Monday, December 5, 2011

2011 Seniors

#13 Lauren Curtis, #1 Rachelle Allen, #17 Alex Penewell, #7 Chelsea Oemcke

“Another turning point; A fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist; Directs you where to go. So make the best of this test and don't ask why. It's not a question but a lesson learned in time. It's something unpredictable but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life. So take the photographs and still frames in your mind. Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time. Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial. For what it's worth, it was worth all the while. It's something unpredictable but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life.”
–“Time of Your Life” By Green Day
            The reality that volleyball is over is still not something that has really hit us, we still are in the locker room shaking our booties and sharing stories and laughs with our teammates. That’s the beauty of a team sport, you are never alone and you will always be a part of your team. Our group this past season has been tremendous. We are known around the athletic department as the loudest and best singing team MSU has to offer. We embrace that and are proud of our legacy. Our last two weekends will hopefully be the start of change that this program needed. We played as a unit and finally as the team we knew we could be all a season. As seniors looking back it is not the record we were striving for, but the personal growth and team mindset that we are leaving behind is a gratifying one.
However disappointing this season was for our wins and losses, only this team could have stayed as positive and left us seniors with so many unforgettable memories and smiles to fall back on. The freshmen were terrified of us, but they quickly learned that our sarcasm was endearing and our tormenting was nothing more than character building. And anyone that has seen our travel bags and wondered if a person could fit inside, the answer is yes; if the person in question is 5’4” Shayne. Our dear sophomores, Kellee, Spud, Sarah, and Baker; you four rival us in your ability to be obnoxious, we know that next year the team atmosphere of signing and joking will not be lost because you all will fill the void seamlessly. Barney, Macy, and Jenn the juniors and the ones who kept us grounded and focused, most of the time. When a joke went too far Macy was never too shy to let us know that we crossed that oh so thin line. Barney with her dance moves and Jenn with her too rare jokes provided the catalyst we needed to make it out to the most dreaded of practices. As seniors we hope to be remembered as the unpredictable quartet of unique laughter, unfiltered sarcasm, motherly love and limitless zest that we brought to every road trip, Shroyer practice, and home match.   
We all came to Montana State in different ways, and we will all leave it with different memories, but being a part of this program will keep us united forever. Wherever the four of us end up we will always be able to look up north and remember the amazing people and volleyball program we have given a little piece of ourselves to.  
Love always and forever,
Alex, Chelsea, Rachelle, and Lauren

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#12 Sarah Horton

This past week we had our last two matches of the season. We worked hard in practice and came out with two wins. The whole week we had a sense that we were gonna do it for our seniors. AND WE DID!

I know they were very grateful and the rest of us were told that it was the best gift they could have been given to finish out each of their careers.

Chelsea, Lauren, Rachelle, and Alex: you will be greatly missed and I hope next year we can become a great team that you all can be proud of.

AND REMEMBER: Once a bobcat, always a bobcat!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

#6 Nicole Baker

The season has come to a conclusion, and what a tumultuous, heartbreaking, exciting, and hilarious one it has been. This past weekend marked the final two games of our season, and I’m happy to say that it ended on a positive note. We beat both Weber State and Idaho State, and sent our seniors off in style. Speaking of the seniors, in order to commemorate their time here, I wrote a speech about them that I presented for the locker room before the game Saturday, and I will reiterate it for the pleasure of a wider audience.

Nicole’s Senior Night Speech
I really just want to share a couple of humorous tales about these seniors who I’ve been lucky enough to play with in order to honor their time here.

First up, Chelsea Oemecke. You’re probably the only person I’ve met in my life who might possibly be weirder than I am. Thank you for all those times my locker got too messy and you set a trashcan down in the middle of it to “subtly” hint at me to clean it up.

Rachelle: your candy craving will always be legendary. My favorite instance of this is on our spring bus trip when a snickers bar fell out of your bag, rolled all the way too front of the bus, and comes to rest at coach’s feet.  She immediately picks it up, and without asking an questions, yells “RACHELLE!!”

Lauren, you took my poor little terrified freshman self under your wing when I first got here, and we were friends ever since. You’re probably the only 6’2’’ college athlete in the world with a pillow pet called Darnelle. People have frequently asked me on trips when they see you holding it, talking to it, and snuggling with it, “She knows she’s in college right?”

Last but not least, my roommate Alex. Thank you for putting up with my antics, teaching me things around the kitchen that a 12 year old usually knows how to do, and pointing out to me when I make toast and run out of the house while leaving it sitting in the toaster.

The four of you are some of the best people and volleyball players I’ve ever had the pleasure to stand next to on the court, and I hope you all never forget all the weird, awkward, crazy, hilarious, and amazing times we’ve had on this team together, because I know I never will.

End of Speech

Perhaps the record this season doesn’t reflect our expected potential, but I know that the wonderful memories I’ve garnered from my time with the girls this season easily surpass the bad ones.

