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The Highlander

The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

Volleyball celebrates Senior Night

McLean volleyball loses to Marshall in last home game of the season

Last night, McLean’s varsity volleyball team celebrated its seniors and competed in an intense match against the Marshall Statesmen, ending in a 1-3 loss.

In preparation for the game, the Highlanders prepared small gifts and posters honoring their seniors that filled the gym.

“I’m really excited for all the extra little things planned as a surprise for the seniors,” senior defense Mia Zimmitti said. “I think that’s what I’m kind of anticipating to fuel the whole energy of the game.”

After the Junior Varsity team secured their victory, McLean held its annual graduation ceremony to recognize all their hard work during their years on McLean volleyball. An announcer read out a short speech prepared by each of the seniors, as they walked into the gym with the families, greeted with bouquets of flowers from their teammates.

“My favorite part from the whole night was just being with the team and feeling everyone’s immense love for each other, especially as we all got emotional before and during the game,” senior Caitlyn Lee said.

While the evening was undoubtedly emotional, the team also had another item on its mind: a challenging match ahead against the Marshall Statesmen. With eight seniors on McLean’s varsity team this year, the starting lineup showcased the skills of Madelyn Frederick, Caitlyn Lee, Hannah Huang, Adrienne Long, Joanna Ni, and Mia Zimmitti.

“I’m really looking forward to the starting lineup with all my fellow seniors,” Zimmitti said. “Marshall is a really good competitor and I think in a way it’s kind of our team mentality, instead of putting pressure on ourselves to not say ‘we have to win this game’, we think of it as more of a challenge, and they make us play better because they play at such a high level.”

The first set ended with a loss for McLean, finishing at 17-25. Despite the Statesmen taking an early lead, the Highlanders’ unwavering energy propelled them to secure a win in the second set with a score of 25-23.

With a 1-1 tie, both teams looked to battle in the third set to gain the lead. In the third set, the Statesmen regained their lead, ending 25-19. Ultimately, the Highlanders were unable to overcome the Statesmen and the fourth set ended in 25-13, leading to Marshall’s victory.

“Every game that we’ve played against Marshall, it feels like we’ve walked away with good feelings that we played really hard, and that is what happened again tonight,” Zimmitti said. “It just felt like a really fun game of volleyball and we all got good touches throughout the match.”

Despite the loss, the night was filled with high energy and celebration as the seniors ended their last home game of their high school season.

“It’s both surreal and saddening,” Lee said. “I’ve [been] with this program for so long and played with many of these people since freshman year, they’ve become a second family.”

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