Senior Night can stir all kinds of emotions, and the nine Roseburg seniors who were honored before Tuesday’s Southwest Conference volleyball match with Willamette certainly relished the moment.
Then the Indians had to get their minds back on volleyball. They did, finishing off the Wolverines 25-19, 25-7, 25-16 in straight sets at Robertson Memorial Gym to end the regular season.
“It was hard to keep it all in, but we knew we had to so we could get stuff done during the match,” said Roseburg libero Sammy Nash. “Then afterwards we let it all out.”
“I don’t really cry in front of people, but it’s starting to feel real,” middle hitter Madie Fox said, knowing the time with her high school teammates is winding down. “It’s surreal, but a cool feeling.”
Honored along with Nash and Fox were Caelynn Griggs, Ellie Weber, Sam Sjogren, Kourtney Lomica, Riley Heath, Emma Bannister and Karsyn Ramsey.
“These are my closest friends. I’ve played with them a long time, and moving on and not being able to play with them will be different and emotional,” Fox said. “We’ve had a blast together.”
“It means everything to me,” Nash said. “I’ve played with all of these girls since the sixth grade, and to be able to go six years all the way up through high school is amazing. Getting first in league is a great way to go out, but we’re excited to hit the gym tomorrow and get ready for our playoff match.”
Roseburg coach Danielle Haskett was among those who shed a tear during pre-match festivities.
“I certainly did,” she said. “I’ve come to love my nine seniors very much.”
The Indians (16-5, 11-1 SWC) will host a Class 6A first-round match on Oct. 26. Before that, they’ll meet 5A Marist in an endowment match at 6 p.m. Monday at Robertson Memorial Gym. Admission will be $6 for adults and $4 for seniors.
“I’m elated (about winning the SWC),” Haskett said. “We’re ready to move on to the next chapter of this program’s story. We’re going to start the playoffs and work hard, and hopefully good things are going to come our way.”
“We’re really trying to get back to the (state tournament) this year,” Fox said. “I think we can. We have a lot of talent and I’m confident we can make it. We want to go as far as we can.”
Fox and Ramsey each had five kills against Willamette (3-15, 1-10). Weber contributed 12 assists, Sjogren 16 assists and four aces, and Nash seven digs.
“We did what we needed to,” Haskett said. “The first set was shaky, because the girls’ emotions were out of whack. We got refocused, and took care of business in the second and third sets.”
Following the match, the Roseburg players signed team posters for their young fans.
“It’s so cool ... to be their motivation. To know that you’re being a role model to them means a lot,” Nash said.
“I remember doing it as a little kid and it was always like an inspiration,” Fox added. “It’s awesome to see the other side.”
Haskett, who played for the Indians, enjoyed the scene.
“It’s very special to them because they remember being that age and coming in and having the varsity players sign those posters for them,” the coach said. “So the full cycle has been completed. They truly do appreciate it and take time to do it because it’s very important to those young ones.”
The Roseburg junior varsity completed an unbeaten conference season with a 25-9, 25-14, 25-5 victory over the Wolverines.
NOTE — Haskett said last week’s “Hope for Cassie” event raised $8,420 for Cassie Griggs, the mother of Caelynn. Cassie Griggs, a wife and mother of three daughters, is in a fight against cancer.