Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Seniors set the bar high; at SEMO volleyball senior night

Friday, November 19, 2021

The SEMO volleyball seniors celebrated senior night with coaches, teammates, family and friends on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Houck Field House.

Head coach Julie Yankus said she knew senior night was going to be emotional for her.

“This group of seniors is very special,” Yankus said. “They've been a core group that's been on the court for many years. They're all friends off the court.”

Senior setter Claire Ochs talked about the day she’s been dreaming of.

“I don’t think it's hit me yet, but it was definitely very emotional,” Ochs said. “It was the best senior night a senior could ask for, especially being able to win in front of a huge crowd.”

Outside hitter Laney Malloy said she has a different perspective of what senior night meant to her.

“My twin being able to fly in and surprise me meant so much. I honestly didn’t think she was going to be able to come since she had a game the day before senior night, but having her in the stands and knowing she was cheering for me was an amazing feeling,” Malloy said.

Ochs said she wants to leave an on-court legacy with the team.

“I want to leave the competitiveness with the team; I hope that continues once I'm gone,” Ochs said.

Malloy wants her teammates to know that when the season ends, each teammate will always have a special place in her heart.

“One of my old coaches always used to say that, ‘in 20 years, your teammates aren't going to remember how you played or those big plays you made. They're gonna remember how you treated them’ and that’s something that has stuck with me since high school,” Malloy said.

Yankus said she is proud of the way her seniors played this season.

“They definitely have a lot more wins than losses with this season and last season combined. They’ve learned how to play together,” Yankus said.

The seniors and the SEMO volleyball team ended their regular season as 14-4 in the OVC and became co-champions with the team they beat, Morehead State. The first round of the tournament for SEMO is at 6p.m. on Nov. 18 at Houck Field House against Eastern Illinois University.