The making of this team began first with the recovery from losing last year’s five starting seniors. These players had been an important part of the team’s backbone and resolute spirit. The addition of new players to the team this year heralded a new age for Sturgis East Volleyball. The absence of those former players proved to be an opportunity for the team to grow even more. After all, the secret to change is to focus not on fighting the old, but building the new.
Over the course of this season, there has been notable evolution of talent, transformation of attitude, and the gradual growth of not only a team but a family. Granted, it was not one without difficulty, and the girls did not win every game, yet no team is perfect. If that were the case there would only be the same winner, every time, every game. The variable of loss, or even making mistakes, allows for diversity and chance within the world of any sport. It provides room to advance and transform. All a mistake means, all a lost set or even game means, is a chance to improve from there. Even if said loss is the closing curtain on a winning streak, it doesn’t have to be the final call. There can always be a next time, provided one does not give up on oneself.
Such wins qualified the team for States once again, and the team prepared for their game against Rockland. While they did not win, they did not let Rockland take the match from them easily. The girls proved to be more than worthy opponents, and even managed to take a set from the other team during the match. The overall score was ultimately 3-1, with the win going to Rockland; but Sturgis took solace in the fact that they had had a great season.
For some of the players of Sturgis East volleyball, this team and this sport is more than just another high school experience or something to buff up their college applications. There are girls who view it as a stepping stone for something greater. For those girls, especially the seniors for whom this year has been their last on the team, that goal is definitely attainable, in part due to their time playing for this team. As scorekeeper and co-manager for this team, I am proud to have been with them for this season. I hope they all go even further to achieve even greater things. Go Storm!