Pioneers volleyball senior ‘lights up entire team’

Written By Nikole Kost

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A mother always knows her child. Nikki Inquartano, a senior middle hitter for Point Park’s woman’s volleyball team, credits her mother to her volleyball success.

“I did all kinds of sports growing up,” Inquartano said.

Inquartano tried different things, but decided to be the first in her family to try volleyball.

“I tried out when I was in seventh grade,” Inquartano said. “My mom said that with my height, I was going to like it and have a huge advantage as a player.”

The 6-foot-2 senior has quite the height advantage, and is the tallest player on the team.

“I love team sports,” Inquartano said. “Everyone needs to be on the same page to win the game, and that makes strong bonds in the team.”

“Our biggest rival is Indiana University Kokomo,” Inquartano said. “The outcome of the match is usually 50/50.”

Inquartano’s team began the season just 3-11. Now, the team looks for a chance at redemption.

Taking on any role in front of them, Inquartano and the team are switching from static blocking to swing blocking.

“She’s been adapting to that very well. She’s been on our hitters with that and getting a lot of great touches on the ball,” Juliana Ross, junior defensive specialist, said in a phone interview.

Inquartano is an aggressive player on the court.  Just in the last season alone, she had 30 more blocks than anyone in the KIAC with 162 blocks.

“Her biggest role is totally when she’s out on the court and makes a few huge plays and she goes crazy,” Ross said. “She literally just lights up the entire team. She motivates us out there and screams her head off.”

“Nikki is such a team player,” said senior outside hitter Shiloh Simonson. “She always gives 100% and that really pushes the rest of the team to give everything we got.”

Some of Simonson’s favorite memories with Inquartano date back since their first volleyball season together.

“We have so many memories together that I don’t even know where to start,” Simonson said.

Some of their favorite memories include winning the KIAC Tournament Championship, making appearances at nationals, and spending nights together in the hotels.

Just as Inquartano inspires the entire volleyball team, they  inspire her.

“The team has inspired me to be an all around better person. Every time there is a challenge, they really motivate me to find the best solution,” Inquartano said. “They make it easy to work hard as a team.”

Inquartano has benefited from playing volleyball more than just physically. She’s gained skills such as time management, teamwork and leadership.

“In team sports, you have to learn really quickly how to deal with different personalities,” Inquartano said.

After finishing her senior season of volleyball in the next couple weeks, Inquartano will continue preparing for graduation with a bachelor’s degree in sports, art and entertainment management at the end of this school year.

The volleyball team begins conference play this weekend when it hosts Indiana University East and Indiana University Kokomo.

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