The Fairfield University Women’s Volleyball team was forced to withdraw from the 2020-21 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Tournament due to COVID-19 protocol. With a regular season record of nine wins and one loss, the team was named the top seed going into the championship tournament.
“It was really unfortunate how it ended up,” Luci Albertson ‘21 said. “But I’m choosing to look at all the things we’ve accomplished.”
Albertson is a senior member on the volleyball team and one of the current captains. In her four years on the team, she has acquired a series of awards including MAAC All-Rookie Team in 2017 and 2018, and MAAC All-Championship Team 2017, 2018 and 2019.
She is not the only member on the team to hold many titles, as described by the volleyball team’s head coach Todd Kress.
“This group of seniors has been one of the most successful classes on the volleyball team,” Kress said. “Manuela [Nicolini] has been to three MAAC Championships, and Kaylie [Butts] and Luci [Albertson] have each been to two.”
Kaylie Butts, a senior recruited from Tampa, Florida, was also a member of the MAAC All-Rookie Team in 2017 and named MAAC Player of the Week in November of 2019.
Manuela Nicolini, a graduate student from Castelnuovo Rangone, Italy, has been named MAAC Setter of the Year for 2017, 2019, and 2020, along with being a member of the MAAC All-Academic Team in 2018, 2019 and 2020, among many other recognitions.
Due to the sensitivity of the topic, Nicolini and Butts declined to comment on this matter.
Albertson described how these awards and titles have been one way the team members have contributed to the volleyball program over the years, but they have also worked to showcase their athleticism and commitment to the program.
“One of the things I consider my main accomplishment on the team is helping Fairfield get wins overall,” Albertson said. She emphasized the importance of helping the program gain a strong record and rank among their opponents.
While her personal accomplishments and the performance of the team have been highlights in Albertson’s athletic career at Fairfield University, she also mentions the bonds among teammates as being one of the best parts of her experience.
One aspect of the volleyball program that Albertson has enjoyed over her four years is the fact that Fairfield recruits players from all over the country, and the world.
“Our team has players from everywhere,” Albertson said. “There are girls from the Midwest, the south, Italy and Canada.”
She described how one of her favorite parts of the volleyball program was watching these players from different backgrounds develop both a friendship off the court and a strong athletic dynamic on the court.
“Volleyball brought us together while we were here,” Albertson said. “It is something that will keep us connected as we graduate and go our own ways.”
As Albertson gets ready to say good-bye to the volleyball team at Fairfield, she feels that the program is only going to get better as the years progress. She outlined how the impressive winning record over the past couple of years will help attract strong players who are being recruited from high school.
“We have strong freshmen, a new gym being built, and the name of Fairfield,” Albertson said regarding the future of the volleyball team.
She emphasized how proud she is of the teammates she’s played alongside over the past few years. “I’m honored to be part of this team,” she said.
Kress also mentioned how pleased he is with the team, specifically the senior members Albertson, Butts, and Nicolini.
“I am very proud of their accomplishments as members of the team,” Kress said. “They have been exemplary representatives of the university and of the athletic department.”
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