Poise, determination and will are a few attributes that can be used to describe student-athletes at the collegiate level, but leadership is something that separates the elite few from the pack.
Senior captain Julia Tuzio has proven her leadership this year and is a driving force behind Ramapo’s women’s volleyball team this year, as the 9-7 (2-1) Roadrunners enter a pivotal juncture of their season. Their New Jersey Athletic Conference schedule kicks into high gear, with their next three matches against division rivals.
The Roadrunners are coming off two straight victories, the second against fellow NJAC rival New Jersey City University.
“It’s important for us to keep the momentum going,” Tuzio said. “Coming off of a win can either have your head in the clouds, being over-confident, or completely focused and ready to go. As captain, I plan to encourage the latter, and I know we’ll do the best we can.”
Tuzio’s seven kills and three aces helped lead the Roadrunners to victory over NJCU in three games (25-18, 25-20, 25-20).
In fact, it has been Tuzio’s consistency throughout the seasons that has been a vital component to the team’s success this year. Her 100 kills and 137 digs both rank second on the team.
But Tuzio has proven to be essential beyond the box score. As team captain, Tuzio understands and embraces her role as a leader for the underclassmen, setting the tone for the way the team operates.
“As captain, it’s really important to me to be a leader on and off the court,” Tuzio said. “My academics are priority to me, and I make sure that I stress that to the girls from day one. Being a collegiate athlete is a balancing act. Aside from giving the best advice and encouragement that I can, I believe in our team, and I think that’s most crucial as a captain.”
Not only has Tuzio embraced the role of team captain, but she also provides the squad with the most experience, as she is the lone senior on the team.
“It is different to be the sole senior, but I believe it is all of the returning players that create the atmosphere and energy for the freshmen to really get to know what our team and program is about,” Tuzio said. “We set standards and generally they adapt and fit right in.”
The Roadrunners’ next match is Tuesday at 7 p.m. against conference rival Montclair State University at the Bradley Center.