Bittersweet ending for volleyball seniors
The members of the boys’ volleyball team spent their Wednesday night making pancakes on the volleyball court.
A “pancake” is a term used in volleyball to describe when a player lays his hand on the ground to prevent the ball from hitting the ground. However, these efforts were not enough to prevent JC from losing all three games to Loyola Blakefield on Senior Night on Wednesday, October 21 in front of a crowd of over fifty people.
Despite the losses, the team kept an upbeat attitude all night, honoring the seniors on their last home volleyball game.
Senior Steve Harper, who shared his birthday with Senior Night, said about the loss, “It’s alright because we had a good time.”
Senior Ben Boniface echoed Harper’s sentiments. Looking back on the three years that he has suited up to play volleyball in his black and gold jersey, Boniface said, “It’s just about the people you meet and the friends you make.”
Junior Trent Shaw agrees. Calling losing the seniors a “tragedy,” he added seriously, “I mean, I’m gonna miss these guys. They’re the heart and soul of the team.”
The playful attitude upheld by the seniors was especially evident after the game. Senior Matt Taylor claimed that the loss was intentional because the team is holding back their “secret weapon, [Steve] Harper.”
It was clear the members of the team still learned to have fun with the sport, despite the disappointment of losing. Haviland joked, “I live for the moment. Volleyball is for the moment, not the future.”
Senior Wil Cranford, who delivered the last serve of the game, had a slightly different perspective on the loss. With a smile, he said, “We knew we were gonna get dominated.” Senior EJ Derengowski, who has played since his sophomore year, agreed, stating simply, “They were better than us.”
Coach Jim Keirn was not as pessimistic regarding the game. He was happy with the way the team played, and believed that the score did not reflect the way the players performed. He said that his players “hustled, which is all I want them to do.”
Keirn struggles with losing experienced players. However, this struggle is nothing new. He explained, “The program loses five-seven players each year. It is hard.” This year, there were six seniors on the team.
Reflecting on his seniors’ talents, Keirn singled out Haviland as being one of the top setters in the conference.
Keirn also cited Cranford as being a huge asset to the team. With a sigh, he said that next year, “it will be difficult to replace those guys.”
Also frustrating for Keirn is the lack of support for the team. Looking around at the now empty bleachers, he said, “We really don’t get the support fanwise. I would like to see this place packed.”
Caitie Beth Shauck can be reached for comment at email@example.com.