One last regular season home game. That was all that the starting three seniors, Nikki DeSerpa, Stephanie Stone, and Megan Fergus, had left for the season and their careers. “It’s definitely a really strange feeling knowing that’s the last time I’ll play a game in McCann,” DeSerpa said. “We’ve had a lot of wins and a lot of hard losses on this court so it’s a really surreal moment but we just want to leave it all out there one last time.” And, trust me, leave it out there they did in the form of a three-set victory over the Manhattan Jaspers.
Prior to the start of the game, a ceremony was held for the seniors. Each was given gifts so that they will always remember the time they spent at Marist. “It’s hard to imagine yourself being in that situation and now that it’s here, it is definitely emotional,” Stone said. “Because, for us, it’s not like high school. There is no next for us after this, so you’re really just reflecting on pretty much your whole career as a volleyball player. For me, it’s been nine years and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
But the night wasn’t about remembering the old days or thinking about when their seasons may officially end. The night was about bringing home a win in McCann one last time. The players felt it. The crowd felt it. They would bring home that win.
With the blow of a whistle, the first set began and just as quickly as it started, Marist was up 10-4. Nikki DeSerpa and Sarah Austin were demolishing the ball from the corners, blowing it past defenders. McKinley Fox had some nice aces from float serves, and there was great awareness all around, especially from Marist’s defensive specialist Courtney Kasperski. Marist went on to win the first set by a score of 25-14.
The trends from the first set carried on into the next two sets, with Megan Fergus heating up as the game went on, getting fantastic, clutch kills and digs. Marist defeated Manhattan in the second set by a score of 25-17 and won the third set by a score of 25-18. Megan Fergus finished with 13 kills and 10 digs, while Nikki DeSerpa tallied 12 kills and 10 digs, Stephanie Stone got 4 kills, and McKinley Fox set the ball 41 times. That’s a lot of numbers, indicating but one thing: this was a team win.
After the game, Fergus said, “The past four years have truly been amazing… it’s just meant the world to me to be able to come in here for our last game, come take a win in our last weekend, and put ourselves in a good seat for the championships.” Those championships will begin on Friday, November 22 and will go until Sunday, November 24.
“Today, there were some upsets. There is either a three-way tie or a four-way tie for second place,” coach Sean Byron said of the playoff push. “So, we could be anywhere from second to fifth place. All we can do now is take care of our side. We played all the teams before. We are going to have to play three matches or two matches for the two seed and I think we are pretty tuned into where those teams are and I think we just keep playing.”
The Red Foxes will need to keep playing their best brand of volleyball now that they are headed to the playoffs, where no team will be easy to beat.
Edited by Will Bjarnar