Petrassi ’22 and Poindexter ’22 Lead by Example

Side-by-side vertical photos of Genevieve Petrassi '22 and Jordin Poindexter '22. On the left, Petrassi is in a pool playing water polo, and on the right, Poindexter is running indoor track.

Genevieve Petrassi ’22 has scored 27 goals for the VMI water polo team this season. Jordin Poindexter ’22 received the Heath Whittle Award for the men’s most outstanding athlete at the SoCon Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 26-27, 2022.—Photos courtesy VMI Keydets.

In February, Genevieve Petrassi ’22 cemented her name in the history books of VMI.

A four-year starter for VMI’s water polo team, Petrassi has been instrumental in every game she has played for the Institute. Her main role coming in was to be a tough-nosed defender; over the years, she has improved and changed her mindset about defense. Petrassi now sometimes thinks, “Offense is the best defense.”

Starting the season, VMI’s water polo team faced off against Gannon University at the Bucknell Invite. VMI took Gannon to three overtime periods before ultimately falling short. The invitational would also see a tight game played against Mount Saint Mary’s. During this invitational, VMI did not play with all their starters due to COVID-19.

Shortly after this invitational, VMI traveled to the Princeton Invite, facing Princeton University, Bucknell University, and Harvard University.

Petrassi, a captain on the team, always had the goal to lead the team, saying, “I was always kind of driving just to be a leader on the team both as a super scorer and as a defender.” Modestly, she admits, “There’s not only just good statistics on me out there, but, hey, I’m aggressive.”

Unfortunately, the weekend saw three tough losses that certainly motivated the team into the next invite.

The Grove City Invite found the Keydets swimming past all three teams, finishing three for three on the weekend. Petrassi started the weekend scoring three times, assisted four more, stole the water rugby five times, and drew two exclusions against Penn State Behrend, finishing 19-3.

On the following day, Petrassi cemented her name in the history books of VMI. In the weekend’s second game against Grove City, Petrassi finished the game scoring eight goals to place her second on VMI’s all-time single-game scoring list and just one goal away from being tied for first.

In her own words, “It felt good,” but it became apparent that she and the team were more energized about nearly every field player scoring. Petrassi also did not play the entire game, displaying her dominance.

On Feb. 26, VMI finished against Grove City, 25-13, propelling them into another victory that afternoon. In a game against Washington and Jefferson College, Petrassi finished the weekend with another goal, two more assists, and another seven steals.

Performing as she has, it is no surprise that Petrassi is on track to have her best collegiate season. Petrassi has scored 27 goals, two more than she had her 4th Class year.

Heading into MAAC play, Petrassi mentioned, “I think it’ll be hard competition, but it will be a wake-up call that we play California water polo on the East Coast.”

In a season that still has many games left in the regular season, she certainly has the ability to beat her previous bests.

A captain outside of the pool, Petrassi and her team set a goal of raising $2,022 in support of Heroes and Horses, an organization supporting veterans of the Armed Forces.

In February, VMI’s Jordin Poindexter ’22 could aptly be described as “the fastest man in the city,” cruising past the competition to first place honors in eight of 10 races. This past indoor season has been impressive to watch but has left Poindexter “wanting more.”

Poindexter placed first in three events at the Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships to earn the Heath Whittle Award for the men’s most outstanding athlete. Afterward, he felt thankful but not fulfilled. Instead, his mindset of “wanting more” was evident. In a season that witnessed long strides of progress, Poindexter went from 6.90 to 6.73 seconds in the 60-meter sprint and 21.90 to 21.34 seconds in the 200-meter sprint.

When discussing his progress over the season, Poindexter spoke a lot about his mindset and some about his motivation. The title, “Fastest Man in the City,” was coined by students from his high school, Armstrong High School, in Richmond, Virginia. Now he looks to them for motivation, knowing he is a role model.

Poindexter also mentioned that before the gun goes off at the start of his races, his mind would be filled with other thoughts. Eliminating this, he feels, has directly correlated to his decreased times.

“I went into my races with a clear mind and just went out there and ran without thinking too much,” he said.

He felt the progress in indoor racing would provide confidence moving forward to the outdoor season. Poindexter, who considers himself an outdoor runner, has set time marks to beat his post-graduation goal.

After his time at VMI, he hopes to run for a Power Five school in either the ACC or SEC conferences.

“Based on the way I ran this past indoor season, it’s looking like I’m going to have a real good outdoor season,” Poindexter said. “My main goal—and I know I have it in me—is to go out there and run, have some fun with it, and try to impress Power Five schools. I know I have it in me; I just need to go out there and relax.”

Poindexter has left the indoor season with a mark in his mind, so be sure to watch him fly by the competition one last season with VMI.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at