Story by Jennifer O’Connor
Exceptional – best describes Kristen Maslanka’s four-year college career on the volleyball team at SUNY Delhi in Delhi, NY. Currently in her senior year, the Pine Island resident ended her final season setting three school records.
One of the impressive records she set is 789 kills, which is a spike, or attack, in volleyball that cannot be returned by the defensive team and results in an immediate point for the offensive team.
Kristen also set a record of 1,051 digs, which is when a player prevents the ball from hitting the floor after being spiked by the opposing team. Her third record for the Delhi Broncos is 113 service aces, which is a serve that wasn’t returned.
The Business Technology major has received numerous awards in the sport. She was chosen as the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) conference’s all-tournament team, and for the second year in a row she was named to the All-ACAA First Team. In addition, she was selected as the USCAA Division 2 First Team All-American.
Kristen, known as Maz by her teammates and the volleyball team’s head coach, Beau Bracchy, is the first and only player that has played the first four seasons on the team. Delhi, was a two-year college, that transitioned to a four-year college athletic program in 2015/16, during Kristen’s freshman year.
“Maz has been tough as nails, as she has played in all but four sets during her career, and has battled through lots of injuries,” said Coach Bracchy. “The best thing about Maz, is her coach-ability and leadership. She’s the best player I’ve ever had when it comes to taking constructive criticism, and her favorite thing to reply with when being told that she needs to play better, fix this, or fix that is, ‘YEP!’”
Bracchy, who has been the coach for 14 years, says that Kristen’s positive attitude and leadership skills are a credit to her parents, Town of Warwick Police Lt. Thomas Maslanka, and his wife, Mary, a retired Warwick Police Detective.
“Tom and Mary did a great job raising their daughter. They have been super supportive of not only their daughter, but our entire volleyball program, and I’m thrilled that we’ve had a nice season during Maz’s last year,” said Coach Bracchy.
Kristen, a Class of 2015 graduate of Warwick Valley High School, is the Maslanka’s only daughter. They have three sons, Tommy; Johnathan, who is Kristen’s twin brother and also attends SUNY Delhi; and Robby, a senior at Warwick Valley H.S.
About this being Kristen’s final year at the college, Coach Bracchy said, “It’s been a blessing for me to have had the opportunity to coach Maz, and I wish her all the best!”