RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph girls volleyball team continued the high school sports annual tradition of holding an end of season, “Senior Night” game, in which a special pre-game ceremony honored their three seniors and their parents.
“The senior girls have definitely matured and are the leaders in the program,” said Lady Rams coach Sherri Data. “They set the example for their teammates, and will do anything I ask to help out their team and the program.”
The seniors were introduced individually, and walked out onto the court with their parents, before what was about to be one of their final games as a Ram.
“Getting ready to walk out into the gym as they announced our names was nerve racking because the spotlight was on us,” said senior Stephanie Shaw. “But as soon as the game began, I knew we would kill it out on the court. I felt emotional as I played because senior night only comes once and I wanted to play the best I could.”
Shaw and her teammates certainly did live up to that expectation when the game began. The underclassmen also came out focused, hoping to help earn a win for their soon to be graduated teammates.
The Lady Rams ran out to a big lead early, and cruised to a 25-11 win in the first game. The second game would end in the same 25-11 score, sending the seniors home with a 2-0 victory.
“All three seniors are part of our big/little sister program,” said Lady Rams coach Sheri Data. “Every senior and junior is paired up with a freshman and sophomore to serve as a mentor to them for volleyball, school, life.”
Senior Briana Martinez echoed her coaches sentiment.
“This year my teammates are my little sisters and I set an example for the younger girls involved in our program,” said Martinez. “Sometimes I feel like the team Mom helping everyone with school, boy drama, and most importantly the game that we all love so much.”
Coach Data expressed how pleased she is with how all three carry themselves on and off the court as well.
“They are really involved in organizing team functions (going out to breakfast, making posters for special games) and all three are a strong voice in our huddle keeping everyone calm & on task,” said Data. “I’m really proud of the young women they have become and can’t wait to see their future accomplishments.”
The seniors have followed up last seasons’ success with another winning season this year, and have reached the County Finals after upsetting two higher seeds. It is a tribute to the work ethic they have helped instill on their younger teammates.
“In practice I’m not easy on my teammates and they aren’t easy on me,” said Martinez. “Before every game we go into the cage and I give a speech to hype up my girls and I always tell them “go out there and have fun because when we have fun we have nothing to lose.”
Data offered some words of encouragement for future of her soon to be departed seniors.
“My advice to them would be, ‘you’re talented, smart, beautiful, strong women,’” said Data. “Always remember that, and you can accomplish anything.”