Volleyball’s sentimental Senior Night

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Volleyball’s sentimental Senior Night

Varsity volleyball seniors line up with their parents.

Varsity volleyball seniors line up with their parents.

Varsity volleyball seniors line up with their parents.

Varsity volleyball seniors line up with their parents.

By Patricia Abulencia, Sports Editor

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Each girl had a letter written to them from their parents, to be read prior to their game against DePaul College Prep on Sept. 28. With letters in their hands and excited expressions across their faces, the varsity girls volleyball seniors gathered outside of the gym, waiting for their name to be called.

Close friends and family filled the bleachers, railings wrapped with green and gold streamers. Colorful posters filled with pictures of the eight seniors were taped to the walls.

In every sport, senior night is recognized as the commemorative event marking the near end of the season and is typically the last home game before playoffs begin.

One of this year’s seniors, Sibel Truong, Div. 969, has been playing on the varsity team since her freshman year as the starting setter.

“As a freshman, I remember walking onto the court during senior night and I looked at all the seniors getting gifts and flowers,” Truong said. “I remembered thinking, ‘I can’t wait for that to be me in four years.’

Truong’s senior night was everything she expected it to be and more. Truong and her parents had matching volleyball shirts with her jersey number, 18, on the back, and the underclassmen had decorated her locker with pictures of her and her teammates.

The night began with an introduction from Coach Lopez, the girls varsity coach. Despite technical difficulties with the microphone, each senior was introduced and warmly welcomed with flowers.

Alexandra Zugaj, Div. 985, said her fellow teammates made a tunnel inside the gym for the seniors to run through, with supportive family and friends ready to greet the seniors at the end of the tunnel.  Additionally, the juniors were responsible for the preparation for most of the senior night festivities, such as setting up concessions, decorating the gym and preparing gifts.

“The juniors were very supportive, and we are all very grateful for all their preparation,” Zugaj said. “There are four [juniors], but it felt like there were 50 of them because they did so much and made our night so special.”

The second point of the game was made through a tip over the net from Zugaj, which fired up the stands and the rest of the team. Throughout the first set, Depaul had the lead, but Lane was able to catch up and tie before the match point. A game that typically ends at 25 ended at 28-26 with Depaul securing the first set win.

In the second set, Lane and Depaul were tied at 9-9 when Depaul’s miscommunication, and strong defensive digs from Krissi Poelsterl, Div. 967, allowed Lane to gain a lead of 13-9. The set ended with a win for Lane by a score of 25-17.

The last set ended up determining the game. Lane and Depaul had tied scores numerous times, and both teams hustled to continue the rally. After the 14-14 tie, Depaul slowly began to gain the lead, causing frustration on Lane’s end. Depaul won the game 25-18 but it was a challenging game for both teams.

“Around this time last year, we were ranked 7th in the city,” Lopez said on Sept. 28. “This year we’re ranked second in the city, so we’re doing way better.”

The team’s final conference record this year was 8-1. Overall, they are 27-8 as of Oct. 19.

According to Lopez, Lane has not been able to get to a city final since 2008, but he hopes they will reach the city championship game this year.

As of Oct. 18, after defeating Jones College Prep, Lane is first in the city. Girls volleyball state regionals will be hosted by Lane on Oct. 23 and 25.

Going forward, a few seniors, such as Truong, will continue to play volleyball in college. Truong said she has scholarship offers from Johnson and Wales, Providence College, Emerson, Boston University and Carroll University.

Although her senior season is almost at its end, Truong is grateful for her last year of playing varsity volleyball at Lane.

“There were so many memories made this season, such as game-winning points, or just moments when you really connect with your teammates,” Truong said. “There’s a feeling of togetherness and unity with this new family I have.”

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