Volleyball Celebrates Seniors


Mariel Rossi deVries, Lifestyle Editor

The girls’ volleyball team honored its seniors before the final home game against Northgate on October 25.

Once the JV volleyball game ended at 6:30pm, the court was cleared and both schools’ varsity players lined up. Members of Campolindo’s team passed flowers to Northgate’s varsity seniors, who stood back as the host school announced the year’s graduating varsity players. Statements written about the player were announced as each senior stepped forward to receive a lei from their family.

The statements were written by underclass teammates. “Hearing other people’s [statements] was really nice. It makes you feel good about yourself,” said senior Kelsey Budde.

The varsity team includes seniors Sabrina Smith, Janelle Gong, Emily VanKoll, Josie Cole, Lauren Pak, Christina Vaccaro, Jamie Brown and Kelsey Budde.

The team also includes 7 juniors and 1 freshman.

Some seniors have already committed to college volleyball teams. Cole will be playing for UC Irvine, Gong for University of Hawaii, and Smith for UCLA in the fall of 2017.

“I want to be as prepared as I can be [for college volleyball], because it’s a really high level. So I’m just using games as practice and having fun also,” said Smith.

All three Campolindo volleyball teams have a head coach, but experienced teammates also act as models for the younger players so that they can learn to become leaders for the next season. “We’re all kind of a family. Seniors help you grow up so by the time you’re a senior, you can fill their shoes. We are trying to help our juniors this year,” said Budde.

“Sabrina Smith, Janelle Gong and Jamie Brown are the captains, and then all of the other seniors help out too,” said VanKoll.

“We have this thing on our team with senior leadership and just showing them the ropes, because some of them are new to varsity so [it’s] just showing them why it’s such a big deal that they’re on it and helping them with the pressure,” said Budde.

According to VanKoll, many of the seniors have been playing the sport for years. The team practices every week day after school and sometimes on weekends. “It’s very different from club [volleyball] and every other team I’ve been on because it’s more of a community. We see each other every day so I feel like I’m closer with them,” said VanKoll.

Budde stated that receiving her lei made her whole experience on the team “very real.”

After the ceremony, seniors rejoined the other members of the varsity team for their game against Northgate. It was the team’s last home game of the league season and Campolindo won 3-0. While reflecting on her last season playing for Campolindo, Smith said, “High school [volleyball] is really special to us. I play club also, but this is the last time we are playing on our team- it’s special because it’s the last time.”