by student blogger Kristin
For the past three years at the CIA, I have been a member of the women’s volleyball team. It feels like just yesterday that I had heard rumors of the CIA starting an intercollegiate volleyball team. I will never forget how lucky I felt knowing I would be here to even try out. Now, three successful seasons later, I cannot believe my volleyball career is officially over. In order to both celebrate and commemorate our time here, we hosted a senior night on Monday, October 21st.
It started out like any other game day. We came into the gym three hours early to set up the chairs, put up the net, and get ready for the game. Only this time, I knew it was the last time I would be going through this routine. I would be lying if I said that this day wasn’t emotional for me, but through the beginning of the day, I tried to stay focused on the match that was still ahead of us.
We continued normally through warm ups, conducting drills that would help get us ready for the match. As it got closer to game time, fans began to filter into the gym. At first it was a few parents and friends, the same that we usually get to come support our team. However, as it got closer to game time, the stands were full and there were even fans that were willing to stand or sit on the floor to cheer us on. Yellow shirts with the simple phrase “Go Steels” were handed out to those in attendance, painting the crowd a spirited green and yellow. Some people, including good friends of mine, made signs to support their Lady Steels! I am so grateful to all those who came out to support us at our last ever home game!
The time finally came to start the game, the beginning of the end. We lined up on the end line of the court, waiting for our name to be called. I expected one of our student helpers to read off the teammates names like usual. However, when I looked over to see who was reading the announcements, it was our athletic director, who has been one of our biggest supporters throughout the years. After welcoming everyone to senior night, he instructed the players that the opening of this game would be different than usual. Although we did not know why, we would have to stop at by the score table as our name was called.
Having the lowest uniform number, my name is always called first. I ran down the line high-fiving the rest of my team and went over to shake the other coach’s hand. On my way back to my team, my coach and team manager met me with a rose in order to congratulate the seniors on a successful season. I was so moved by the fact that they went out of their way to make our day special. This rose, although a small gesture, was a perfect gift to end our senior season. The three of us took a picture together and I was on my way back to my team. We went through the rest of the team, following the same procedure for each senior. We were all upset that this was our last game but were touched by this gift.
We ended up winning our game that day and finished our last home game in high spirits. Our family and friends came to say congratulations after the game and show their support. Some people came bearing gifts, including my mother, who gave each senior a turtle charm to remember our time together.
I could barely believe when I started school here that they even had a volleyball team. Now, after having gone through my own senior night, I cannot believe it is over. I will never forget all of the friendships and lessons I have gained from playing volleyball here at The Culinary Institute. Although I am terribly sad to say goodbye to this chapter in my life, I can always look back on these days with a sense of pride and happiness. Thank you to all that made these past three years not only possible but extremely successful.