Volleyball ends in heartbreaking loss

by Kinsey Phipps

Ending the Fairfield tournament with a win on Oct. 14, the Lady ‘Stangs were hopeful as they headed to State Center to face the West Marshall Trojans in the first round of Regional play. PCM rallied with the Trojans, but their strong offense left the Mustangs with a tough ending to their 2017 season. West Marshall came out on top, winning 3-0.

West Marshall started off strong, gaining five points at the start of the first set. The Mustangs were attempting  to rally back, but they couldn’t score more than seven points against the Trojans. The final score of set one came out to 25-7.

In the second set, the Mustangs and the Trojans traded points, scoring no more than two at a time. It was 11-11, and the Trojans gained a serving lead, leaving the Mustangs scrambling to catch up. Despite their best efforts, the Trojans came out on top again, 25-14.

Knowing this could be the last set the team plays with the seniors, everyone was determined to rally the entire way in hopes of one more chance to play together. Fighting with everything they had, the Lady ‘Stangs weren’t able to pull of a set win. Again, the Trojans won 25-12.

“I remember thinking that I wasn’t going to let them get the last point to end my volleyball career; I would do everything I could as an individual on the team to stop them. But when the ball hit the ground on our side of the court, it hit me that it was my last time playing with this team and putting on a PCM volleyball jersey,” senior Olivia Lippman said. “This season was one to remember; we had an incredible coach to end [the seniors’] careers. Alex brought so much knowledge to the team and helped us grow as athletes. We didn’t end with the record we wanted, but we played every game with intensity and worked together as a team.”

Tears filled the eyes of Lippman and senior Kenzie Johnson as they shook the hands of the opponents one last time, taking their last steps off the court. In the locker room after the game, head coach Alex Samson commends the team for their hard-fought last game, and the seniors were thanked for welcoming Samson to the program with open arms. Assistant coach Jodi Johnson gave a tear-filled speech, pointing out funny memories from the past about the senior girls’ volleyball journey throughout the years. J. Johnson is affected this year even more due to her daughter, K. Johnson, ending her senior volleyball season. As the speeches continued, seniors Regan Olson, Madison Foster and Kinsey Phipps began to reflect on the end of their time as a volleyball player. Tears fell, and underclassmen teammates greeted each senior with a hug and a “Thank you.”