Girls Volleyball Senior Night

by Mary Murphy

Seniors Grace Clark, Ella Johnson, Melis Kocak, Neala Bijari and Jillian Tracey from the EG Girls Volleyball team and their families pose for a photo after the senior speeches, flowers and gifts. 

East Greenwich girls volleyball had their senior night on Friday, October 21st against Cumberland. The entrance of the seniors, wearing red, heart-shaped sunglasses, set the energy for that night’s game. The seniors, including Grace Clark, Ella Johnson, Melis Kocak, Neala Bijari and Jillian Tracey, were honored with beautifully written speeches by their fellow teammates, school themed decorations, big posters for each of them and thoughtful gifts and flowers from their team. The night was bittersweet but simultaneously full of excitement and fun times. From the start of warm-ups, the audience could feel the enthusiasm, passion and connectivity between all of the players and ultimately their love for the game and one another. 

In the first set, the EG girls volleyball team was pumped up and ready to go. They started off strong and the energy was high with their continuous support for their teammates with high fives, shoulder bumps and words of encouragement. Ella Johnson and Melis Kocak had multiple kills, scoring points for their team. Grace Clark had an excellent setters dump which caught Cumberland off guard. Jillian Tracey had fantastic passes and did a great job redirecting the ball to her teammates, for them to then volley over the net. The whole team played a great first set, with excellent communication and chemistry that led to them winning the set 25-22. It was a great way to start off the game for the EG girls. 

The girls played excellent in the second set as well and worked seamlessly with one another. Throughout both sets (and the whole game), the team was positive and didn’t get down on themselves. Instead, they picked each other back up and kept on working. Dessa Molina Martins, a Sophomore and a member of the team, states, “This game was a big accomplishment for us. Winning is important and great, but what was even more special is that we were able to stay positive and keep fighting until the end.” Some highlights from the second set was Neala coming out strong with the blocks against the opponent. Grace had excellent serves that made it hard for Cumberland to return. Jillian had several amazing digs and passes, making her a really big contributor to the consistency throughout the game. Melis did a great job finding the floor and being smart with her plays that she made. Lastly, Ella was guarding the net very well and had good spikes that were a challenge for the other team to handle. With the impact of the other players on the team and all of these highlights combined, EG was able to win the second set 25-19. 

East Greenwich was going very strong and they had lots of energy and excitement trying to win this set in order to win the game. Everything that went well in the first two sets, were continued in the 3rd set and the team also made some adjustments based on the previous sets. Both of these components, along with positive energy from the whole team, gave EG a strong advantage going into the third set. Jillian had a long service run with excellent serves. Neala and Melis both got one or more kills and Neala had a service run and many aces following that. The East Greenwich girls volleyball team had a great game from start to finish. They one the third and final set 25-17, and ultimately won the game against Cumberland High School. It was a terrific night for the Seniors, the entire team and their families. EG looked strong, excited and united at last Friday’s senior night game.

East Greenwich and Cumberland high five each other after the game. EG wins 3-0 (sets).