The UR volleyball team is off to a 6-4 start, and their early success has been due in large part to the excellent play of the sophomore class, particularly libero Tayler Schweigel. Schweigel’s all-around ability as a defensive specialist and an outside hitter is quietly becoming one of the best sports stories of the year.

Last year she was on the team but saw limited action until the end of the season. This year, however, Schweigel’s playing time has been significantly increased, and she has responded with solid play in the back row. The first week of the season, Schweigel earned Co-Player of the Week honors from the University Athletic Association. She was awarded specifically because of her excellent play at the SUNY Cortland Red Dragon Classic. Schweigel was named to the All-Tournament Team after amassing 84 digs through four matches, including a career-high 30 digs in a match against Nazareth College.

Her solid play continued against D’Youville College. In a hard fought victory, Schweigel led the ‘Jackets with 20 digs.

While Schweigel has started, she is not the only one who has delivered on the court. Members of the sophomore class in general have really stepped up, as well.
In the game against D’Youville, fellow sophomore teammates made major contributions, including middle hitter Sarah Kauper, outside hitter Allyson Blair, defensive specialist Maura Hamilton and setter Rachel Bender.

On Friday, at the Victory Promotions Tournament at SUNY Potsdam, the sophomore star continued to shine. Bender totaled 67 assists in two victories, the first over St. Lawrence University and the second over SUNY Plattsburgh. Kauper again added to the mix by collecting eight kills and two block assists against St. Lawrence and seven kills and three block assists against Plattsburgh.

Hamilton also made huge contributions in the winning efforts, totaling 42 digs in the two matches. Also stepping were fellow sophomores, middle hitter and right side player Cat Kane and defensive specialist Katie Drinkwater.

The ‘Jackets finished the Victory Promotions Tournament 2-2 after dropping both games the second day to Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam.

After UR’s most recent game, a 3-0 victory over Ithaca College, it looks as if the ‘Jackets are headed in the right direction and that this trend of sophomores stepping up is going to continue.

The sophomore class came up big again against Ithaca. Kauper had seven kills and five blocks. Bender led UR with 30 assists, four kills, three blocks and two aces. Schweigel continued her solid play by chipping in 19 digs and two service aces. The team now turns its attention to the Rochester Institute of Technology tournament, where UR will again face Ithaca.

And while the sophomore class has certainly shown its potential to excel on the court, the first couple weeks of the season also show how much UR relies a lot on the leadership of its upperclassmen, senior outside hitter Jess Rasmussen, senior setter Kate Lewis and junior outside hitters Emily Hunter and Katie Fenton.

Rasmussen has been especially influential as a leader on the court. At Potsdam this past weekend, she was named to the All-Tournament Team for the second time in as many years and currently leads the team in kills and is second in digs.

With the strong leadership of Rasmussen, along with the youthful enthusiasm of the many sophomores and freshmen on the team, the ‘Jackets appear poised and ready to make a run this year.

Couple that with continued excellence from Schweigel and her classmates, and the ingredients are in place for a strong season.

Following the RIT tournament this weekend, the ‘Jackets return to the Palestra on Tuesday to play RIT. The game is the first event in the ‘Pack the Palestra” initiative drafted by the Students’ Association to get students to support UR athletics.

The ‘Jackets begin UAA competition in the beginning of October, when they travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. to take part in the first round of conference play.

Gillenson is a member of the class of 2010.

URMSD Spectrum hosts drag benefit show

Performers interacted with the students running off the flimsy stage avoiding near-death with heels catching on the stairs of the stage.

Drag Charity Show: out and proud on campus

The event to aimed to bring visibility to ongoing LGBTQ+ youth issues throughout the Rochester area.

There’s a dress in my closet

One day I know that I will wear that dress out. I know that it will bring me queer joy.