The inaugural season of the newly-minted volleyball coach, Cecily Scavicchio, has begun and she is ready for the challenge.
After standout careers in both volleyball and basketball at Neumann University, where she majored in Elementary and Special Education, Coach Scavicchio has spent the last four years as an assistant volleyball coach at Swarthmore College before accepting the position of Head Volleyball Coach here at Ursinus College.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity . . . From the moment I stepped foot on Ursinus’ campus, I felt at home and loved the traditions and family environment. I just cannot wait to make an immediate impact on this culture,” said Scavicchio.
Anybody who has ever attended Ursinus College knows that the college strives to teach its students how to be better leaders and human beings. Ursinus does this by examining the CIE questions: What should matter to me? How should we live together? How can we understand the world? What will I do? Along with these questions, Ursinus places a very high emphasis on leadership. One major model of leadership for Ursinus students is the coaching staff of sports teams on campus. Scavicchio is geared up to be one of those leaders and role models.
Senior co-captain Allie Raff thinks Scavicchio is ready to be a big-time leader for the team. She is already helping the team bond, incorporating the first-year students into the fold, and placing an emphasis on academic excellence.
“Coach has organized weekly classroom sessions and meetings with each player. The classroom sessions allow us to work together as a team off the court and discuss the mental aspect of the game. The individual meetings help the first-year players get adjusted and keep the [whole team] on track academically as well as athletically.”
Scavicchio has become popular on the court as well. Referees commented that they were impressed with the attitude that she brings to the court: She always has a smile and polite demeanor, regardless of whether or not a match is going the Bears’ way.
Perhaps this attitude comes from a level of preparedness that Scavicchio brings with her to practice every day. She has tried to pass down this preparedness to her players.
Allie Raff explained, “Our new coach has brought so much to the team this year, but I think the most important aspects of her coaching style are her emphasis on being in shape physically and practicing at a very high level. The team has been conditioning much more and [she has been] preparing us for the high-intensity and high-skill matches that come from most of the teams in the Centennial Conference.”
This preparedness has seemed to pay off in the early games of this season. With two victories against Albright College, including a five-set thriller in the Catholic University Tournament in Washington, D.C. as of Sept. 11, Scavicchio has the Bears off to a steady 2-4 start to the season. Scavicchio returns to her alma mater on Friday, Sept. 15 to take on Neumann University and Moravian College at the Neumann Knights Invitational, then the Bears return home Sept. 16 for two homecoming matchups against Rowan University and Trinity Washington University at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm, respectively.
When asked about team expectations, Senior co-captain Allie Raff expressed much optimism: “I think that Coach Cecily has what it takes to turn this team around and get us on track for a winning season.”