Close your eyes and imagine this: not so little 7th grade me trying to match bright blue cheetah spandex with my red tye-dye socks and a red jersey… oh and did I mention the extreme side ponytail? I’ve always been a kid that wants to make a statement, but as the years have passed I’ve focused my statement on being just like all the underdog sports movies… I want to make history (not just the first to be able to rock that outfit)My high school was never a top dog in our league, but my junior year we made it to the sectional championship, losing by a couple points in the fifth set. The disappointment of watching the other team run and hold up the banner we wanted so badly motivated my team to work even harder for next year. It was my senior year, my last year to make a statement, and we beat our rivals in 3 sets to clench our schools first sectional title in 41 years. That feeling when you realize you achieved something extraordinary is so moving, and all any of us could do was hug each other and cry. I bet you have a movie scene playing in your head where a team does the impossible then runs and celebrates together, man what a feeling. I will always share that moment with my girls.
Trying to make a statement didn’t end there. In my sophomore year, my club team was one of the first out of our organization to make it to Nationals. Since then, my club has sent numerous teams and we’ve all embraced and represented our neon orange jerseys to put Syracuse volleyball on the map. Being remembered didn’t always have to be about the world remembering us though. In my senior year, our club team was so incredibly close we rose above anything and played together, beating teams no one thought we could. We had the chance to go to Nationals again, but more than that, my coach (shoutout RJ) said he would always remember us because we made him so proud. That feeling was better than Nationals; it made my “why” more than wanting to be remembered by our accomplishments… I also wanted everyone to remember how special our team was.
My dad inspired this ‘want’ in me. Everyday in high school, I would walk through the doors and see his face in the hall of fame, but the most important thing I saw was that he was with his team. Achieving amazing accomplishments means nothing to me without having a team to accomplish them with me. That last point. That last kill. The only thing any of us wanted to do was dogpile and cry of happiness after the sectional game and after club ended, we couldn’t stop hugging each other and making plans to hangout.
I never thought I could find a team closer until I came to Geneseo. These girls are my best friends, my inspiration, and my family. I couldn’t imagine my college experience or playing with anyone else. We depend on and play for each other, and in the end, I know it will allow us to achieve our goals.
I play for that, I play for the people who believe in us, and I play with the most incredible team that’s going to be remembered.