Amanda Rachwal’s road to collegiate volleyball started out like most other girls who played on high school and club teams while getting ready to take it to the next level. In Rachwal’s case, it took a call from her mother to Seton Hall Volleyball coach Allison Yaeger to give her a head start on what would be a productive career.
“I’ll never forget it,” Yaeger said. “I was sitting in my office one day and my phone rang, so I answered it and it was Amanda’s mother. She introduced herself and she said, ‘My daughter really wants to come to Seton Hall, and I was wondering if you have an available scholarship for that year,’ and I told her that we did.”
Standing at 6 feet, 2 inches, Rachwal was able to use her height to her advantage when it came to blocking at the net and getting the ball down.
“When she came to one of our clinics at the school, I couldn’t believe how long she was and how well she can put that entire body into motion and play the game,” Yaeger said. “I was really surprised by it. I went to one of her high school matches one night and she didn’t even know I was there. I actually made her the full scholarship offer after her game; she played outstanding in that match.”
As the team prepares to play in this spring season, the senior middle blocker said she’s coming into this season not knowing what to fully expect. However, she said she is excited for competitive play to begin and to take this team to great lengths.
“I was definitely prepared coming in,” Rachwal said. “I had Lizzie (Sottung) with me, but with school it didn’t work out for her, so I kind of had to double up on this whole team like one big mother hen and make sure to lead them in the right direction.”
The lone senior was also named captain this upcoming season alongside freshman setter, Taylor Jakubowski. Rachwal feels a new sense of respect to be earned by her teammates as she wants to set a good example for the program.
“Our coaches appointed our setter, Taylor, who is a freshman as our second captain, and I know it’s hard for a freshman to step up to the plate, but she runs the court as our only setter right now,” Rachwal said. “I love leading these girls. They respect me as a person and as a player on the court which makes the job so much easier.”
As Rachwal comes closer to the end of her Seton Hall volleyball career, it also means less time to get her stats up while attempting to break records and leave a legacy behind.
“I’m hoping to be on the first-team Big East,” Rachwal said. “I was right there with my number of kills last year, but I had to bring up my number of blocks so I think that will be something I can accomplish. There’s ranking for most blocks, kills, and everything else in the set that I’m trying to be at the top for all of those in the Big East and for Seton Hall.”
The season is scheduled to start in January and end in April. Coach Yaeger said this time is stressful, but she is also confident that her team will be ready to play. As for what the team will look like when Rachwal concludes her volleyball career:
Said Yaeger, “Those are going to be some big spandex to fill.”
Jenna Powell can be reached at email@example.com.