It’s always a delight when we hear from alumni and that was no exception when Enzo Palaci Zani ’22 caught up with his former Varsity Boys Volleyball Coach Tiam Chuck with some exciting volleyball news of his own from the UK.
After being accepted into Northeastern, Enzo decided not to head straight to Boston last fall, but to hop across the pond for his first semester in London. “It was a very unique and exciting experience, which I’m thankful for. I have always felt that being surrounded by different cultures and meeting new people expands your view of the world and allows you to make connections across different countries,” he says, “which was certainly the experience of being a Dwight student. I had been surrounded by people from different backgrounds from all over the world for many years and enjoyed traveling on exchange programs with other Dwight Schools.”
The one-semester Northeastern program abroad for first-year students is designed to help them experience the local culture balanced by a manageable school workload. Enzo shared that going abroad on one’s own might be daunting at first, but the same may be true for any freshman going to college for the first time; “as time goes on, you realize that you’ve made a new home for yourself,” he explains.
During his senior year at Dwight, Enzo, who was on our Boys Varsity Basketball team in winter, joined our School’s first-ever Boys Varsity Volleyball team in spring 2022 and quickly fell in love with the sport. He and fellow players made a very impressive run by also becoming the first-ever team to reach the NYSAIS State tournament in its inaugural year! “Enzo was an all-around team leader and big brother to all,” reports Coach Chuck. “He was put in an important position and rose to the occasion every time.”
Enzo brought his talent and passion for volleyball to England, where he had the time and opportunity to join one of the league club teams in England, the Wapping Wildcats, a club in the National Volleyball League (NVL). The coaches there taught Enzo new techniques and further developed his volleyball IQ. He says, “I would have loved to have had more time to play volleyball at Dwight and wish I could have started sooner. I had amazing Dwight coaches, which helped me to develop my game and without them I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play in England. They taught me very well and were extremely welcoming and supportive.
Although Enzo wasn’t able to finish the season with the Wapping Wildcats, it was amazing that he got to participate and learn how the NVL play and with only one season of competitive volleyball under his belt. He looks forward to trying out for the Northeastern team and continuing to hone his skills.
After asking Enzo what advice he has for future Dwight grads, he carefully considered his response, and said that despite how much pressure senior year may present, it’s important to remember that it is ultimately up to each student to follow their own path. Enzo has seen some peers forcing themselves quickly into an area of study they aren’t particularly interested in during their first college year rather than getting some general requirements out of the way and taking time to consider all the options. “A key piece of advice is to connect with your college advisor early to be as successful as possible.”
Now enjoying his second semester stateside, Enzo is finding Northeastern to be a great fit and hopes to major in business when the time comes. “A business degree is very versatile, which will allow me to concentrate in any area that I enjoy such as fashion, sports, or even the culinary world.”
Whatever he decides to pursue in the long run, Enzo will bring his well-earned Dwight Lion roar to succeed both on and off the court!