What a whirlwind of events! These last couple of weeks have been rather hectic. Most of you were at the last home game of the season, and might I add, it was a rather special night. It was Senior Night in the Pan American Center when the Lady Aggies took on the Idaho Vandals. It was a well played match on both sides of the net, and the Aggies took the match in five games.
As it has become tradition on the volleyball team, the underclassmen surprise the senior class with personalized shirts. We wear these shirts during warm-ups. This year they made camouflage shirts with bright pink lettering. The front of it said “Seniors” with two pistols crossings just underneath, which was followed by the words “We got the guns.” The back of the shirt had the seniors’ names on it. It’s always fun to see what the underclassmen have in store for us, and it is something that as a Senior, you look forward to all year long. Along with a t-shirt, the underclassmen make a personalized scrapbook. Every team member decorates their own page to put in the scrapbook. It is a type of memento, so that the seniors can look at it and remember their teammates in the years to come. It is a very warm and caring tradition that makes NMSU a great place to spend four years.
Following the match on senior night, there is a ceremony for the seniors. We are presented with our framed jersey and flowers. We are escorted by our family out onto the court as the coaches present these gifts to us. One by one we give a speech expressing our gratitude to all the people who had a huge hand in making the last four years of our lives a huge success. Tricia told each of the seniors who would go first, second, third, and last out onto the floor. They put me last, and I don’t believe that was a coincidence. I believe they knew I would be the rather emotional one that would hold up the line. Angel Tirado, Krista Altermatt, and Erin Birmingham all gave wonderful speeches. My mother was teary eyed during Erin’s speech, and I whispered to her, “There will be none of that.” Well come to find out, there was going to be a lot more of that!
I was doing really well, up to the point at which coach put the microphone in my hand. It all went downhill from there. There was a rush of emotions over everything that has happened, and how much everyone has touched my life. Since the first day of my freshman year, I had been looking forward to the last home game as a senior. When that day finally came, I tried to stay in denial for as long as possible. That was not my last time to pray with my teammates in the locker room, that was not my last pre-game routine, that was not my last warm-up routine, that was not my last time to run down the ramp, that was not my last time to see all the fans up in the stands cheering my name. That was not my last; but it really was.
As all these emotions overwhelmed me, I wasn’t able to give the speech I had planned. Just saying my mom’s name was hard enough. But to express my gratitude for the countless hours we spent on the phone talking about anything and everything that was volleyball related, was not to be said. To tell my parents how much they mean to me, as they have supported me one hundred and ten percent, without a doubt, behind me, no matter what, was not to be said. To tell my teammates of present and past how much they have impacted my life and made footprints on my heart, was not to be said. To tell the fans that have always been there to cheer me on, whether it was on the court, or in the classroom, or walking down the street how much they mean to me, was not to be said.
I’ve come to learn that it is the little things in life that count. The little moments that you’ll remember for an eternity. People tell me that I can’t do something, and when that happens, the people like my friends, family, and teammates who stand beside me and tell me that they believe in me with all their hearts, are the people that make anything possible. They make me want to reach for the stars, and aren’t surprised when I do. These people are the ones I want to thank, these people are the ones that make a difference in the world, these people are my family and friends. So thank you! You have touched my life and will never be forgotten. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Following the senior ceremony, many Aggie fans came down on the floor to offer their congratulations. I received quite a few comments about some ladies’ make-up. I just want to say, that my make-up didn’t hold up either. Sorry for the water works, but I couldn’t help it. It was an ending to a wonderful night that will never be forgotten.