Sydney Carfagno ’15 is one of Wellesley volleyball’s most decorated players. The outside hitter has been a force for the Blue since her first year, when she was named NEWMAC rookie of the year and AVCA Regional All-American Freshman of the Year. Since then, Carfagno has earned Hall of Fame All-Tournament, All-Conference, NEWVA All-New England and AVCA Regional All-American nods, in addition to two Seven Sisters All-Tournament MVP awards. Carfagno has also joined a short list of Wellesley volleyball AVCA National All-Americans. This season, she ranked third in the NEWMAC in kills per set and total kills, recording 365.
Carfagno concluded her final season on the Blue volleyball team last Saturday in the NEWMAC tournament semifinal at MIT. After a thrilling 3-1 quarterfinal victory over Wheaton, the Blue fell to the MIT Engineers in three tight sets, the last coming down to two points in a 25-23 close. Although it was an early tournament exit for Carfagno, who has played in three NEWMAC championships, the co-captain is walking away from her final season satisfied with the growth her team has shown throughout the year. The Wellesley News recently sat down with her to reflect on her volleyball career, experiences and post-college plans.
Anna Cahill (A.C.): How would you describe this past season and how was it different from previous years?
Sydney Carfagno (S.C.): We graduated a lot of people last year, so we had a lot of positions on the court that opened up. That was definitely the biggest thing. The dynamic was different because it had basically been the same team for the last three years, so it was a new start. We had some ups and downs with our mental game, but when we did come together, it definitely clicked, especially at the end of the season.
A.C.: What was the team focused on going into the NEWMAC tournament this year?
S.C.: I think especially for the quarterfinal game we were all really excited and kind of had something to show to everyone, that we deserved to be there. It didn’t turn out the way it should have, but I think it showed how much we had come together over the season.
A.C.: As a senior, did this postseason feel any different?
S.C.: It did. For the past the years, we had gotten to the finals pretty easily and, especially in my first couple seasons, we had been nationally ranked a couple times, so it was different. Not that I didn’t like it — I thought that the way the team came together and pulled it together at the end was a lot better than it had been in the past.
A.C.: What has been the most memorable game or moment of your college career?
S.C.: The Springfield game last week, actually. It was my senior day, which was nice, but everyone came together, everything was working and everyone was super excited. It was a good game, it was really tight, and it could have gone either way, but things just finally clicked. Plus it was Springfield.
A.C.: Do you have any plans or goals for what you might want to do after college?
S.C.: Right now, I think I want to take some time off, but I’m hoping that I can coach at my high school and club when I go home. I’m also thinking I want to go into sports management or sports information.
A.C.: What have you learned from being a part of the volleyball team that will carry over into your career?
S.C.: Well, I’ve been playing volleyball since I was ten, so it’s definitely the work ethic and leadership that comes from that and just prioritizing everything, getting my work done and just being competitive.
A.C.: Besides coaching, will you continue to play volleyball?
S.C.: I hope so. I don’t know to what extent, but I’d like to play beach [volleyball] if I can.
A.C.: What will you miss about your experience on the volleyball team?
S.C.: It’s kind of been hitting me the past couple days. I’ve always had that next year and now it’s finally over. Especially here, it’s such a great family to be a part of and, I mean, I know I’m still going to be a part of it and keep in contact with them, but it’s just weird that it’s done. I think definitely what made my time here was being a part of the team and a part of the athletic family.
A.C.: Who is your favorite athlete?
S.C.: Kerri Walsh [US Olympic Beach volleyball player].
Photo courtesy of Alex Berman ’16