McLean’s volleyball teams had a dynamic game against Washington-Liberty Thursday night, and they also had a big celebration for their seniors.
Before the games even started, seniors were being celebrated on Wednesday night, with three of their teammates putting together a special surprise for them.
“They put together bags with a t-shirt, tutus, sashes, crowns, and candy in them and delivered them one by one to our doors the night before the game,” senior Claire Allen said.
The night began with the freshman and JV teams playing their sets, and then the festivities began. Some of the seniors’ teammates from both the JV and varsity teams were lined up holding bouquets, ready to give them to the girls as they walked into the gym with their families. As the seniors walked in, the announcer read a short speech each of them had written about their time in the McVolleyball program and what they have learned during their time there.
“One of the most important things I’ve learned from my time with the program is perseverance,” senior Marina Wang said. “There’s definitely times when our team is down a couple of points or has lost two sets and those are the times where it is most crucial for our team to really come together and fight back hard.”
As their speeches were being read aloud, the seniors and their teammates alike were seen shedding a few tears.
“I think I got emotional because they have all made the team so unique, and I know that there is no way any of us will ever be on a team exactly like this again,” said sophomore Hannah Soberman, a JV player.
Other members of the McVolleyball program reflected on how the seniors made them feel at the beginning of the season.
“The seniors on the team were all super sweet and welcoming when we first joined the team,” said sophomore Julianna McFarland, a JV player. “They are a vital piece of the team as well as great leaders and teammates.”
Once all the seniors had been called, it was game time, and the team decided to do something special for their starting line up.
“One of my favorite parts of the game was when all six of the seniors started and were able to play a few rotations together,” Wang said.
After losing the first set 17-25, the team was able to regain their momentum and beat Washington-Liberty in their second set, with the score being 25-23.
“We were down by quite a bit in the beginning, but our energy picked up, and so did our game,” Allen said. “We caught back up, won the set, and played one of our best games in that set.”
Although they were able to make a comeback in the second set, sadly McLean ended up losing the last two, but they remained connected as a team and put up a good fight. As the game came to an end, many players realized how close they were to the end of the season.
“Coming to that realization and knowing that they won’t be here next year really made me appreciate all the memories we made with them,” Soberman said.
Although their time in McVolleyball is coming to an end, the seniors have been able to not only make an impact on their teammates, but also have taken some valuable lessons with them.
“McLean volleyball is a very competitive program, especially at the varsity level,” Allen said. “That taught me what it takes to succeed and how far you can go with hard work.”