January 1, 2020 – By Josh Wilets
For the inaugural season of Drew University women’s volleyball, the Rangers have landed a local outside hitter from Randolph High School—Gabrielle ‘Gabi’ Trinker.
Trinker was courted by a number of schools but ultimately decided on Drew.
“Drew was not on my radar as they didn’t have a volleyball team and I planned to attend school out of state. The Drew coach, Alyssa Broccoli, visited my volleyball club to watch a practice and we spoke for a long time afterwards. We hit it off really well,” Trinker said, “She invited me to take a campus tour with other recruits and I really liked the campus and the plans for volleyball at Drew. We have an active group chat with all the recruits, and I could see us coming together as a team without even meeting.”
Trinker will be playing in the inaugural Drew Rangers’ season and is excited about it.
“I was only looking at competitive college volleyball programs and trying to balance that against the right school. While Drew doesn’t have a volleyball history, Coach Broccoli does,” added Trinker, “She had a four-year run as the head women’s volleyball coach at Hunter College, where she led the team to four NCAA Division-III tournament appearances. Prior to Hunter, she coached at Brandeis University, UMass-Boston and SUNY New Paltz—at each school notching winning seasons.”
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly made visiting schools difficult for players all over the country, and for Trinker it was no different.
“People have been impacted at every level by the pandemic, especially those who have lost loved ones. It seems trivial to talk about how it impacted volleyball recruiting,” highlighted Trinker. “However, when everything stopped in March, there were no tournaments and no opportunities to be seen by college coaches or to shoot video of games to share with coaches. Visiting campuses was difficult. Add to that an extra year of eligibility for current college seniors due to cancelled seasons and well…you get the idea.”
Trinker is the leading returner for Randolph in digs (112) and service aces (14). Prior to the start of last season, recovering from shoulder surgery slowed Trinker down and thus, she feels she has so much more to bring to the table. “This year, my goal is to really help my team offensively. Unfortunately, I had some setbacks last season, but I have used the time since to work through them. My playing has improved tremendously over the past year and I am anxious to contribute to my last high school season,” Trinker said.
And now, Gabi has the chance to show the Landmark Conference what she’s got.
In high school, Gabrielle not only lettered in volleyball, but outdoor track as well. She has speed, but with a near three-foot vertical jump, long jump and triple jump seemed only natural. She was sidelined for track due to her shoulder surgery last year but hopes to be able jump again in the Spring.
Trinker plays her club volleyball at Xtreme Volleyball Academy and has had a great experience.
About the volleyball club, Trinker added, “I absolutely love playing at Xtreme—I have had only positive experiences there. The difference between Xtreme and other clubs I have been to is that Xtreme is very hands on and focused on you as a player. They take time to break down every little detail, every little mistake, every little movement to make you the strongest player that you can be on the court. They truly want to see you excel at the sport.”
At Drew, Trinker plans to study Business Management or International Relations.
Because of the proximity to Xtreme, she plans to start coaching in her offseason. “Honestly, being able to start coaching was another factor in my decision to stay local. I have learned so much from my coaches at Xtreme and I know there is more to learn from Coach Broccoli. Being able to apply all of that to younger players and help them develop is just awesome.” Trinker said.