Standing tall

Alec Turner

When Cheyenne Orsi entered high school, she knew athletics was one way to use her height.

She didn’t think, however, that her height would allow her to play a college sport.

Orsi joined the Quinnipiac volleyball roster this fall. Standing at six-foot-five, she’s the tallest Bobcat to play volleyball in the program’s history. She’s two inches taller than sophomore Allison Leigh, the second-tallest player on the team.

“I never thought it would come this far, but with my height I knew it was either basketball or volleyball,” Orsi said. “I think it has given me the advantage to be a better blocker and hitter,” Orsi said.

A Bristol native, Cheyenne Orsi is the only member of the squad from Connecticut. The freshman middle hitter is also the first Connecticut-born Bobcat volleyball player since 2008, when Milford native Jenna Benigno led Quinnipiac on the frontline.

“I like being close to home; it’s a good feeling to have,” Orsi said.

Orsi graduated from Bristol Eastern High School, which is just 19 miles away from the Mount Carmel campus. During her high school career at Bristol Eastern, Orsi played at the varsity level for both basketball and volleyball. She found out there that volleyball was her calling.

As a member of the Lancer volleyball squad, Orsi won back-to-back championships in the Central Connecticut Conference, and collected two state championships. In her senior season, she was awarded CHSCA Senior All-Star honors.

Orsi also played for the club team Connecticut All Stars, which happened to be coached by Bobcat head coach Kristopher Czaplinski.

She was considering other schools, but ultimately chose Quinnipiac.

“I liked Quinnipiac, and coach Czaplinski and I hit it off last year, and it just went from there,” Orsi said, “When I changed my mind on schools, he jumped on that idea right away.”

Now at Quinnipiac, Orsi is adjusting to college life, as both an student and an athlete.

“The biggest change about college is the independence. You don’t have anyone telling you where to go or what to do,” Orsi said, “I’m on my own, which I like.”

Orsi faced adversity immediately after arriving at Quinnipiac. Entering her first season in a Bobcat uniform, Orsi suffered a sprain in her foot, which forced her to sit out for the majority of the preseason, leaving her to try and catch up during the first series of games.

“The hardest thing is just getting back into volleyball shape after not playing for two months,” Orsi said.

Orsi sat out in the first two matches at the Hofstra Invitational, and then played in the final set of the third game against St. Francis.

In her college debut, Orsi recorded three kills in four total attacks, and also tallied up a dig.

Since her first game, Orsi has appeared in every match and has played in nine sets. The middle hitter has recorded 12 kills on 25 total attacks.

Head coach Kristopher Czaplinski was unavailable for comment for this story.