Fourth-year biomedical sciences major Sarah Szybist will look to make an indelible mark on the RIT volleyball record book as she begins her final season in 2016.
On the court, Szybist enters the season with 1,793 career kills (spikes that lead to points), sixth in program history, 40 shy of the Top 3, and 184 away from the school mark. She has 2,011 career points, 695 digs, 183 blocks, and 103 service aces. Szybist is a three-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American, having earned honorable mention accolades in 2013 and 2015 and third team honors in 2014. In addition, Szybist is a three-time All-Liberty League first team selection and back-to-back RIT Invitational Most Valuable Player.
In 2014, Szybist led the Tigers to the Liberty League Championship match. Last season, RIT advanced to the Liberty League Semifinal, and hopes to win the league this season and earn its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. RIT has won at least 20 matches a season in 25 of the last 29 seasons.
“I am extremely excited and ready for my final season at RIT,” said Szybist, who is from Colorado Springs, Colo. “I believe that this will be one of our best seasons yet. We have a lot of potential and want to make the Liberty League playoffs, win the league, and make the NCAA Tournament.”
Off the court, the biomedical sciences major is even more impressive, with a 3.94 grade-point average. Szybist is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America selection, having earned third team honors in 2014 and first team accolades last year. Szybist spent the summer working with doctors at the United States Air Force Academy Clinic in Colorado Springs. After graduation, Szybist would like to attend medical school with the goal of becoming a doctor.
“Sarah is the quintessential student-athlete,” said RIT volleyball head coach Jim Lodes. “Her commitment and time management skills to achieve on the court, in the classroom and in the community are admirable. I’m so proud of all that she brings to our team and campus. Sarah is very deserving of her accomplishments.”
Men’s soccer—The men are on the upswing, returning a strong group from 2015, including sophomores Gene Sicoli and Raul Silva, who earned All-Liberty League second team honors. Senior captain Scott Fishel, a 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-Region selection, will anchor the defense.
Women’s soccer—The Tigers are poised for success in 2016 after finishing the 2015 season with a 12-4-2 record, advancing to the Liberty League semifinals. RIT has won at least 11 games three out of the last four seasons, going 43-19-14 over that stretch.
Men’s cross country—A strong contingent of runners returns in 2016, including junior James Bailey, who garnered 2015 USTFCCCA All-Academic, All-Liberty League first team and All-Atlantic Region honors.
Women’s cross country—The Tigers advanced to their first NCAA Championship in program history last season and return fourth-year Emma Jones, who earned 2015 USTFCCCA All- Academic, All-Liberty League first team and All-Atlantic Region honors.
The men’s and women’s crew and men’s and women’s tennis programs also play an abbreviated fall schedule in preparation for the longer spring season.