Vani Suresh | firstname.lastname@example.org | October 26, 2018
The room was full of wildly roaring dragons, intricate handshakes, and more than five photographers. The air was passionate and celebratory, cementing this bittersweet moment into d.tech history.
The pioneers of the d.tech Girls Volleyball team played their last game against Summit Prep on Tuesday, Senior Night. Seniors Ashley Chen, Anya Karanov, Ally Shirman, Melina Shapiro, Sasha Kuzmin, Yohanna Konardi, and Nicole Ung all played together one last time and demonstrated their prowess with their team, winning the first three sets for a final score of 3-0. Karanov says, “The plays were solid, and I’m glad we won!”
Before the game even began, Coach Mike Lapuz introduced each 12th grader on the team. One by one, they ran out, and one underclassman presented a poster and a gift to each senior before posing for a picture. Lapuz is appreciative of the work ethic the seniors have created on the team, “what they brought in here and what they helped influence the freshman, as far as work ethic, I think they’ll be in great shape next year,” he says.
The game then kicked off strong with all players in their normal positions. The first two sets flew by amidst cheers from d.tech spectators and coordinated attacks from the team. They seemed to get into a perfect rhythm of bumping, setting, and spiking. During the third set, all the seniors had a chance to play together on the court. While it wasn’t the positions they were accustomed to, the seniors on the team enjoyed playing with each other all at once as the crowd chanted “Let’s go seniors!”. The crowd was on their feet cheering while players embraced and took pictures, celebrating their last game and win of the season.
It wasn’t all celebrating though – tears were shed too. Karanov says, “It’s really sad because we got really close with the freshmen and the one sophomore that’s on our team.” Kuzmin agrees, saying team bonding was her favorite memory from volleyball. Freshman Jodie Lederman has similar feelings. “I’ll be really sad when you all leave…I love you guys so much.”
Of course, the coach was feeling blue as well. Lapuz expressed his thoughts at their departure saying, “I feel kind of sad, I’ve only had them since they were sophomores and I wish I could’ve had them for one more year.” But he also had a parting message for the seniors, encouraging them to “find something that you’re passionate about” even if that isn’t volleyball. Lapuz’s final words of wisdom to his seniors are really fitting for everyone reading this: “Try to explore different options and find what makes you happy.”