PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Amanda Alayon did not expect to receive a job offer doing what she loves two months after graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The 22-year-old Alayon was hoping to earn a graduate assistant coaching position with the Manhattanville womens volleyball team, while in the Masters program at the Purchase school. After interviewing for the position, Alayon was excited when she received a call, hoping for the graduate position. Instead, Manhattanville Athletic Director Keith Levinthal caught Alayon by surprise with a dink. Alayon was offered the womens volleyball coach and she accepted it.
The 2007 graduate of North Rockland High School in Rockland County is the 16th coach in the programs 30-year history.
I am really excited about this and still taking it all in, Alayon said. Originally, I was making plans to help out at North Rockland because Colette (Jurman), the varsity coach, was going out on a maternity. I had received a call last month about a job opening for a head coach and graduate assistant. I applied for both, but I didnt think they would even consider me for the head-coaching position because I graduated in May.
Even with her young age, Alayon brings a wealth of experience to Manhattanville. Alayon was a standout at North Rockland, one of Rockland Countys and Section 1s pre-eminent volleyball programs. Alayon then went on to start all four years at FDU. When she was not playing volleyball, Alayon was coaching the sport. She coached an 18-and-under team in New Jersey in her junior year of college and last year was the 14-and-under coach for her alma mater, the Red Raider Volleyball Club.
Alayon, who is poised beyond her youth, felt she had a good interview.
I related back to when I played at North Rockland and how that two years really sculpted the person I am, Alayon said.
Once Alayon was confirmed as the new coach, she spoke to some of her players and was pleased at the response she received.
I want to bring the energy, desire and positivity to the program, Alayon said. "I am 100 percent dedicated to the girls."
Alayon and her team open the season Sept. 3, home with York College and Penn State University-Abbington.
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