Tristan Davis – 1851 Staff
As the volleyball flew out of bounds and the Rivier College Raiders earned match point in the Greater Northeast Athletic Conference semi-finals versus my teammates and me, my first ever collegiate volleyball season came to an end as abruptly as it started. We packed our belongings, gathered the med kits and water bottles, and took our long faces back to the dorms.
I hate to start my last column of the year on such a low note, but in this sad moment I actually found a lot of good. As we rode in silence on the hot, small, foul-smelling greyhound bus, I took a moment to look back on the last few months and all that I had learned from our season. Most of what I found was hardly volleyball-related.
First of all, I learned that being only one of two freshmen, for lack of a better word, sucks. It’s sort of like being the family dog. Everyone does care about you and they want to see you enjoying yourselves, but if they find urine on the carpet, you are automatically 100 percent at fault. Not to say that happened, but my co-freshman Pat and I were in charge of maintenance, setting up the net, water bottles, food and the med kit. These were things we never wanted to do, but did anyways because the freshmen before us did and so will next year’s unlucky newcomers. Unless, of course, they’re bigger than me.
Second of all, I am now able to say I have played with and against some of the best Division III volleyball players that the nation has to offer. On welcome weekend, a few of my teammates found me and told me about an open gym where I can play with and meet everyone. We started with a scrimmage drill, and the first person to hit at me was all-GNAC pick Dan Raffol. I distinctly remember his vascular python of a right arm crank the volleyball about five feet in front of me to this day. It was the scariest “welcome to college” greeting I’ve ever gotten.
But most of all, I learned what it really means to have a brand new group of people that start as strangers and end as brothers. Through thick and thin, I’ve always had my teammates to count on and couldn’t be prouder of them this season if I tried. They made me a better player, student, and overall person. And for that, I am grateful.
So I bid you farewell, Lasers. Everyone take care this summer. Have fun and come back next semester ready to play even better.