness is: Being surrounded by all the people I care about and knowing that they care about me too.

A quote that motivates/inspires you: The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”

What was the greatest compliment you’ve ever received? Someone couldn’t believe how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown in such a short amount of time and they were proud that I never gave up and told me I was a driven and determined person.

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

Post-college/career plans:  My plan is to get a job in New York City at an accounting firm, live there for a few years and then eventually move back to Long Island.

Biggest pet peeve: My biggest pet peeve is when people only have negative things to say because I am a positive person it puts me in a bad mood when someone never has anything good to say.

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

Three things you think your closest friends would say when asked about you as a person: Loyal, outgoing, and energetic

What is your greatest achievement in your life thus far? Playing the sport I love on a collegiate level

If you could be ANYONE other than yourself for a day, who would it be and why? Michael Jordan because he was cut from the basketball team in jr high and ended up being one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history


Meet A First-Year: Maddie McLaughlin

Name:              Madeleine Walz McLaughlin

Nickname(s):   Maddie, Mad, Mads

Major(s): Undecided

Class Year: 2022

Family members: Mary and Peter McLaughlin, brothers Charlie (20) and Henry (17)

Hobbies/Interests: Being in the great outdoors; card tricks; spending time with family/friends; and eating dried mango.

Why did you choose Geneseo? The campus is beautiful, the people are friendly, and the volleyball team is B.A.



Color:  Turquoise

Movie: Avatar

TV show: Parks and Rec

Food:  Sushi

Musician/artist/band: Don’t have one; I have a very eclectic taste in music

Vacation spot: Anywhere that has sushi

Volleyball drill: 1-2-1

My idea of happiness is: Playing pretty much any sport, or eating really good food with really good people.

A quote that motivates/inspires you: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

What was the greatest compliment you’ve ever received? I’ve been told I’m a good friend to everyone.

One thing I absolutely have to do before I turn 25: Be a contestant on the Bachelor, and learn how to play one piano song really well.

Post-college/career plans:  Just like my major, I currently have no idea.

Biggest pet peeve: Improper grammar

If you were stuck on a deserted island, name 3 things/people you’d have to have with you to survive: My cat, a deck of cards, and a sushi-making kit (if that’s a thing).

Three things you think your closest friends would say when asked about you as a person: Tall, annoyingly obsessed with grammar, really tall.

What is your greatest achievement in your life thus far? Overcoming a nearly three-year-long illness during high school and returning to sports.

If you could be ANYONE other than yourself for a day, who would it be and why? Sam Mendelsohn, because I’ve always wanted to be short for a day 🙂



Geneseo Volleyball: Ace Club

Happy Monday, all! Here to share a fantastic fundraising opportunity for our program — our very first Geneseo Volleyball Ace Club!

VB Ace Club (1)

Our Ace Club works like this: 

You choose an amount that you’d like to pledge towards the total number of aces we will accumulate by the end of our season. This amount can be fixed ($0.25, $0.50, $1, $2, $5) or it can be customized to whatever amount you’d like. At the end of the season, the total amount of your donation will be calculated (amount pledged x total # of aces) and you will be notified of your amount and how to complete your donation! What a fun way to not only help support our program, but to also encourage you to follow our success all year long!

Donations must be pledged in writing (via email or mail) to Coach Drews.

**Pledges to our Ace Club will be accepted for the entire 2018-2019 academic year! All of those made during the season will be collected at the end of the season. Pledges made after the season will be collected immediately.

We thank you in advance for your support of our program and your participation in our Ace Club! Through your support, costs for the following events/items will be greatly offset: end of season banquet, team bonding trips & activities, travel gear, leadership development materials.


Contact Head Coach Hunter Drews to make your pledge today!

(585) 245-5552

Meet A First-Year: Morgan Michalski

Name: Morgan Renee Michalski  

Position: Setter

Nickname(s): Morg or Mo

Major(s):  Childhood education/ Special ed

Class Year: 2022

Family members: Tom and Tara Michalski, sister Stephanie Michalski-Bauer (23)

Hobbies/Interests:  I love doing arts and crafts, I love to shop, mostly for clothes and jewelry, and I love to travel with my family. We go on a big family vacation every other summer and it’s a blast!


Color:  Light pink

Movie: Breakfast Club and High School Musical (all of them)

TV show: Friends

Food:  Baked potato with sour cream and butter

Musician/artist/band: Ariana Grande and Beyonce

Vacation spot: Any place relaxing like the beach or in the mountains

Volleyball drill: Hitters vs defense


My idea of happiness is: Appreciating the little things in life, such as the sunset, a group of friends, or a specific moment in time.

A quote that motivates/inspires you: “It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine” -Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh)

What was the greatest compliment you’ve ever received? Friends from school have told me that I have a big heart.

One thing I absolutely have to do before I turn 25: Travel to NYC on a train.

