Last week, University’s volleyball team celebrated its senior night. Seniors Taylor Hines, Emily Johns, Kate Kosnoff, Alex Lange, Rachel Mullendore, Dana Nehring-Terrell, Mary Watkins, and Olivia West were all honored that evening. Izzy Tikijian and I wanted to spotlight some of the volleyball seniors, so we interviewed them about their experience playing this fall.
Olivia West is a senior on the varsity volleyball team. West has been playing volleyball since the fourth grade. When asked about her favorite part of the volleyball team, she replied, “the bonding with the girls and playing at the competitive level.” She feels that playing at University has helped her become a better player. Being a senior, West has taken on the role of a leader. It is her last year, and “playing with my team and having fun with the girls,” is what she will miss most about UHS volleyball. In college, West plans on playing intramural or Division 3 volleyball.
Senior Taylor Hines is a defensive specialist on the varsity volleyball team. Hines started playing as a freshman, and she really enjoys the sport. Despite her short four years of experience, Hines says, “I definitely feel like I’ve improved a lot because I started with no real experience. And I’ve ended up on varsity.” Hines is going to miss playing and spending time with her teammates, especially the ones she has been playing with all of her high school career. As a senior, Hines is a leader among the girls on the team, but her main priority is “to keep everything fun.” In college, she wants to play on a club team or at the intramural level.
Emily Johns is a starting hitter on University’s varsity volleyball team. She has been playing volleyball since the fifth grade. Johns’ favorite part of being on the volleyball team is having the built-in support system. Having played for University, Johns believes she has grown as a player, and as a person. When she graduates, the thing she’ll miss the most is “her girls.” When asked if anything felt different about this year, she said, “yes, I feel like I’m the leader, so now there is more pressure to perform well and to be a role model.” Johns is an extremely talented player, and hopes to continue at a club level in college.
Rachel Mullendore is an all-around player on University’s varsity and JV volleyball teams. Up until now, she had only played in middle school. Thanks to the UHS program, Mullendore believes she has grown as both a leader and a player. Her favorite part of being on the volleyball team is creating new friendships and improving as an overall athlete. When asked what she’ll miss the most about being on the team, Mullendore says, “the relationships I’ve formed with all my teammates. It’s so sad to think this is the last (and for me the only) year we will all be playing together.” Mullendore says that even though she is new to the UHS volleyball, she still feels respected and valued as a player. She hopes to continue playing volleyball on a club team after graduation.