MARION, Ind. ‒ Fourteen Lakeview Christian School volleyball players ran into the school’s gym on Oct. 23, ready for the last game of the season.
This match was different from the average match. The team did not face a rival school. Instead, the girls stared across the net into the eyes of their parents and coaches.
All of this took place to honor the three graduating seniors who were instrumental in forming the volleyball team earlier this January – Paige Herring, McKenzie Powell, and Jessica Cofflet.
Between games, the school honored the seniors in a ceremony filled with cheers and laughter as the team recounted fond memories of the graduating girls. Herring, Powell, and Cofflet were presented with a plaque and flowers.
Joy Bagley is one of the volunteer coaches for the team.
“We wanted to do a senior night to honor our seniors, and one of the games that we had scheduled to play got cancelled,” Bagely said. “It just kind of turned into letting parents and coaches against the students in the Lakeview team.”
Herring, the student body president, sported a bright red number five on her jersey. She said that starting the team was an effort that involved both teachers and students. Seniors helped to get other students involved in the program.
“We’ve only won a couple games, but honestly it’s more about having fun for us,” Herring said. “I really think that our team will become a better team and win more games as we go on and grow more and have more players.”
Even though the seniors will not get to see the results, they hope that the team continues to grow in the future. One of these goals includes becoming IHSAA certified.
“I really hope that the team can get certified the same way public schools are, because some of the girls have been playing for years and are really good,” Cofflet said.
Other team goals include adding more players and building their skills.
“My hope for the team is that in a few years they can make a really good team that works together well not just on the court but in the classroom and after school,” Cofflet said.
On Friday, Oct. 27, the team will meet at the coach’s house to give a final sendoff to the seniors.
“I am going to get emotional, cry a bunch, eat some food,” Herring said. “A lot of us have no volleyball experience whatsoever, so I’m really proud of how much we’ve grown already.”