Volleyball recognizes seniors as season comes to an end


Lining up before being introduced, the team engages in pregame conversation. Seniors received a small volleyball to throw to a loved one when their name was called in honor of senior night. Picture by Carly Wilson.

As any sports season comes to an end, there is often a game dedicated to the seniors on the team. Before their game against Benson, the volleyball team gave recognition to their seniors. Each player was walked onto the court by their parents or family members with a bouquet of flowers in hand. They were greeted by assistant principal Jason Williams and Principal Darren Rasmussen along with their coaches.

“We are losing majority of our team with graduating 10 seniors. I feel that these seniors have set a great example for the younger classes to uphold,” said coach Randall Loch.

With a 16-14 season, the team was prepared to play the 19-14 Bellevue East Chieftains. The teams went back and forth in a full five set game last Tuesday with our Bulldogs fighting through and winning 3-2.

“This year our focus has been mental toughness. Focusing on the next point,” Loch said. “Five set matches are always tough but we always talk about how the best part of volleyball is every set is 0-0. Every set is a new set.”

Preparing for a new play, Ashlyn Paymal and Elizabeth Bassett get in position to block the ball. Both were key players in their win against Bellevue East. Picture by Carly Wilson

Five players dominated the court that night, with four being seniors and the other, a 6-foot-3-inch sophomore Ashlyn Paymal. The outside hitter played a crucial role in winning with her 17 kills and 6 blocks during the game. Alongside her were her senior teammates Alyssa Kramer with 6 blocks, Erin Carlson with 15 digs, Kaitlyn Min with 12 digs and Delaney Dotzler with 25 assists.

“I feel like this season has been one of the most successful seasons in a long time,” Paymal said. “All though I feel like we could have won a couple more games than we did I am super proud of team and the efforts this season.”

This team’s wins don’t come without hard work. Practicing mental toughness, technique and plays all contribute to their successful season. Senior night recognized the seniors who have been working their way towards varsity since their very first year on the team.

“I’ve worked really hard to get where I am,” Kramer said. “My freshman year I had little to no idea what I was doing and my coaches throughout the past 3 years have helped shape the player I am today.”

With Districts starting Friday Oct. 21, the senior’s last season at Burke is close to being over. Their hard work and leadership will be passed down to their underclassman teammates.

“I love the seniors and I’m so sad to see them leave, especially knowing that I will have to take their leadership role next year,” Paymal said. “It will force me to bring a whole new level of responsibility to the team.”