For Sydney Gabriel, a sophomore setter on the Plattsburgh State women’s volleyball team she gets to play the game she loves everyday.
The passion for the game of volleyball has been with the Long Island native ever since she picked up the sport in seventh grade.
“I played both volleyball and basketball in middle school,” Gabriel said. “I was really competitive in both sports.”
Gabriel said once she got into high school she realized playing two sports was too much for her. That’s when she chose to stick with volleyball.
During her time at South Side High School she earned All-Conference, All-County, All-Long Island and All-State recognition.
There she realized volleyball was something she wanted to pursue in college.
“My junior year of high school I was looking at SUNY schools, and I sent an email with my recruitment video to Coach,” Gabriel said. “They said they were interested in me. I came up and just fell in love with the campus.”
Her teammates have made her experiences at PSUC memorable.
“My teammates have been very important to me, Gabriel said. “They make bad days better, I get along with the girls so much.They’re so supportive.”
On the court Gabriel said she tries to help out her teammates out the best she can.
“I’m a really outspoken person so I kind of just say what’s on my mind,” Gabriel said. “If someone’s having trouble with something I try my best to handle the situation and make sure everyone stays positive.”
Freshman defensive specialist Bryanne Yasui said Gabriel is really easy to play with and she’s a leader on the court.
Yasui said she first met Gabriel during her recruit visit.
“She was so sweet and welcoming,” Yasui said. “She mean’s a lot to me, I talk to her everyday. We’re close on and off the court.”
The game of volleyball has done so much for Gabriel as a person.
“Its help me become more independent, really motivates me to become the best player I can be, Gabriel said.
One person that has influenced Gabriel during her time at PSUC is her friend and teammate Sam Colombo.
“She always pushes me during practices and games,” Gabriel said. “She’s my best friend on and off the court, I don’t know what i would do without her.”
Sophomore outside hitter Sam Colombo said it’s great playing with Gabriel.
She communicates well with me, I been playing with her for two years now,” Colombo said. “She’s the type of teammate anyone would love to have.”
Colombo said the first time she interacted with Gabriel was at practice.
“We’re at practice and I noticed she was really good at setting the ball for me,” she said. “I would tell her to set the ball in a certain spot for me and she would put it there.”
Colombo said it’s unique to be able to play with your best friend.
“We have the best times together,” Colombo said. “It helps when we’re playing in matches because we so comfortable with each other.”
Colombo said being a setter, Gabriel runs the court and has to make sure she knows what’s going on and she does a great job doing that.
Gabriel said she wants to make it to SUNYACs and be one of those top teams, and have a chance to win a championship.
“I think our team is capable of doing that,” Gabriel said. “I just got to keep playing hard every match, and have no regrets.”
Email David Luces at email@example.com