By Ellen Paddock
Freshman volleyball player Caprice Clarke of Toronto, said she thinks her team can “win it all.”
Clarke decided to play collegiate volleyball in America for a higher level of competition while majoring in business administration.
“There is more opportunity here than there is in Canada,” Clarke said.
Though she said she misses the city lights, people and action, Clarke has excitement ahead of her as she and her teammates head to Orlando, Florida, for the MAAC championships.
Clarke said she chose Rider because it felt “homelike and very cozy.” She said she prefers small campuses where she can walk everywhere instead of taking a shuttle.
However, coming from the heart of Toronto with a population of 4.7 million to the compact community of Rider had its trade-offs.
“I’m used to constant movement and constant people around me,” Clarke said. “Here, it’s sort of like, crickets.”
At home, Clarke played for the Leaside Lightning Volleyball Club where she said the coaches are much different.
“Coaches are a lot more intense here,” Clarke said. “They take it way more seriously because they are being paid, versus in Canada, where they are not paid.”
One of the perks for Clarke, living in the U.S., was the variety of food options and the big portions.
She said she would love to live in America full-time one day and that she favored the weather.
Clarke and her team had an eight-game winning streak this season, of which she had contributed to.
The freshman had a career-high of six kills, two blocks, four assists and two aces in a victory over the Manhattan Jaspers on Nov. 3.
Assistant Coach Ryan Gelenitis said, “Caprice showed up ready to compete. She played a huge role in our victory.”
As a middle blocker, Clarke said she tried to make the most out of every opportunity she got to contribute to while crediting the team’s success to her teammates.
“I wouldn’t be able to play my position without everybody else. We all just played really well and that’s what helped me get the amount of kills that I did,” Clarke said.
Clarke had set calculated goals for seasons to come at Rider.
“My goal for future seasons is just to improve on the little things. It’s not about the big picture; it’s about all the little things that make the big picture,” Clarke said.
She also said her team did not predict they would be this successful at this point in the season.
“We kind of underestimate ourselves. I think that, right now, we should be pretty proud of where we’ve gone,” Clarke said.
Clarke and the Broncs begin their playoff run against Siena on Nov. 15 at 10 a.m. from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The match can be stream