Sarah Szybist is a six-foot-one-inch outside hitter for the Women’s Volleyball Team here at RIT, and has been receiving a lot of attention recently for her talent. She has just been named Most Valuable Player of the RIT Volleyball Invitational as well as the Liberty League Volleyball Player of the Week for the eighth time in the past two years. This is an incredible accomplishment and almost never happens.
Last season, Szybist was fourth in Division III, averaging 4.73 kills per set, and fifth in the entire country, averaging 5.32 points per set. She has been recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association including New York Region Rookie of the Year, All-New York Team Selection and Honorable Mention All-America Selection. Szybist has also been named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and was selected to be on the ECAC First Team. The Liberty League rewarded her with Rookie of the Year as well, and also selected her for First Team All-Liberty League.
As far as this season goes, it has already been filled with great statistics and recognitions. Szybist has averaged 5.65 points per set and 4.72 kills per set, and has also received Liberty League Player of the Week a few times this season already - and we’re only four weeks into the semester.
“I’m grateful and humble to be recognized,” Szybist says. “I appreciate the attention and rewards I’ve been getting, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am without my team. I think that I've been receiving these awards because of hard work and good fortune.”
Szybist, who is a second year Biomedical Sciences major, admits that some days can get overwhelming when she has to juggle practices and workouts with classes and homework.
“I've been playing sports in school for a while, however, and I've become really good at managing my time,” Szybist says.
Szybist started playing volleyball in fifth grade and played basketball until her junior year in high school. Her love of volleyball was heightened when she realized she wanted to play at the collegiate level. She stopped playing basketball and joined club volleyball teams in order to focus on a future in volleyball.
The future for the RIT Women’s Volleyball team is heading in the right direction. They have a lot of talent this year and are optimistic that they will go far. “We'll play some teams that we didn't play last year that have done well in the past, which may make our season tough,” Szybist says. “However, I think with the team that we have this season, we'll play well against these teams and hopefully take sets and full matches from them.”
All of the veterans, including Szybist, have been working hard to continue improving and make the team better. The newcomers have been a substantial addition to the team and have helped it become even stronger. There are high hopes for the Women’s Volleyball Team this year, and they have shown that they have the potential to achieve greatness.
For more information on Sarah Szybist, check out this profile from last year.