Breakout year for Brandywine volleyball coach and player
Erin Dolan, Lion’s Eye Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Penn State Brandywine’s senior volleyball player and setter Miranda Biondi has earned herself a commemorative banner hanging in the rafters at the Brandywine Athletic Center.
After ending her last season with the Brandywine volleyball team, Biondi’s academic and athletic resume sets her apart from other competitors.
During the 2016-17 season, Biondi was Brandywine volleyball’s first-ever United States Collegiate Athletic Association All-American, USCAA Student-Athlete of the Year and Penn State University Athletic Conference Player of the Year. She was also a USCAA National Academic Team nominee, selected to the Capital One Academic All-District Team in 2014, and a three-time PSUAC All-Academic Team honoree.
Biondi has kept a modest outlook regarding her awards and nominations.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Biondi said. “So many people kept telling me I was going to get it, but I wanted to stay humble if and when I was called. In that moment, I felt like everything I worked for academically and athletically paid off.”
Biondi concluded her four-year career on the volleyball court as Brandywine’s all-time leader in assists (2,169) and aces (327).
In the future, she plans to transfer her volleyball communication skills into her career.
“I am going to take away the ability to work with different personalities and try to make connections with people,” Biondi said. “As a setter, I need to communicate and be a team player 24/7, so I plan to continue doing that.”
With the help of her team, Biondi led the PSUAC and ranks seventh in the USCAA, averaging 7.82 assists per set. She led Brandywine to its first-ever conference championship, tallying 36 assists and 15 digs during Brandywine’s title-clinching 3-1 victory over Penn State Fayette.
Biondi’s impact on the court has been recognized across the area. She was one of seven volleyball student-athletes from Philadelphia’s thirty area institutions to earn Academic All-Area accolades from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Head Coach Melissa Algeo had more than enough to say about Biondi.
“One of those players you want on your team,” Algeo said. “She is talented, humble and a hard worker. She is an extremely gifted athlete but her abilities reach far beyond the court; she’s dedicated and focused in the classroom.”
Aside from Biondi’s immeasurable impact on the 2015-16 season, Coach Algeo became Brandywine’s first volleyball coach to reach 100 victories after the Lions defeated Penn State York 3-0 (25-9, 25-13, 25-12).
Coach Algeo is already looking forward to her next 100 victories.
“I am extremely proud and grateful to be part of this wonderful program,” Algeo said. “I am thankful to all my players, current and past, who made this possible.”
Coach Algeo’s accomplishment was not the only highlight for Brandywine’s team.
With the 2015-16 season record of 21-6, the team earned its first-ever bid to the USCAA Tournament. In addition, Brandywine went undefeated in their conference and claimed its first PSUAC crown.
Coach Algeo will miss Mirandi Biondi’s self-effacing spirit and dedication during games and practices.
“Miranda is a fantastic young women who I have been honored to coach for the last four years and will miss beyond words,” Algeo said.
It’s safe to say that Biondi has left a legacy unimaginable at Penn State Brandywine and is excited to move forward in a career after volleyball.