Jan. 29, 2014
Junior, Defense, 5-6
Garden City, N.Y.
In nine days, the Vanderbilt lacrosse team begins the 2014 season on Feb. 7 at Kennesaw State. To get ready for the 19th season in program history, vucommodores.com will spotlight all 29 players and coaches Cathy Swezey, Susan Ellis and Julie Gardner. This segment will offer an inside look into the team on and off the field.
Today, defender Gabby Nesi continues our countdown. The junior hails from Garden City, N.Y., which produced four-time All-American and Virginia standout Amy Appelt among other lacrosse standouts. Nesi, a psychology major, played in six games and won five draw controls. She is expected to start on the back line of defense along side seniors Brandi Byner and Alyssa Dunlap and junior Alex Duckenfield, who is recovering from injury.
What are your expectations heading into your junior season, both individually and as a team?
We've been working hard all fall. Just the pace of practice has been getting a lot better. Especially with this countdown coming up to the games, everyone is getting really excited and pushing each other. As for individually, it's trying to push myself to play the best I can and push other people on the field.
You're fighting for a starting role right now. How is that going?
It's hard. It is kind of fun. I started in the fall for a couple games. But it's nice because you can't get comfortable and we have a great d-line. Everyone is super competitive and you can't get comfortable or complacent at all because you never know who is going to take your spot.
Is it rewarding to get to this position? You've been a reserve for the last couple years and now, to be vying for a starting position, is that nice to see the hard work paying off?
Yeah. It is a lot of fun. It just helps you out during practice. It gets your confidence up a little just to be able to see maybe a starting position in the future. Just really push yourself every day at practice as if it is a game.
What do you like the most about this team?
Everyone is best friends. There is really no grade line. You can be best friends with a senior or freshman. Everyone is so close. It is really awesome.
What is different from last year's team?
I don't know. It is really different than last year's team. But I'm not really sure there is one thing you can point out. We're just a lot closer this year than last year. It is a lot more fun to be on the field when you're close with your teammates. Practice may be intense but it is like we're having fun doing it.
You've been playing lacrosse since second grade. What got you into the sport?
My town pretty much hands you a lacrosse stick once you walk out. My town is just a huge sports town and everyone plays. My best friends all played and it was the thing that everyone did.
You like living in the south?
Yeah. It is really different. Being from right outside New York, everyone is less friendly than they are down here. I mean the first time I ever came down here my dad and I went to the airport and some lady gave us a water bottle. We were like, 'Oh, how much do we have to pay for it?' And she was like, 'Oh, it is hot out. It is for free.' We're like, 'Wow. It is really different down here.' Yeah. I love being down here. It is a lot different atmosphere compared to home. It is a lot warmer, too - even though it hasn't been that warm lately.
Age I picked up a lacrosse stick: Eight years old
I picked my jersey number (No. 8) because: 26 is always my number and 2 + 6 = 8
When I was a kid I tried to be like: My sister (Juliana)
A few words that describe the way I play lacrosse: Aggressive, competitive
The thing that impresses me the most about Coach Swezey: She likes to joke around a lot and keeps it fun
Favorite part about playing at Vanderbilt: My teammates
Favorite sport other than lacrosse: Baseball
Favorite musical performer: John Mayer
Favorite movie: Miracle
Nobody can believe I watch this TV show: Friends
Favorite midnight snack: Nutella
Favorite thing about myself: Red hair
Worst habit: Procrastination
The best tasting food I can make: Brownies
My bucket list includes: Riding an elephant
Favorite athlete to watch in another sport: Michael Jordan
Talent I'd most like to have: Singing
Favorite thing to do away from lacrosse: Hang out with my friends
One thing my hometown is famous for: Athletics
My best non-athletic talent: I'm artistic
The person I'd love to trade places with for a day: My brother (Matt)
Ultimate vacation destination: Thailand (going this summer)
The person(s) I admire the most: My parents
Career goal: Work with children
Biggest influence in my life: My grandma
My advice to young people is: Live every day to the fullest