Monday, November 14, 2011

#13 Lauren Curtis

This past week was a short, productive two days of practice before we were off to California on Wednesday.  It was an exciting, but bittersweet last travel trip, especially for me and the other three seniors.   We came out strong against Sac State in the first set, but then things fell by the wayside.  We packed up and drove 2.5 hours to Frenso that night determined to make a change against Bakersfield.  Tired from the match and a night of travel we were all very grateful to have a home cooked meal at Sarah Horton’s house in the morning!  Everything her Mom, Aunt, and Grandma made was delicious!  We were all very excited to meet Sarah’s cat, George.  She talks about this cat all the time, and had even asked her Mom to allow her to bring him up to school with her.  She calls George “my pie.”  She definitely loves this cat!  I’m usually a dog person, but George was a very cute, white, fluffy, 10 year old cat!  After leaving Sarah’s house Scooter lead us to Bakersfield in just under two hours, woohoo!  We came out our first night against Bakersfield a little sloppy and unready to defend against their strong outside attack.  However, our second chance at them the next night, even with some of our players out with the flu, we were able to come together for a 3-0 win!!

The four seniors are all in Scooter’s van.  We had lot of fun this year, and are sad that it all is finally coming to an end!  This weekend we had many laughs and good times.  Scooter dancing to LMFAO, singing Adele, Rachelle’s hair falling out, Scoot impersonating the dog in the truck next to us, and so much more…all the #benifitsofdrivingwithscooter!  It’s all the little moments that I have learned to treasure.  In high school, near the end of my senior season my coach gave us all something to remind us of that.  It’s a laminated yellow sheet of paper with this quote: “To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only when you aren’t doing them. Once you are standing in front of the sink with your sleeves rolled up and your hands in the warm water, it is really quite pleasant. I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands. I know that if I hurry in order to eat dessert sooner, the time of washing dishes will be unpleasant and not worth living. That would be a pity, for each minute, each second of life is a miracle. The dishes themselves and that fact that I am here washing them are miracles!” -Thich Nhat Hanh.  I have kept this quote near and dear to my heart ever since.

I am very excited for a great final week of practices before we finish our season with two home matches!  I am happy that my family will be here this weekend to help me celebrate this chapter of my life coming to a close.  Come out and see our final matches against Weber State and Idaho State Friday and Saturday nights!  It has been an amazing ride and I am very happy to have shared it with all of you!  Thank you!  Go CATS!

Monday, November 7, 2011

#4 Shayne Kybartas

Hello fellow Bobcat fans!

This past week was definitely one of the best practice weeks  for  Bobcat volleyball. We worked hard every minute of each and every 3 hour practice in preparation for our match against the Grizz on Friday. Teammates were aggressively going for every ball, there was great communication between all the players, and each drill was not only finished, but fulfilled in record time. We departed campus Friday morning pumped up for our match against Montana.

The match started off a little shaky for us, losing 18-25 against the Grizz, but we came back the 2nd game winning 25-16. We won again the 3rd game cutting it a little close at 25-22, but unfortunately couldn’t keep the streak going for the 4th and 5th game. This match was an extremely heart-wrenching loss not only because the Grizz is our biggest rival, but also because we know we are capable of so much more. Even though the result might not have been in our favor, Bobcat volleyball has learned so much from intense matches like this one and it is only making us stronger. We are growing as a team and learning to work with each other to get through the difficult points throughout this season.

I look at this weekend positively in that now we will know what we need to do in order to change for our  matches upcoming this weekend. The season is almost over and Bobcat volleyball is ready to prove that we really are a team with heart and pride. We will travel to California this weekend and play Sacramento State on Thursday, Bakersfield on Friday, and Bakersfield again on Saturday. Tune in to watch us play, you won’t be disappointed. GO BOBCATS!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

#10 Jennifer Lundquist

After a good week of practice we were feeling good coming into this weekend against Portland State and Eastern Washington. On Friday, we faced off against the PSU Vikings. We played hard but we could not find a groove and couldn't seem to play as a cohesive unit. After a little inspirational speech from Derek (our previous academic advisor) we felt ready to have fun against Eastern Washington.

Flying to Cheney, everyone was in good spirits and had a yearning to win. That night, against Eastern Washington, we found our groove in the first set beating the Eagles. Unfortunately, as quickly as we found our groove, we lost it in the following sets. We rallied hard in the last set but couldn't pull out a victory. Overall, it was a tough weekend but we're not done fighting yet. We are prepared to work hard in practice and have fun this week preparing for the Griz match this weekend.

We are hoping to learn how to bring all of our skills together so that we can function best as a team. BTG!

Monday, October 24, 2011

#7 Chelsea Oemcke

We came off a good win from Seattle last Sunday and were hoping to carry that momentum into this weekend. We started off playing Northern Colorado, the top ranked team in the conference, on Friday night. We came out strong and confident from the start, which led to a win in the first set. Although we out hit them in the third set, we ended up falling short in the end to a good team.

Saturday night we came out with the same high energy as we did on Friday, which again gave us a win in the first set. Unfortunately, we did not adjust to their hitters quick enough for it to make a difference in the end. Even though the outcome of this weekend was not what we wanted, we proved that we increased our energy level and “scrappiness” than we have previously shown.

This week we will need to work on closing and eliminating our errors in the last five points of the match. This is the most critical time and we tend to freeze up our skills we had performed earlier throughout the match.  In practice, we will need to work on our whole defensive line, starting with the block and continuing to the back row. As well as remaining to be aggressive in every move we make. This will prepare us well for the upcoming matches on the road against Portland State and Eastern Washington.  LET’S GO CATS!!