As a middle schooler, high school volleyball seemed light years away. But now, in the blink of an eye, my freshman year of high school volleyball season has come to a close. It seems as if it was only moments ago that I had my first practice, my first tournament, my first game, my first loss, and my first win. And while I won’t experience them again, I will always treasure them.
The prospect of my first high school season was extremely intimidating, but it was a comfort to know that Gretchen McDonald, the freshman coach, was new to coaching at FHC. She was a coach at Saints, a volleyball academy in Grand Rapids, and she knew the FHC program pretty well because her daughter was on the Varsity team. Coach McDonald was my very first female coach and she was an exceptional one. She really helped our team through the transition into high school, and I know I’m not the only one who will be forever grateful for that.
Not only was my first high school volleyball season blessed with an exceptional coach, but also an outstanding team. I had already played on a team with about half of the girls, but the bonding of this year’s team will be unbreakable. We had a rough start together and really had to work for it, but there are not any other girls I would rather call my teammates.
With high school, volleyball comes all of the traditions as well. A favorite tradition of mine this year was volleyball sisters. A girl from each of the teams is grouped together and for each home game, they get each other little gifts. Having volleyball sisters helped me meet new people and gave me both Junior Varsity and Varsity players I could look up to.
With the chaos and disorder and stress from being a high school student, volleyball was a much needed reprieve. Volleyball made me push my limits, but it was that kind of work I looked forward to and that got me through the monotony of the school day. While I am terribly sad to see my freshman year of volleyball slip by me, I am beyond grateful for all it taught me and all the people I befriended.