For the love of the game

Freshman volleyball player overcomes obstacles to play the sport she loves


RWU freshman Rachel Borzone played volleyball throughout her life, pictured above in a match she competed in with her high school.

Megan Julian, Sports Editor

“I was always very athletic and energetic as a child and I tried many different sports, but I could never find one that I really loved,” said Rachel Borzone, a freshman on the women’s volleyball team.

Borzone fell in love with volleyball after she witnessed her younger sister try it and attend camps, so she decided to try it too.

“I instantly got the hang of it,” Borzone said. “It was a lot of fun since there was always something to do at each point of the game. I then started practicing with my sister in our backyard and I attended some camps over the summer, and I was instantly hooked.”

Borzone is from Syosset, New York. She has been playing volleyball since the sixth grade, playing school, club and summer beach volleyball. Throughout high school, she played on varsity and received the All-County award, had the opportunity to compete in the county finals for the first time in her school’s history and won her national’s beach volleyball tournament in Atlantic City.

With COVID-19 cutting her senior club season in high school short, she knew it left her wanting more of the sport.

“I decided to try out for the team and continue my love of the sport,” Borzone said. “Once classes started and I saw that tryouts were coming up, I realized I could pursue my goal of being a college athlete and decided to contact Coach Soubliere to try out for the team.”

Two years ago, Borzone attended a summer clinic run by Coach Soubliere and the team here at RWU.

“I saw how welcoming and talented everyone was. I already knew I wanted to go to Roger, and after playing with the team at the clinic, I knew I wanted to be a part of this program,” Borzone said.

Borzone couldn’t be happier to be back on the court. She said the first day of tryouts went really well, but on her second day, she sprained her ankle.

“I was devastated,” Borzone said.

Coach Soubleire allowed Borzone to try out again once her ankle healed. Borzone worked with one of the athletic trainers, Kristina Keddie, who helped her get back on her feet. She completed tryouts and made the team.

“It was one of the most gratifying feelings I have ever experienced,” Borzone said. “All of my hard work over the past seven years finally paid off and led me to being part of this team.”

Volleyball has helped Borzone in many ways on and off the court. It has helped her with academics, time management skills and focus.

“It has always been a way for me to stay physically fit and active and it has been a great way for me to de-stress,” Borzone said. “Working as a team player also translates to my career choice in architecture where collaboration is essential.”

She believes playing here at RWU will benefit her in many ways.

“Overall, it will allow me to have a more well-rounded college experience,” Borzone said. “Playing at Roger has allowed me to improve my volleyball skills, provide an outlet from my schoolwork, make new friends, build relationships and continue to play the sport that I love.”

When asked what the best part about being on the team has been, Borzone couldn’t seem to pick one thing.

“I can honestly say everything about the team so far has been amazing. Ever since my first practice, everyone has been so inclusive and I have learned so much to improve my skills already,” Borzone said. “From outdoor practices to team building events, I can already see the great team spirit and love for the game here at RWU. We have a great coaching staff, the girls are so welcoming and I couldn’t be prouder to be a Hawk.”