The women of the Northern Virginia Community College volleyball team are starting their 2017 season off right. With a 3-0 win over Allegany College of Maryland, the Lady Nighthawks are even more determined and encouraged to have an amazing season on and off the court.
The recent win became Head Coach Marcus Robinson’s 100th win – a historical achievement at NOVA. Against Allegany, Lauren Havill finished with a career high of seven kills and Sarah Abisourour dished a game-best 14 assists.
The new season brought on a few new faces, including Wakefield High School Graduate Tiara Jones. The Arlington native is a first-year student at NOVA majoring in ASL interpretation. Tiara has played volleyball for many years and chose NOVA for the educational opportunities, to make sure she’s prepared for her desired future at Gallaudet University and for the chance to continue her love for volleyball.
“I chose NOVA because of the opportunities here. I think a lot of people like to go into more D-1 schools, but I think NOVA actually trains you to get better. You show up and you practice just as hard as anyone,” she said. “Choosing NOVA is just an easier pathway into a four-year college, especially with my major. I want to go to Gallaudet [University], but I don’t think I’m quite ready to be in a 100 percent deaf community just yet. So I chose NOVA in hopes that it’ll teach me more and prepare me for something bigger in the future.”
The team – led by Robinson and Assistant Coaches Alan Aranas, Floyd Pier and Travis Hudson – consists of 18 NOVA students who are dedicated to the sport and have played for many years. In addition to improving their skills on the court, the team shows just as much determination in the classrooms with much encouragement from each other and their coaches.
Second-year student and Nighthawk Volleyball veteran Nikola Knapova said she enjoys the competitive team spirit and has learned so much from her coaches. Originally from Slovakia, Nikola played volleyball as part of her country’s team in Europe. She said she chose NOVA and to be a part of the volleyball team because of future transfer opportunities and how dedicated the coaches are to helping the players succeed as athletes and as students.
“I chose to come to NOVA when I started two years ago because everyone told me about the transfer opportunities from this college and that I can also save money,” Nikola said. “I really like how they do things here in America. There are a variety of coaches who teach you and tell you every detail on how to perfect the game and they’re very positive. The coaches really help with your education. They make sure your schedule works and that you have good grades. You cannot play, especially the second year, if you don’t have good grades and I really like that.”
The team is preparing to go on the road for a game against Chesapeake College on Tuesday, Sept. 5 and will return for a home game against Frederick Community College on Thursday, Sept. 7. For additional information about NOVA’s volleyball program, a complete volleyball roster and schedule or information for other NOVA athletics programs visit the official NOVA athletics website.
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.