Avoiding last year’s disappointment: Ciliento leads the way

Photo by Austin Drucker ‘17 | Photographer

Danielle Towslee ‘15 serves the ball for Lafayette.
Danielle Towslee ‘15 serves the ball for Lafayette.

The time is now for Karissa Ciliento ‘14 and the Lafayette women’s volleyball team. After three years of looking up to the upperclassmen, the starting outside hitter takes on the role as a captain for her senior year.

“After coming out of last year with such strong leadership, it’s an honor to take on the role,” Ciliento said.

Ciliento took over a team that lost its last nine games last season, and has improved it into an 8-5 team that is a serious contender in the Patriot League.

Just like any great leader, Ciliento leads by example. She tops the team in kills with 113 thus far after posting 241 a season ago.

However, the theme of this year’s team continues to be the word ‘building.’ If Lafayette is going to be successful in the Patriot League, Ciliento acknowledges they still have to grow as a team.

So far, however, the script has not gone quite as planned. The team is 0-2 in Patriot play and lost in straight sets to Navy on Saturday.

Despite the loss, Ciliento posted yet another double-double, tallying 12 kills and 12 digs.

“Building, focus, and improvement,” Ciliento said. “We know we had a great start to the year but the Patriot League will only get harder, and we’ve accepted that challenge.”

As a player that never comes off the court, it all starts with this outside hitter.

“I don’t ever want to come off the court,” Ciliento said. “Knowing I can be on the net to kill and block, and then come back row to middle back and serve, that’s what I love about being on the outside.”

The team returns home this weekend for games against American and Loyola Maryland. A sweep of these games and the team will be back on track to make a late-season run.