BY MORGAN TURNER ’20
After leading Lyons volleyball to 3 consecutive wins, middle-hitter Sasha Simine ’20 earned Lyon of the Week honors for the week of Sept. 10th. Simine is the first volleyball student-athlete to earn the title since the fall season began.
Hailing from Kitchener, Ontario, Simine started playing volleyball in seventh grade when her gym teacher encouraged her to try the sport after noticing her natural potential. Her 6’2’’ height also proved to be an advantage on both her school and club teams.
Volleyball has always been an integral part of Simine’s life, serving as “something (she) could count on to remain the same, even when life off the court had its ups and downs.” As an international student, Simine was first drawn to Mount Holyoke because of its small size and strong science programs. Although not initially focused on playing volleyball at the collegiate level, Simine met with the program’s coach, Iris Carpio, who encouraged her to reconsider. After a second visit to campus the spring before her first year, the College’s “amazing classes” and the team’s “loving and fun energy” solidified her decision.
Since arriving in the fall of 2016, Simine has made a definite impact on the volleyball program. Serving as a starter for three years, she led the team in both kills and hitting percentages in 2017. Last season, Simine contributed 33 kills and nine blocks in victories over MCLA, Newbury College and Pratt. With these victories, as well as a road win over Westfield State, the Lyons moved to a 5-3 record for the season.
Looking forward, the Lyons will begin conference play with a road match against Emerson College on Saturday. Since the 2018 season began, the team has moved up two places in NEWMAC rankings and are optimistic about their performance. Simine attributes their rising success to the strong class of first-years and the quality of the senior leadership. She considers the team’s skills to be “comparable to the top teams in the conference” and believes mental fortitude will be their essential final component. The team’s hopes this year are to achieve a winning record and make it to the postseason tournament. The NEWMAC championships will begin on Oct. 31, with the first round to be played at various institutions throughout the conference.