Post-college/career plans:  Go back to Buffalo and have a small family, working as an elementary school teacher, living a happy life.

Biggest pet peeve: When people think they are entitled to something and don’t work for it.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, name 3 things/people you’d have to have with you to survive: My mom, a pillow, & a bag of trail mix with M&Ms in it.

What is your greatest achievement in your life thus far? Making it to college and playing the sport I love, and being happy with my life at this moment.

If you could be ANYONE other than yourself for a day, who would it be and why? Anyone of my friends or anyone in my life, for sort of like a self evaluation.

Why did you choose Geneseo? I came for a summer camp and fell in love with the campus, it is what I pictured a college looked like. The volleyball team was also a big influence on picking Geneseo, the team is full of great personalities!

Summer days drifting away

Hi everyone! My name is Allison and I’m an incoming sophomore middle (which is wild). This summer has flown by but I’m so excited to move back in and start volleyball season. I spent most of my time working full-time (actually more than just full time) at my internship at Niagara Falls State Park. I actually really enjoyed working there this summer. I got to find all the hidden spot at Niagara Falls that most people don’t know about, like three sisters island and watching fireworks on Luna Island. This internship was a great opportunity for me, because it allowed me to experience real world accounting (not just accounting from a book) and I learned a lot from my coworkers. While my internship was a lot of work and took up a lot of my time this summer, it was worth it.



When I wasn’t working I spent my time hanging with friends and trying new things. One of my favorite things I started to do this summer was kickboxing classes. I started to kick box at a place called Ilovekickboxing. While it was definitely challenging, it was a fun way to workout. I’m also supposed to do goat yoga and pallet painting but I think I will have to save that for next summer.

Just like everyone else included in their blog I took a trip to LI this summer. While it was a long way there and back (about 8 hours each way) I enjoyed every second of it (even the weird sunburn I got after I didn’t rub in my spray on sunscreen). We may have only went for 3 days, but we packed a lot into it such as going to ralphs, having a Geneseo vball reunion at Shea’s, and a beach day in Long beach. This trip was probably my favorite thing of the summer because I got to see where all the freshmen live and all the towns they grew up in.

Remember kids always rub in your sunscreen 🙂

IMG_7197                         IMG_7181 (1)

Finally I ended my summer by helping out with high schools volleyball camp. Some of the girls attended the Geneseo camp the weekend before and they told me about how they loved my teammates, my school, and our program. This made me extremely proud because I know how amazing our team is. I love to hear when others can see how fantastic we are and all the hard work we do. I enjoyed my summer (even though I failed to get a tan) but I’m excited to go back to Geneseo and get back in the gym. I know we are going to do a lot of great thing this year and I can’t wait to be back with everyone ( 9 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!).

A Long Beach Summer!

Hiii all my name is Gabby Ayzenberg and I am a rising sophomore DS/L (for the freshman, time flies by enjoy freshman year)!! This summer has flew by but I have had a great one so far and have just a few more weeks left before the grind starts.1A02FC32-5B7A-4599-B827-78000DB7D983.jpegI am lucky enough to live down the block from the beach and use every free opportunity to enjoy it. Before work started any nice day there was my friends and I would spend at the beach. As well as relaxing on the beach most saturdays I was either playing pick up beach volleyball or playing in tournaments! I was also super happy this summer that most of the team got to see where I live and enjoy the day on the beach. That weekend that everyone visited was such a fun one considering in school we can’t go an hour without seeing each other! I also went to a concert in the beginning of the summer called Governors Ball Music Festival! It was a ton of fun I actually went with Grace and Shea from the team and we met up with Kiersten while there! Definitely a highlight of the summer for me!


Other than going to the beach when I can, I spend my days working at a sports camp at Farmingdale State College. The first four weeks I work the multisport camp which is pretty fun cause every 30 minutes we switch up what sports the kids play and I get to jump in a lot of them. The other 2 weeks I run the volleyball camp which is a lot of fun considering most of the kids are young. The girls love to have fun and I love teaching young people about the game that I am so passionate about!


The other part of my summer has been working out and enjoying my family and friends. Since I get home pretty late from work I have been going to the gym at about 5:30 in the morning before work (I am a morning person). When I can I have been using the beach to work out too and get some nice runs by the shore. My family and I had a big barbeque for my mom and brothers birthday July 4th weekend which was a ton of fun. My friends and I have been taking some adventures one being to Smorgasberg in Brooklyn which is a huge food festival. We all ate so much and spent way too much money on food but it was worth it!

DB9FFD62-2B04-451E-92D1-AF955D4CE454.jpeg  The end of the summer for me is going to be really fun too, my roommate Mary is going to be visiting my town cause her sister also lives in Long Beach! Other than Mary visiting the end of summer is going to be me preparing for preseason and getting all the supplies I need for my second year of college!! I can’t wait to be back in the gym with the most amazing team and be back at one of my favorite places!