Seniors wrap up final year of high school volleyball

Simon Phipps, Staff Writer

Tualatin High School volleyball seniors are leaving behind a legacy of family. They have been through the thick and thins of COVID-19, and now get to experience the great work they have put in for the season. This year’s seniors entered the season with a renewed perspective after a year off. Senior Mikayla Randels addressed the team’s outlook this season.

Since it’s half the team’s last season, we just want to leave everything on the court and have no regrets about any of the games. We just want to play at a level where we can leave the court and be proud, regardless of the outcome.”

There are six seniors on the volleyball roster this season with years of experience ranging from four to nine years. Regardless of experience, the bond among them is seemingly unshakeable. From strangers to family, they have created relationships to last a lifetime. Randels emphasized this strength.

“They are always very entertaining, and we have a lot of fun together,” Randels said. “I know we all have each other’s backs if we ever need anything, and I am very thankful for each of them. I will definitely miss all the hours spent together. It really has brought us together. I love that each person brings something a little different to the team.”

It’s been a long 20 months since the pandemic delivered a devastating blow to students all over the country, and reconciling with its damage takes a maturity. That’s exactly what the seniors this year took on. Finding calm in the chaos was the goal, and it paid off in the end.

I’ll admit, my high school volleyball career has been pretty chaotic, but what’s high school without a little chaos?” Randels said. “All in all, though, it was fun. No matter where I was put or whose team I was on, there was always something new to learn and improve on.”

Becoming so tightly allied as a team was not something that happened overnight. Through the pandemic, they have come to understand the importance of appreciating each other and the time they have to share together. 

This season’s varsity team consists of six seniors: Sara Cepeda, Stella Fetherson, Sophie Biehler, Paige Lawton, Mikayla Randels and Josie Phillips—all of whom will miss each other’s company and the environment of family they have found within each other. In any sport, the potential for a new sense of home is always there. The sport along with the social life behind it keeps athletes company.

A new addition to the family came this season given the team’s new coach, Tiffany Zwick. Many spectators and athletes this season are excited to see what is in store for the seasons to come with a refreshed coach.

From strangers to majors, the seniors this year all intend to go to college. Cepeda is seeking to start her postgraduate education with community college to get a feel for where she wants to go in life, and she has every intention of playing volleyball at the competitive level. Randels, like a plethora of graduates this year, is diligently taking her time to figure out which college she would like to attend, and she is also planning to try out for some intramural teams for some casual athletic fun. Lawton is looking to attend a university in the United Kingdom and to play volleyball recreationally. Biehler is hoping to commit to a college to play volleyball for in the near future, with intentions of becoming a physician’s assistant. Fetherson doesn’t plan on participating in volleyball through the college she attends, but rather through an independent club.

We wish these seniors luck in every endeavour and cannot wait for their success after graduation.