Reality is starting to set in. This is it folks, my senior year as an Aggie volleyball player. I have been thinking about this year since the very beginning of my college career. And truth be told, it isn’t exactly how I pictured it. But then again, what is? Looking back at all the good times and the bad has made me realize just what a feat it is to achieve this honor of being a senior captain. What a roller coaster ride!
I, along with many other teammates, have put our hearts and souls into this volleyball program. It has our sweat, blood, and tear stains in the midst of it. Working hard to achieve that goal that we set our eyes on, we have overcome obstacles that many people believed we could never achieve. As a senior, you start to see things in a different light. The underclassmen think, “We can do that next year, next year it will happen.” But for seniors, we don’t get that opportunity. It’s the end of the line for us. Now or never.
The Aggie volleyball team just got back in town from a five day road trip to Moscow, Idaho and Logan, Utah. It was a rather long trip due to the extra driving from airports that was required. Yet, I feel as though this drive was a good thing. It allowed us to bond with each other, and see a whole new side to people we hadn’t seen before. Due to Krista Altermatt’s current injury, she wasn’t able to travel with us on this trip. After we arrive at the airport, we rent four rental cars (more like soccer mom vans). By the way, Kim Herbert would make a great soccer mom! I can see her now, “okay buckle up kidos, here we go.” I just love Kim, she makes me smile. But back to my point, in the van that Don Flora drives is Kim Herbert, Whitney Woods, Krista Altermatt, and I. With Krista not on this trip, we were graced with the presence of Miss Ellen Miks. What a character! Here I was, thinking she was rather quiet and serene. But Ellen is full of surprises. She would bust out in song and dance the entire way to Salt Lake City. What a hoot! I have decided that Ellen is cool, calm, and collected. But also has a fun side that appears at different times, sometimes it’s only a glimpse, but at other times it all comes out.
I have to tell you about a funny little comment made by Miss Lilly Wolfe herself. It was Wednesday night, we are in the gymnasium at Idaho and it is the first drill of practice. Lilly comes off the floor, to stand in line for the next repetition of digging the volleyball. She looks at Whitney Woods and myself, and says, “For some reason, this floor is just really hard.” Whitney and I start to chuckle to ourselves, as Lilly’s brow starts to furrow and her nose wrinkles and gets this rather confused, yet thoughtful look on her face and says, “That didn’t come out right.” What a character! Lilly definitely keeps us on our toes.
It was the night of Halloween, and we were in Logan, Utah playing against Utah State. There were some interesting costumes located in the stands that evening. But the cutest one I saw was a little kid about the age of four, dressed up head to toe in a tiger outfit. The only thing that peaking out was his round little face, which was wearing the cutest grin you could imagine. As a pleasant surprise, the NMSU women’s soccer team came to the game. Unfortunately, they were a little late, and didn’t get to see much. But it was nice to see some familiar faces and most of them were dressed up. One of the girls had the word “Book” written across her face. She was “facebook.” I actually had to ask about that one. But it was very creative.
Another familiar face in the stands was Kim Oguh-Neild and John Baker. I played with Kim Oguh-Neild for my freshman and sophomore years. I can honestly say that I miss her. But it was a great time to catch up and laugh a little about the old days. As people move on, and grow up, we just don’t get to see everyone as often as we would like. But when we do get that chance, we must take advantage of it. The crazy thing to think about was that Whitney Woods, and myself, were the only people on the traveling team at that time to ever play with Kim. John Baker is the husband of Debby Baker. She was our assistant coach during my freshman and sophomore years as well. It is the same story as with Kim, I miss her and her quirky sense of humor. But they appear to be happy and doing well.
But enough about the road trip, let’s look forward to the coming events of this week. We take on Boise State on Thursday and then it’s the Idaho Vandals on Saturday night. Saturday night is called senior night. It will be the last time Erin Birmingham, Krista Altermatt, Angel Tirado, and I, Kelli Goodan will ever play in the Pan American Center as an Aggie volleyball player. Now I know that there will always be the alumni games that I can come back and play in, but as a student-athlete, this is it. The last time I’ll be able to run down that ramp and jump in a circle while yelling A-G-G-I-E-S. It will be the last time I will get to look up in the stands and see all the familiar loving faces that have touched my heart in so many ways. It will be the last time I will pray in our lockeroom before a game. It will be the last of many more, and although I don’t think it will fully hit me until January, it is something that is on my mind. Although this is the year of many lasts, there is always the future to look forward to for many firsts as well.
But I hope to see you there in the Pan American Center on both Thursday and Saturday night. It will be a fun and exciting environment. Come cheer us on, as we focus and drive ourselves to another level. Go Aggies!!