“[Lindsay Koliani] is very hardworking,” said Molly Sweet, Koliani’s teammate on the basketball team. “She is going far in her sports career.”
Koliani, the only freshman on the volleyball and basketball varsity bench, shines brightly on the courts. Starting her career in middle school, this athlete has always been determined to get to where she is today.
“I thought my hard work paid off,” said Koliani. “Even if I did not necessarily play all the time, I could still cheer the team on and be in that environment.”
Playing sports in high school can be competitive, so Koliani is doing everything she can to accomplish her goals; some she already accomplished and some she continues to reach for, like receiving a NVL and States basketball banner in the gym. An objective she has already fulfilled was to play with the varsity volleyball team. James Amato, Woodland volleyball coach, called her name off the game bench and feelings of eagerness exploded within her.
In order to reach these targets, players need to put extra effort and time into their sport.
“During the off season, I play with the Connecticut Juniors volleyball program and try to get better every time I practice,” said Koliani.
Connecticut Juniors has a pre-season training and preparation course that Koliani participated in to enhance her volleyball skills. When Koliani was in seventh grade, she participated in a travel team to get ready for the high school environment, but the season was cut short because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The games were finished the following summer and will continue in the future.
The training that Koliani put into the sport benefitted her volleyball future. After the junior varsity season ended, she continued playing volleyball.
Being that close to the court allows the athlete to advance. Teammates and coaches encourage her to do better and teach her new skills.
“They all taught me new things, like being a better outside hitter and passer,” said Koliani. “It was a great learning experience.”
Koliani does not only have a successful volleyball career, but also is successful in her basketball career. At the start of the basketball season, the junior varsity jersey was the only spot she secured; however, Koliani worked her hardest to prove her devotion and strength to the team.
“I was trying really hard to improve and did end up getting my varsity jersey,” said Koliani.
At her first varsity game, Koliani scored against Kenzie Sirowich, a Seymour Wildcat going Division-1. Those two points proved to Koliani how much she deserved her spot on the team.
“From there, I got a lot of playing time and scored every game,” said Koliani. “I try to contribute to the team as much as I can.”
Although Koliani loves her basketball team and the playing time she gets, there is also a lot of self-induced pressure to be “varsity material.” The player needs to prove herself at every chance she gets; whereas with volleyball, it was more of a fun environment that did not need her to constantly push herself.
Koliani is proud of herself when it comes to her success in sporting world. Securing a varsity spot for two sports her freshman year proves how hard she has worked and how she will continue to excel.