Being a part of a college team is a big commitment, but it is very much worth it. Just ask Cortland senior Sarah Piacentini. Sarah is a captain for the Cortland Women’s Volleyball team. When she is not playing volleyball, you can find her working at the gym welcome desk inside the campus student life center. In addition to playing a sport at the college, she is a sport management major. If you couldn’t tell, Sarah is extremely involved on campus. How does she balance doing all of this? Well, the other day I got the chance to interview her, and she told me how she does it. She also told me about what it is like to be on the volleyball team, as well as gave some advice for future students who would like to tryout for the sport.
How did you get into playing volleyball?
“I started running cross country and track in seventh grade, but the summer before eighth grade I was playing volleyball with the team my aunt coached and had so much fun that I wanted to try out for my schools team. I made the modified team, fell in love with the game, and the rest is history.”
How long have you played for?
“Since the eighth grade!”
What made you want to play for the Cortland team?
“When I was junior in high school I came to visit Cortland and watched the team practice, met the coach and toured the campus. I loved everything I saw and the girls I met, but I was still torn between going to a big school. When it came down to the wire in making a decision, and I was given the choice to play volleyball here at Cortland, going to a big school didn’t matter anymore, playing the sport I loved mattered most.”
What is your greatest memory while playing on the Cortland team?
“My junior year we flew out to Texas for a weekend and played some really good teams and then did some sightseeing in Dallas. Being able to travel the New York State and many other places in this country with my team and best friends has been some of my favorite memories.”
Describe what you do as a captain of the team.
“As captain, I’m simply a liaison between the team and coach. I’m someone who my teammates feel they can trust, and respect. Our team votes who is captain and being voted as captain means so much, the team has my back and I’ve got theirs. This year we had a new coach and there was a transition where the captains played a stronger role in leading the team in practice, games, and off the court in our regular lives.”
What types of challenges have you faced while being a part of the team?
“There is definitely a lot of them, all different as well. Some days it would be simply an equipment malfunction. However trying to balance school, work, and being an athlete is an every day challenge. Another challenge was having teammates come and go throughout the four years I’ve been on the team, and this season especially, having a new coach was the biggest challenge.”
How do you balance schoolwork along with being on the team?
“Time management is key. I make sure my schoolwork is done before we travel and I make notes of when things are due and when I want to work on them. Getting work done before we travel for a game is always a goal of mine, I learned my freshman year it’s hard for me to get homework done on the bus so I made sure I always had it done before we even left.”
Do you have any pregame routine?
“Before a game my best friend and I, Amanda May always warm up together and it gets me hyped and ready to go every time.”
What are you going to miss the most about the team after you graduate?
“After I graduate I’m going to miss the day to day conversations I had with my teammates. Going into the gym and competing with each other, the laughs, the tears, the moments that made us more than teammates, the moments that made us a family.”
What advice would you give to incoming freshman who would like to tryout for the team?
“Soak it in. Don’t take it for granted, and put your heart and soul into it every day. When you’re winning, keep your head down and focused and when you’re losing, keep your head up and stay positive.”
Thank you Sarah for taking the time to make this interview happen. Your hard work and dedication is truly admirable!
You can learn more about Sarah on her website!