Middle blocker Nailah Jenkins assumed her competitive volleyball days would end after she earned her bachelor’s degree at Northeastern, but the additional year of eligibility granted to all student-athletes who were in school during the 2020-21 academic year has given her one more year to compete in the sport she loves. She is finding her groove with the volleyball team at Fordham University, which has a record of 7–1.
“It’s definitely a little weird going from living somewhere for four years and being on the same team for four years, to adjusting to a completely new place, new people, new style of volleyball, [and a] new conference and everything, but the girls on the team honestly made the adjustment so seamless and easy,” said Jenkins.
Over the summer, Jenkins joined the Fordham volleyball team for an international trip to Japan. That provided a lot of shared experiences that helped her mesh with the team. She’s enjoying the new team culture and coaching. While she is one of the most experienced players, she is willing to listen and learn from the Fordham veterans on the team.
“The girls have also been really great about asking volleyball advice and letting me share my experiences and knowledge about volleyball,” said Jenkins, who is pursuing a master’s degree in health administration. “They’ve been so receptive to having a grad transfer on the team.”
Jenkins chose Fordham because she had heard many positive things about head volleyball coach Ian Choi and the program. She knew the team needed a middle blocker, so it was a good fit. Also, after four years in Boston, she was eager to play in another big city, and New York City fits that bill nicely. Jenkins said seeing the many different cultures of the city is inspiring, noting there is somewhere for everything.
“I did my undergrad in health sciences and Fordham had the perfect one-year master’s program for me,” Jenkins said. “I think I want to go into healthcare and business. I’m interested in healthcare consulting or medical device sales or marketing. I’m not quite sure yet, but I’m hoping that my master’s will really open my eyes to something I’ll be passionate about in the long run. So I’m excited to take these new classes and gain new skills through my master’s program.”
Fordham hosts the Rose Hill Classic this weekend, facing off against Dartmouth and Fairleigh Dickinson.