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Semi-sweet senior night

THURS.| 10-19-22 | SPORTS

     This year the Rose varsity volleyball team is number one in the conference with an 11-0 conference record and a 20-1 overall record. The varsity team this year has a total of eight seniors, five of whom are college commits. These seniors were recognized at their game against New Bern on Oct. 6 which they won 3-0. 

     Riley Cutler is one of the five senior commits. She verbally committed to Eastern Kentucky University for beach volleyball in the summer of 2021. Cutler has played on varsity since her freshman year at Rose. 

     “The upperclassmen made it really easy,” Cutler said. “They included us in everything.” 

     While she was an underclassman she was able to connect with some of the older girls and really learn and grow from them. 

     “It was so weird because seeing it the past three years, it felt like it shouldn’t be me,” Cutler said. 

     Since Cutler has been on varsity since she was a freshman, she has been a part of many senior nights and watched as her older mentors graduated. This year she finally got to experience her 

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Photo by Lorian McGillicuddy 

own senior night which was a surreal experience for not only her but for the seven other seniors on the team. 

     “All the juniors spoke about us and they were really sweet,” Cutler said. 

     Senior night happens right after the JV girls play. All of the seniors line up and their coach Kelley Kraniak gives a short speech about the girls' hard work and dedication to the team along with how proud she is of them. After she speaks each of the juniors get to say something short and sweet about each of the seniors. 

     “It was really sad, a lot of the seniors cried because thinking about having to leave everybody you have been through high school with,” Cutler said.

     The game against New Bern had a different lineup so that all of the seniors could play together for their senior night. 

     “It’s been a lot of fun, we all have a similar mindset and we all have a lot of trust in each other,” Cutler said. 

     Since these seniors have been playing together all through high school and some playing together even longer they have built a lot of trust in each other. 

     “It’s comforting to play with the girls we have been playing with for a while,” Wilford said. 

     Helen Wilford is another one of the five senior commits. She is committed to Bowling Green State University for indoor volleyball. She committed in the spring of 2022. Wilford has been playing on varsity since her sophomore year. 

     “It was really good for me to play with them, it definitely enhanced my skill set,” Wilford said. 

     Since being able to play with older more experienced girls, she was able to really grow in her volleyball skills. 

     There is a lot that goes into senior night, like getting flowers, writing short speeches, t-shirts, and setting up the gym.

     “It was exciting, I appreciate all the effort that was put into it,” Wilford said. 

     The thoughts and emotions after the senior night really pushed and encouraged the girls in their game against New Bern. 

     “It set us up for what’s to come postseason with the state tournament,” Wilford said.

     The game against New Bern as well as all the other regular season games has really prepared the girls mentally and physically for what is to come later.

     All of the seniors will not only miss playing together but the environment that Rose athletics and community has given them, like the student section, the Rowdy Rampants. 

     “Having a student section, you don’t get that in beach [volleyball] ever, so having fans and a students section cheering you on is a lot of fun,” Cutler said.  

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