While most freshmen are busy trying to make friends, getting good grades and conquering homesickness, Rachael Goss has has an extra concern: being a major contributor on GW's second-place volleyball team.
It's a task she's taken on with impressive ease so far this season. She currently sits tied for second on the team in kills with 63 and averages nearly two kills per set. She's played in all but one match so far this season for the Colonials and she's started seven matches total.
One of the biggest challenges, Goss said, has been making the adjustment from the relative ease of high school volleyball to the 24/7 commitment that Division I volleyball requires.
"High school was mostly practice and college you basically dedicate your whole life to the sport," Goss said.
Goss credits much of her quick adjustment to her older teammates who embraced her early on and forced the freshman to come out of her shell.
"I was really timid coming into preseason but the older girls did a great job of breaking my shell and pushing me to be my best," she said.
Goss' success has manifested itself this season in a pair of Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week awards, which she won in consecutive weeks Oct. 5 and 12 after especially strong performances.
For her most recent Rookie of the Week nod, Goss followed up her first award with 23 kills and eight digs for a point total of 25.5 in two games against Fordham and Rhode Island.
In earning her first weekly award of the season, Goss was recognized for recording 39 kills in three matches against Virginia Commonwealth, Saint Louis and Duquesne. Goss also had 36 digs and 47.5 total points in the three matches.
In the final game of that stretch, Goss faced off against her sister, Duquesne's Katie Goss, in a match that GW lost 3-2 after taking a 2-0 lead after two sets. Rachael and Katie also share a third sister, Kellie Goss, a freshman on the Mississippi volleyball team.
Even with sisters playing volleyball around the country, Goss never struggled with her decision of where she would play this fall. GW was an easy choice, she said.
"The coaches were consistent and loyal throughout the whole process and at the end of the day I wanted to be at a place where I felt wanted," she said.
Goss and her teammates will head to Ohio this weekend for a pair of critical road games against Dayton and Xavier. First serve against the Flyers is set for 7 p.m. Friday. Game time Saturday against Xavier is for 8 p.m.