Road to the ‘ship


From the very beginning, Coach Patrick Robidoux knew that the group of young women he had brought in were special. Competitive and hardworking through and through, we fought and earned our spot as conference champions. This, of course, was not the easiest of feats. The season was like a roller coaster; the highs were so high but the lows, were very low. At the start of our season one of our strongest players tore her ACL, a tragedy that could have destroyed our team, but nevertheless, we persevered. As the season progressed we kept winning, and winning, and winning. When we finally faced Trinity College, however, our winning streak vanished. This loss was just a reminder that it is not easy to fight your way to the top, and it is even harder to stay on top.

After going 6-0 in our conference play, we faced Elms College, the team that in 2017 SVC had lost to in the semifinals. We were out for revenge, plain and simple. That night was a devastating loss, as we had let the win slip through our fingers 3-1. With no time to mourn,we were back in the gym working the next day, knowing we would face Elms again. The next big game was against Eastern Nazarene, a strong program with amazing talent. Eastern Naz played phenomenally, as well as SVC even; however, in the deciding fifth set Eastern Naz pulled through. Another devastating loss for SVC. We were now seeded third with Elms in second and Eastern Naz on top.

Reflecting on the season as we entered playoffs, it was hard not to commend us for all we had accomplished. We fought through many, MANY, injuries, lineup changes, and personal tragedies. This team had been through the ringer and we weren’t done yet. We had a job to do, something to prove. With the championship as our end goal, we plowed through Baypath one point at a time to secure our place in the semifinals where we once again faced Elms College. We were ready, and we were not going down without a fight. No SVC athletics team has ever won a playoff game at Elms College, but that day we rewrote history as we defeated Elms in a hard fought 3-2 match. As the crowd stormed the court I couldn’t recall a time when I had ever been happier. Upsetting Elms was just the beginning and Eastern Naz was next.

After the match we were back at it, preparing to face ENC once again. In the days leading up to the match, students came up to me asking if we were going to win, my only response was “losing is not an option.” As we drove to ENC, all of us were confident in our abilities to beat this team. At this point, we had nothing to lose. We fought through so much to be standing in that gym that day. All the blood, sweat, and tears were going to be worth it. We were NOT letting all our hard work go to waste; there was no other option but to win. When we were up 2-1 in the fourth set, the score being 27-26 us, watching the ball drop on their side and the score flip to 28-26, we absolutely lost it. I now knew that defeating Elms was just a taste of what this felt like, what winning a championship felt like. As the crowd flooded the court, embracing everyone in hugs, I personally couldn’t believe that it was real. Everything that I had worked for, everything that I sacrificed, all the people that told me I could never do it, it was all worth it to be standing in that gym with a Championship Trophy and an All-Tournament Award in my hands. Losing to Elms and ENC during conference play gave our team an advantage during playoffs because we had the burning need to win. Coach Robidoux states in the ENC post-game interview that “it is not just the will to win, it is the need to win,” and we as a team exemplified that that day. Losing was never an option, and that mindset is what won us a championship.