YORKTOWN, N.Y. – If there is a Fall II season in March, Lakeland and Yorktown’s volleyball teams will each go into it with high expectations.

Two reasons why are college-bound seniors, Lakeland’s Emily Kubicsko and Yorktown’s Olivia Waschenko.

Kubicsko has been an all-around middle player for the Hornets, while planning to be a defender or a split blocker at the next level.

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“I decided to sign with Jacksonville (University, in Florida) because they have great programs, both athletically and academically,” Kubicsko said. “When I went to visit the school, I fell in love with the atmosphere, and everyone there was so welcoming. I like how Jacksonville is a small school and a closed campus. I also always wanted to go to college in Florida, since I love the warm weather.”

Waschenko, an outside hitter, decided to sign with Pace University for several reasons.

“One being that I was looking for a smaller-sized school in the tri-state area to pursue my nursing degree,” Waschenko said. “Additionally, I am familiar with Pace’s head coach (Jackie Granger), as she is also on the coaching staff at the Downstate Juniors Volleyball Club in Peekskill, which is where I’ve played club volleyball since my sophomore year. After going over my other options, Pace is definitely the right fit for me, and I can definitely see myself furthering my academic and athletic career there.  I’m very excited about the commitment to Pace.”

Kubicsko is equally excited to have the opportunity to play Division 1 beach volleyball at Jacksonville.

“It feels really good knowing that all my hard work and dedication has paid off, and that I get this opportunity to continue growing in beach volleyball,” Kubicsko said.

Waschenko made the decision to try and get recruited in her junior year.

“My hard work and dedication certainly paid off,” Waschenko said. “I’m thrilled to be playing at the D2 level as I know it will be competitive and challenging for me.

Kubicsko’s goals for college volleyball are to improve overall as a player, create friendships, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

“I’m also looking forward to being able to compete at a really high level while also having fun,” Kubicsko said.

As for Waschenko, she is looking to learn as much as she can, both on and off the court, from the coaches and the experienced players at Pace.

“I will also look to develop chemistry with my new teammates and improve my game,” Waschenko said. “Additionally, I’m looking forward to playing with some of Pace’s talented players that previously played Section 1 high-school volleyball in Westchester County.”

While looking forward to playing in college, both college signees are eager to get one more chance to play high-school volleyball, COVID-19 permitting.

“I’m hoping to be able to get one final season at Lakeland and be able to enjoy it with my teammates,” Kubicsko said. “With being on the team for the past five years, I know that each year that I have played on the team, we keep getting stronger and I am looking forward to seeing how far we can make it this season. Last year we made it to the semifinals for sectionals, so I’m hoping that we will be able to get to the finals and come out with a sectional win.”

Like Kubicsko, Waschenko said she is truly hoping that volleyball will be played with a March start, after it was postponed in the fall.

“This of course will be my final season playing for Yorktown High School,” Waschenko said. “It would mean the world to me to play one last season with my friends and teammates. Our very dedicated Yorktown High School coaches and team, including 10 senior players, made it to the section semifinals last season and we would be ecstatic to actually get another shot and win it all this time.”