Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Set up for Success: Volleyball Closes Season with Victory

Whitman’s volleyball team celebrated Senior Night on Nov. 3rd, honoring the dedication of seniors Nicole Kelly, Teia Magaoay and Kenzie Martinez. After a rough season, the women’s volleyball team played against Linfield University and closed their seniors’ college volleyball career with a spectacular win. Reflecting on the season, players reflected on their victories and shared excitement for the future of volleyball at Whitman.

For sophomore Jamie Bartok, ending the season on a win was critical to building team morale after a challenging season.

After ending this season on such a high note I think that we should be really looking forward to getting after it on the court next year and bringing the same energy back,” said Bartok.

The Blues closed the volleyball season at 7-16 overall and 6-10 in Northwest Conference play. It has definitely not been an easy season for the team, but players kept pushing forward through difficulties. Winning 3-0 against Linfield, the Blues got to see their hard work pay off  regardless of the challenges this season presented. 

For Bartok, who was medically redshirted this season, the ability to stay involved in the team helped alter her understanding of volleyball. Bartok’s year was full of taking stats and cheering on teammates, giving her the opportunity to understand the team from a new perspective.

“I am most proud of our home game vs Whitworth. That game took a lot of mental and physical strength to win and it was a super fun game to watch. In general, this season definitely had its challenges for the team but the last couple weeks have been super fun and rewarding for us,” Bartok said. 

Senior Nicole Kelly, outside hitter and team captain, agreed with Bartok and reflected on the medical difficulties the team had to face this season. This year, the team started with 18 people that could play and ended with roughly 10. 

“I have dealt with people leaving the team and injuries before, but never to this degree. It felt as though each week brought a different obstacle that we needed to face as a team. We did our best to be grateful for the opportunity to play and be together each week, but there were certainly highs and lows this season,” Kelly said. 

Losing key members of a team due to injuries mid-season can disrupt the cohesion that had been developed over time, forcing adjustments that may not be as effective. Junior Jackie Zapanta expressed gratitude for the team’s flexibility during unpredictable moments. 

“While it sucked not playing, I am so proud of my teammates who stepped in and the team as a whole for adjusting to some funky rotations,” Zapanta said.

Kelly reflected on her role as a leader, emphasizing the significance of leaders who can inspire, unite and guide their teammates through a common goal to create a strong team dynamic that leads to success.

“I have learned so much about myself and how to lead through this experience and I am very grateful that my coaches and teammates trusted me with this responsibility. Being a captain has meant a lot to me and I hope that I have filled the position well, as well as prepared future leaders for the opportunity to be a captain,” Kelly said.

After ending the season, with three straight wins against the University of Puget Sound, Whitworth and Linfield, the volleyball team is ready to train and continue getting stronger and better in preparation for next season. 

“I am really excited to see what the future holds for Whitman volleyball. It has been a privilege to play at such an incredible school for four years. There have been some pretty low lows, but the highs always make up for them, and I will miss it very much,” Kelly said. 

First year Bella Vickers expressed excitement for the future of volleyball at Whitman.

“We ended the season super strong and we gelled super well as we closed the season, so we hope to continue that momentum in the next season,” Vickers said. 

Junior Ivy Hicks, who played on the team for the first time this year, explained how the team’s attitude contributed to the overall positive atmosphere of Whitman volleyball.

“The team is very encouraging, especially during tough workouts, trainings and games. I feel like everyone is supportive and there for each other,” Hicks said.

Zapanta agreed, mentioning that the seniors’ presence and influence won’t end with their graduation from Whitman.

“Even though we might be done playing competitively together in college, I always know where to find them. That said, the entire team are people I have and will continue to rely on,” Zapanta said.

The positive elements from this volleyball season allows the team to learn from their successes, adapt their strategies and remain motivated and confident for next season. By using the past season as a benchmark for improvement, the Blues are setting higher goals and working towards greater success. After bidding farewell to three remarkable seniors, the team reflects on the indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment they’ve displayed and looks forward to the next volleyball season after celebrating their victories.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • E

    EvitaNov 9, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    congrats blues

  • A

    AbdNov 9, 2023 at 4:44 pm

    Go sharks go blues