The Bittersweet End

O’Dowd Women’s Volleyball season is cut short

Lamya Harrell, Contributor

It’s the night before the first playoff game… You lay out your uniform and shoes, head to bed to get a good night‘s rest, and then you get the call: Game Canceled. This has been a reality for one too many O’Dowd athletes over the years. As many know, O’Dowd’s Varsity Volleyball team’s season has been cut short because they played too many games. This is not something the players have any say in or know about. They had absolutely no control over this, yet they are the ones being punished the most. They have worked hard for months, exerting physical and emotional discipline in an attempt to reach the ultimate goal, the Championship, only to have it all ripped away in a split second. With many sports at O’Dowd, a huge commitment is needed – especially when playing at the varsity level. For these players, volleyball was a priority and always came first.

“It has taken a physical and emotional toll on our bodies and our mind”, says Jillian Massenat, a senior on this year’s varsity team. The time put in during preseason, practice, and outside of practice all leads up to playoffs, but sadly this year’s volleyball team will never get the opportunity to compete. The news has been described as heartbreaking and extremely frustrating. It is hard to feel supported by those that are supposed to prevent these things, and many of the players feel that the administration’s effort, in this case, was lacking. Audrey Ohwobete, varsity player and ASB president, shares, “it’s really frustrating that this is the second time this is happening to 1)  a championship-winning team and 2) a female team.”  Some players believe that such a mistake would never happen to one of our popular men’s teams on campus. “This wouldn’t happen to men’s basketball or football like it would with women’s volleyball”, says Ohwobete. Strong feelings regarding the athletic department surfaced after this news came to light. Ava Wilson ’23 and Gisele Brown ’23 express, “I feel like the school does little to nothing to support girls’ volleyball. I feel like we’ve constantly been like undermined by them and I think this was just like a careless mistake that made us feel like they didn’t really care about us.”  

Despite the disappointment and irritation, some of the graduating seniors shared some of their favorite moments on the volleyball team. The team universally agrees that the Arizona trip was a great experience for everyone. Memories of late night talks in conjoined rooms were repeatedly mentioned and described as, “moments you really have to cherish.” Players recall highly emotional and intense games on the court, such as the close contest against Berkeley High. Although these special moments are sadly coming to an end, they will never be forgotten. This year’s women’s volleyball team does not want to be remembered as the team whose season was cut short, but as a team that worked extremely hard and dedicated their minds, bodies, and hearts over the years to display excellence and uphold a legacy of winning league thirty years in a row.