Girls volleyball seniors reflect on their past four years

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On Wednesday, October 13, the Townsend Harris Girls Varsity Volleyball team played their last home game of the season. This game, recognized as Senior Night, commemorates the last home game for all the Girls’ Volleyball senior players. This year’s seniors are Emily Blickhan (#12), Berelyne Chalas (#14), Lily Li (#11), Michela Volpe (#18), Ashley Wu (#10), and Alexandra Yick (#1). 

Leading up to Senior Night, the THHS team earned their fourth victory of the season against Bayside High School with a score of 2-0 on October 12. At this game, Emily notably scored 10 aces and 15 service points. During Senior Night, the team played against Cardozo High School. By the end of the first set, Cardozo had won with a score of 25-20. However, in the second set, THHS had evened the score with their win of 25-22. With this build-up of anticipation from both teams, Cardozo had eventually won the game during the third match with a score of 25-18. Regardless of the end score, Coach Daniel Largana tells the team, “This was a really good game for you all. All of you clearly put in a great effort.”

To surprise the team’s senior players and team managers, the underclassmen of the team collaborated to create posters and give gifts, such as teddy bears, roses, and cupcakes. These were gifted to thank the seniors for what they have contributed to the THHS volleyball program throughout the past four years. 

As the girls are nearing the end of their high school volleyball careers, they reflected on the many hours put into the team. Lily said that “the hardest part of sports was the commitment and the number of hours it took. Sometimes we ended practice at 7:30 pm and still had to do all our work.” Alexandra shared similar feelings about being a student-athlete. She said that “because of quarantine, I forgot how much time I dedicated to sports. With being the president of another club, having college apps, humanities work, or even Election sim, there was a lot on top of 7:30 pm practices.”

Emily said that what she enjoyed most about the team was “our team environment. We had a lot of fun at practice, and it was easy to feel comfortable around all the girls.” Berelyne also said, “The energy that the team produces on the sidelines and on the court make the sport so much more fun.” In agreement, Ashley said that the thing she’ll miss the most about being a part of the team is “spending time with [her] friends. Practice and games were an escape from the school day where I didn’t have to think about any of the work I had to do for my other classes. I could just spend time with my friends playing something I love, volleyball.” 

As for advice to share with both prospective and current volleyball players, Michela said, “I think that it’s important for underclassmen and anyone who wants to play a sport [to] understand [their] teammates and know their strengths and weaknesses on and off the court.” Berelyne added that it’s really important “to try your best and have fun with it.” 

Although this was their last home game, the girls still have four games left to play this season, with hopes of making it to the playoffs.