Wisel ready to enjoy final year of college volleyball
Over the past four years Alisha Wisel has played in a number of big volleyball matches.
The Troy graduate is beginning her fourth season for the Pitt-Bradford volleyball team and she has had her share of memorable moments.
However, few of those moments top Wisel's experience on Wednesday as Pitt-Bradford staged a late rally to earn a 3-2 victory over Elmira College.
It's not just the win that made things special, it was beating a team that has beaten Pitt in the past and doing it close to home in Elmira, with her family in the stands to watch.
"I'm shaking," Wisel said. "I have goose bumps, I am so happy. This is so special to me. It's my last year, and we lost to those guys in a tournament last year."
For Wisel just being back near home made the experience special.
"I love being here," Wisel said. "Coach is from around here. She's from Thomas Edison, so I think that's why she loves coming back here so much. It's great to be here and to have my family watch me play."
For much of the night on Wednesday it appeared like Wisel's homecoming wouldn't be a good one as Elmira College took a 2-1 lead and held a 15-7 edge in that fourth set.
However, that's when the comeback began as Pitt-Bradford fought back to eventually win the fourth set and win the match 15-10 in the final set.
For Wisel the match was even more fun because it was a chance to play against a couple of former NTL players she had faced in high school. Elmira College's starters include former Tigers Tesia Kaczynski and Taryn Rumsey.
"It's a little bit of revenge," Wisel said. "It feels good to play those two and to be able to beat them. It's a little revenge from high school.
"Tesia is a very good player, she's a good setter and Taryn as a freshman is just amazing."
For all three NTL players it is a special time when you get a chance to face other players from the league in college.
"In high school we were rivals," Kaczynski said of Wisel. "Playing against her in college and seeing her over there, you want to play well, you want to try and win.
"We aren't in the same league and this was just the first match, but knowing you have all those people from home here, it makes it special. The NTL is a good league, it's fun to see something like this."
For Wisel things are different on the volleyball court these days as she is one of the team's leaders, serving her second season as one of the captains.
"I have grown a lot over the past four years, I have become a leader," Wisel said. "I try and help everyone as much as I can. It's so much fun to try and help everyone.
"I love being able to help. It's great to be one of the leaders. This is my second year as a captain now and I really enjoy it."
As a senior Wisel has one big thing she would like to accomplish this year, winning a game in the postseason.
"We have built up over the past few years," she said. "Every year we got to ECAC's and we want to get back this year. But, we want to win one. We haven't won one yet."
For Wisel, and classmate Jackie Podrasky, there is a lot of confidence together after four years and now is the time to have a big year.
"Being a senior me and Jackie, our best outside hitter, we have really played well together. We really want to do well this year," Wisel said.
Already this season it has started to sink in that this is Wisel's last year in college.
"I had tears in my eyes the first game," she said. "It's going to be really hard this year."
And when the final game is played, Wisel knows that will be the toughest of all.
"Our last game will be hard," she said. "My father won't be there and it's going to be such a hard day."
But, Wisel is hoping that the team has a big year and that last game is delayed until the final round of the playoffs.