Maureen Schick: Four-Year Road to the Resch

Maureen Schick, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

I walked into my new home for the next four years of my life, looked around the gym and took a deep breath. Freshman year tryouts. I knew that by the end of the night, I would be starting what would hopefully be a successful and memorable four years with the NDA volleyball program, but what I didn’t know or possibly conceive in my mind was how successful and memorable those four years would truly be.

I started out my first season on Varsity as any lone freshman on a team with all juniors and seniors would be: scared out of my mind. I don’t think I spoke any words for the first month with the exception of apologizing for any bad sets I made. When I realized I would actually be playing that year and not merely sitting the bench, I became even more scared. As a freshman, I absolutely did not want to step on anyone’s toes. The season went on, however, the team took me in, and I loved looking up to all the players. I knew that I wanted to lead like they did, and I made a promise to myself to do so when we lost in the Sectional Semi-Finals that year to Berlin, who went on to take the State Championship. It was my first year in the program not knowing a single soul on the team. But that year I learned the values of dedication and perseverance.

Fast forward to sophomore year, and I was back in the gym. This time, though, I was no longer the scared little freshman, but the confident sophomore. This team may have arguably been one of the closest teams in NDA history. We had exceptional players on our team, but what really made this season special was the bond I created with those girls. When you spend every day together (weekends included), you can’t help but become close. I think the special part for me was the fact that even though I was still a younger member on the team, I was able to be surrounded by a family full of people who held the same dreams as me. The NDVB family smiled together, laughed together and cried together, and again it was a painful ending when we also lost together in the Sectional Semi-Finals to Oconto Falls. It was this year that taught me that being family isn’t limited to just bloodline.

Junior year was perhaps one of the toughest years for me as a part of NDVB. As I mentioned earlier, I made a promise to myself my freshman year to be the leader I so admired in the seniors at that time, and this was the year where I kept my promise. With half our team being new players, I took on the large role of being a team captain, and I did my best to lead by example. Being in a sport is not always all fun, however. There were tough losses we faced in this year that we had not necessarily faced in the past; sometimes things needed to be said that weren’t always easy to say, and when the going got tough, it wasn’t always easy to find the motivation to push through. It was one of the toughest moments by far when, for the third year in a row, our team lost in the Sectional Semi-Finals to Luxemburg Casco. This was the year I learned that falling down is a part of life but that getting back up is living.

Fast forward to three months ago, August. It was my last time going through tryouts, and I could not have been more excited to get the season going. When teams were picked, practices started and the first tournament was through, I knew right away this was a special team. Not many teams in NDA history can say they’ve gone 25-0 to start the season. But that wasn’t necessarily the part that made this team special; it was the bond we had begun to create that made our team unstoppable. We had a wide-spread of ages on the team: one freshman, four sophomores, four juniors and four  seniors. But to us, age didn’t seem to matter; we were a sisterhood.

At the beginning of the season, each of us wrote down goals we had for the season, and we put them in an envelope to touch before each game to remind ourselves what we wanted to accomplish. We were to tell no one what we had written until our season had ended where we would then open the envelope and see where our hard work had gotten us.

With the season officially over, I guess it’s fair game to share some of mine. 1. Grow as a team.  2. Win Conference.  3. Win 3 out of 4 tournaments. And finally, 4. Win Regionals, Sectionals and make it to the Resch. These have been my four same goals every year since I started on the team as a freshman, and every year we had always fallen short. Until this year. As we accomplished each one of my goals, I grew more and more excited and proud of everything we had done.

The most rewarding moment in all of my four years as part of NDVB, however, was when finally, for the first year in Notre Dame history, our team won in the Sectional Finals against Winneconne and were welcomed with open arms to the Resch. This was the year that I learned high school sports is bigger than oneself, and that it is the journey, not the ending, that is the reward.