WASHINGTON, PA (April 29, 2019)— Four years ago, a Washington & Jefferson College men’s volleyball team was just a dream for a small group of students who wanted to start the club. Last week, they competed at the national level.
The team traveled to Denver, Co. April 17-20 and competed in the National Club Volleyball Championships against more established teams from Villanova University, Saint Louis University, and SUNY Oswego, among others. Although they didn’t win in the championships, team founder Chris Fiorina ’19 said the team’s greatest accomplishment has not been their record, but how the campus community has responded to the club and its members.
“The campus has really embraced the men’s club volleyball team. They come out to games, the Student Government Association helped fund our travel to Denver, and Dr. Knapp even bought one of our men’s club volleyball t-shirts to support our travel to the National Club Volleyball Championships,” he said.
Fiorina had a desire to start a men’s club volleyball team soon after he committed to W&J, and the summer before his freshman year he reached out to Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Eva Chatterjee-Sutton to ask if that was possible. She said it was, and then helped Chris find the right resources to start the team when he got to campus.
Though the first few seasons for the men’s club volleyball team were slow, they eventually found their rhythm. The team ended the 2017-2018 season with a record of 6-2, and followed up by ending the 2018-19 season with a record of 3-4. Although not the record they’d hoped to achieve, it still allowed them to win a bid for a spot at the National Club Volleyball Championships.
Looking back four years later, Chris and Dean Eva share similar views about the opportunities to find leadership roles and explore your passions at W&J.
“It was all built into W&J that I could start and fund the club team. If you have a passion, it is attainable here at W&J,” Chris said.
Dean Eva agreed.
“The development and growth of the program has had a tremendously positive impact not only for the men who have participated but also on the community as a whole,” she said. “It’s also indicative of the manner in which student experience is shaped by student leadership in developing opportunities for our campus community around areas of passion and interest, as has been the case for the club volleyball team.”
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.