Winning. Winning a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) ring is what is on the minds of two volleyball seniors, who currently just broke top ten on the all time kills list for Marist Athletics. Nikki DeSerpa and Megan Fergus are competing with each other on the list, but their ultimate goal is the same – to win a MAAC championship.
DeSerpa recently broke assistant coach and former player Kelsey Lahey’s kills record for seventh place on the list against Army, while Fergus is creeping up as she is ninth only 35 kills away from tying Lahey’s record. The two do not let that change their play as it is not in their minds come game time.
“That is normally not in my head when I am playing like I swing to score points, so hopefully that’s the end result, me moving up on the list,” said DeSerpa. Obtaining points and winning games is what’s important for these record breakers.
“When we go into games that really isn’t the first thing on my mind,” said Fergus, reinforcing the significance of winning. “Right now, we’re just going into games, hoping to play our game, play our best, and beat whoever is on the other side of the net.”
Assistant coach, Lahey, feels the same way. “To be honest as coaches we’re not interested in the record book,” said Lahey. “We’re interested game by game; we just want to get points.” By winning games is what gets DeSerpa, Fergus, and Lahey to their goal, a MAAC title.
“I want to win, I want to get a ring,” said DeSerpa. Her teammates have the same mentality. “This is our last year and we know we both want to go out with a ring,” said Fergus. Getting the ring is the goal, yet both players are aware of where they stand on the all time kills list.
“If I happen to catch up to Nikki that would be great,” said Fergus. “As long as we win that’s all I really care about.” She will continue to try to reach DeSerpa and pass Lahey. When asked if she competed harder to pass Lahey on the list, Fergus explained, “Kind of, just because it is Kelsey,” she said laughing. “She is more competitive than anyone I’ve ever met, just to be able to break her record would be very satisfying.”
DeSerpa competes hard, but not for the list. “Not to stay in front of her, I want as many of my teammates on the list as possible,” said DeSerpa, when asked about staying in front of Fergus on the list. “Hopefully me and Meg can work our way to the top of the list.” She would want the whole team on the kills list, if it was possible.
The list has not changed anything for the two seniors who have been together their whole time at Marist. “This is our fourth year and we’re used to pushing each other on the court during practice and during games,” said DeSerpa. “I don’t really think this list has changed that at all.”
“I have been playing my four years as well as Nikki, so I never really thought about being on the list,” said Fergus. The record list has had no impact on their play or with each other. The two work together to be better on the court. “I think we do a good job of holding each other accountable,” said Fergus. “If there is a ball that one of us doesn’t gets, we do a good job of telling each other that, that is an easy ball that we can get and keeping each other to a higher standard.”
The two held each other accountable against Siena as the Red Foxes went on to win 3-0. Deserpa racked in a season high 18 kills against the Saints, moving up two spots on the kills list, earning fifth overall. Fergus was not far behind as she was second on the team with nine kills for the game, closing in on Lahey’s record.
Sean Byron, head coach of the Marist Volleyball team credits DeSerpa’s aggressiveness as a key to her success. “Just the fact that she went and hit it hard,” said Byron on what impressed him of her play. “There’s so many balls that she can get kills on and score points.”
The two will continue to push each other and climb the record kills list, but it will all be in the back of their minds because of one common goal. To win a MAAC ring because just like a record, that lasts forever.