By Anneke Banda
The Pamplin gymnasium was filled with a wide array of emotions on the night of Nov. 3. Six seniors: Casey Myzkowski ’19, Annika San Nicholas ’19, Mikayla Lopez ’19, Kourtney Meyer ’19 , Hannah Robles ’19 and Samantha Yorke ’19 played the last game of their college careers. The Pioneers fell short of a victory, losing to the Northwest Conference Champions, Pacific Lutheran, in three sets. However, the players did not go down without a fight, taking the Lutes to close sets of 25-22, 25-20, and 25-19.
Before the match began, the seniors were escorted across the court by their families while the announcer listed the numerous accomplishments they achieved during their time at Lewis & Clark. Myzkowski, a four-year starter, finished her career with 159 assisted blocks, making her fifth all-time at LC. Lopez, a setter, finished her career with 94 service aces and 1,654 assists, making her fourth all-time in both categories. Starting libero, a special defensive position, San Nicolas, finished her career with 755 digs. Yorke, a setter/right side hitter, ended her career with 117 kills, 542 assists, and 174 digs. Robles, a transfer from San Diego City College, finished her career with 88 kills, 40 blocks, and 127 digs. Lastly, Meyer, an outside/middle blocker finished her career with 817 kills and 185 assisted blocks, making her fifth all-time in kills and second all-time in blocks. On Monday, Nov. 5, it was announced that Meyer had been selected to the All-Northwest Conference First Team.
For the players the team is not simply a program, it is a family. Meyer had an extremely successful career and looked back on what she has gained from being a four-year player.
“It’s taught me how to work as a team and appreciate the people you are with everyday,” Meyer said.
Starting six-rotation freshman, Anela Pakaki-Pias ’22, reflected on her time with the senior players.
“The seniors taught me to be a leader on the court and believe in myself. In fact, they probably believed in me more than I did a majority of the season,” Pakaki-Pias said. “Over time, they got hard on me and told me to do it myself and that’s what I love the most about them, they hold me accountable.”
This year the team welcomed a new coaching staff: head coach Emily Hayes and assistant coaches Hannah Stinson, former player Bailee Cragun ’19, and Patrick Rockenbaugh.
Hayes praised the seniors for what they accomplished for the team and themselves.
“These seniors have left a lasting impact on the Lewis & Clark volleyball program that reflects servant leadership, grit, and a commitment to always improving,” Hayes said. “They have grown into unique and effective leaders in the short time I have known them, and this quality will take them places after graduation. I am so proud of the women they are and I can confidently say that this program is better because they were a part of it.”
It’s easy to see that though the seniors will be greatly missed, their hard work and dedication will not be forgotten. They are leaving behind a program that they have worked together over the years to build and taking away from it a unique experience that not every LC student has had the opportunity to be a part of.