Four Cougar seniors bid farewell before last home game
When the match point is scored Sunday afternoon, it will mark the last home game for four seniors on the women’s volleyball team. While there are three road games after the match against UCF on Sunday, setters Abby Simmons, Katie Norris, middle blocker Chandace Tryon and right side hitter Stephanie Nwachukwu will conclude their UH careers.
“It’s a very bittersweet moment. That’s the only real way to describe it, Norris said. “It’s awesome that it is our last home game because it’s just been great being a senior, but also sad in a way. It’s the last time you’ll ever play in front of your home crowd. It’s the last time you’ll play around the people that you know from around school or mean the most to you.”
Norris, a transfer from Ole Miss, has been the leader of the team for the season.
For Simmons, who spent the beginning of her career at the University of Utah where she was a three-time Mountain West All-Academic Team member, said the end is hard to believe.
“It’s kind of surreal right now. The seniors and I were talking about it and it just seems weird that this season has come to an end so quickly,” Simmons said. “It just went by really fast. I’m excited to be able to play my last game here, but at the same time not being a part of the team anymore is going to be sad.”
Tryon and Nwachukwu echoed the bittersweet summation of their teammates.
“This has been my life for such a big portion of my life,” Nwachukwu said. “It’s hard knowing that it’s going to be over, but at the same time it’s cool that I’m going to move on, kind of be a little more grown up.”
Tryon plans to take all that she’s learned into her future.
“It’s really sad, actually,” Tryon said. “But I’ve learned not only playing styles on the court, but life lessons as well.”
Though, they’re departing for a life beyond UH, Simmons offered advice to the players who will replace them.
“I’m really excited for them. I would tell them to cherish the moments that they have with their teammates and to always compete because that’s the fun part of volleyball; competition,” she said. “Always keeping that passion for the game and never forget why you play.”