CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
The rivalry between the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University is historic, passionate, and powerful. Nicknamed the “Backyard Brawl,” the rivalry culminates when the two schools play each other in just about any sport: football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, you name it. And it usually means a lot of Pittsburghers have a distaste for everything WVU.
Well, Pittsburgh-area native and WVU senior Victoria Gennuso is here to say that while she appreciates the rivalry, she thinks Pittsburghers should go easy on West Virginia. She says there are a lot of similarities between Morgantown, where WVU is located, and Pittsburgh, including a love of sports.
“The backyard brawl rivalry, I am on the side of WVU,” says Gennuso, who grew up in Cecil Township. “But the rivalry fuels my passion for all sports.”
As a broadcast journalism student, Gennuso says the school’s athletics have fueled her passion for learning. The community of other broadcasters and sports journalists associated with the university and Morgantown have been welcoming, and she has enjoyed her time in front of the camera reading sports reports and covering minor league baseball games.
Gennuso also used her degree to gain experience working at U92, WVU’s college radio station, not to mention camera operation for the Mountaineer Athletics Video Production team. She says that experience helped grow her appreciation of sports, and realize where she wanted to take her career.
It also showed her that sports will always be a part of her life, even though sports journalism may not.
“I may not want to be on camera anymore, but the sports here have really impacted my life,” she says. During her tenure, WVU has had some impressive athletics programs, including a successful men’s basketball team.
A graduating senior, Gennusso has been accepted at Law Schools at WVU and at a school in Charleston, S.C. She is hoping to combine her passions of sports and her love of law, possibly into a career where she can live in both worlds.
“I am sort of chasing the two things that I love the most, sports and law,” says Gennusso. “I would absolutely love to be a sports agent. I think that would be awesome. But I know that field is very competitive.”
She says she is leaning towards staying at WVU for law school, and a big reason why is because of the sense of the community she has felt there. Her mother is from the Mountain State, and her father is a WVU alumni. Even though she grew up in the Pittsburgh-area, she says Morgantown feels like a “second home.”
A big part of that is the sports community of WVU. Gennuso might not want to be on the broadcast side anymore, but says the sports community will always keep her close.
“You walk into the blue lot, and you see the blue and gold,” says Gennuso, describing the WVU colors. “You can just go to any sporting events and just have great conservation.”