Down two sets to none against Penn last weekend, the women’s volleyball team needed a spark. The Bears found it in outside hitter Gabrielle Moriconi ’21, who led Bruno to a 3-2 victory with 16 kills, six digs and four blocks. A native of Naples, Florida, Moriconi has recorded double-digit kills on six occasions this season, including Saturday’s comeback win at Penn. She also notched a team-high 11 kills against Princeton last Friday night. For her outstanding performances during the Bears’ Ivy road trip, Moriconi has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.
Herald: The team came back from two sets down to beat Penn in five — how did that win feel for you?
Moriconi: It felt awesome. I think we started off pretty slow in the first two sets, coming off of our loss from Princeton. We were just really looking for that turnaround and that breakthrough in our season to start winning in conference and put everything together. We finally did that in the third set and the end of the second, really turned the game around, and it felt great. We were all really excited about it.
You had 16 kills in the game. What does it feel like to contribute that much to the team?
It feels awesome to be able to focus on my job, do my job and have that impact for the team. That’s a great feeling. Everyone’s able to trust each other to do their jobs and play their roles for the team.
Being two sets down and closing out the game with three close sets, did you feel confident that you could pull out the win as a team?
Yeah — I think the entire time, the whole game, we felt that we were the stronger team and knew that if we played our game, … we could pull through and win. It was just a question of okay, how are we going to turn this on, make this work and actually play our game now.
You also led the team in kills the day before at Princeton — do you feel like you’re finding a rhythm with the team?
Yeah, of course … every player kind of searches for their rhythm, especially after a coaching change and getting new freshmen on the team and everything. It definitely feels good to be connecting with the setters and working to do my job as best I can.
Your twin sister Camberly Moriconi ’21 also plays on the team. What’s it like to get to play with her?
It’s amazing. We’ve always played together and so we know how to push each other. We know the little things that we’ll say, the little things that we’ll do. There’s really no one else like that, so it’s really nice to have that built in.
The win against Penn puts the team at 1-2 in the Ivy League so far. How are you feeling going into the rest of the season?
Excited. We’re optimistic. We definitely needed, like I said before, that turnaround. And I think we did have one of the tougher schedules, having Princeton and Yale first, the two defending co-champions. That’s tough. But we were looking for that breakthrough win, that turnaround — we knew it was going to happen, and that if it didn’t happen in that game, it was going to happen in the next one. … So, we’re excited for the rest of the season.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.