Humboldt State Volleyball concluded the 2021 campaign this past weekend with a pair of home matches on Thursday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 13. The team dropped both matches, losing in four sets on Thursday to Cal State Dominguez Hills and in three straight sets on Saturday to Cal State Los Angeles.
Saturday’s final home match also stood as Senior Day, as the Lumberjacks celebrated their five graduating seniors before the game: outside hitter Christa Pilgrim, middle blocker Jasmine McNeal, libero Carla Crespo, outside hitter Lenox Loving and outside hitter Hannah Cantrell.
For head coach Kelly Wood, it was good to be able to send her seniors off after a difficult year on the court.
“It’s always one of the most challenging days of the year, your final day of season,” Wood said. “No matter how it ends, it’s just so emotional and difficult because you’ve had so many of these girls in your program for so many years and you just develop strong relationships with these kids.”
Coach Wood also said she was proud of the resilience her team showed throughout a long, tough season.
“I was just so impressed with the resiliency of our older girls,” the coach said. “They stay positive. They kept working hard. We all stayed unified as a group and I was just really impressed with the way they handled this season.”
For senior Iibero Carla Crespo, the memories she made at Humboldt on and off the court will remain.
“I’ve definitely made some of the best friends in my life,” Crespo said. “I’ve learned so much, just from the community and volleyball, and I’ve met just so many amazing people. I would never ever ever take it back.”
Senior transfer Hannah Cantrell also said how rewarding the experience at Humboldt was.
“I went to the University of Montana before this,” Cantrell said. “But Humboldt was always the dream. I love it here. When I was a kid, I used to come up here and visit, and in high school I was always like, ‘Oh I wanna go to Humboldt State!’ I ended up transferring here and I don’t regret it one single bit.”
For many of the seniors, having the opportunity to compete and finish their career at home in front of fans after so much Covid uncertainty made the moment extra special.
“With the Covid year, it was kinda like, ‘ok, maybe that was the last one,’” Cantrell said. “It’s kinda been touch and go for a minute their. I’m just so grateful I got one last season with the crowd, with the fans, with the girls and with our coaches. We weren’t really expecting at the beginning of the year to even have a crowd. It was kind of a surprise, and it wouldn’t have been the same environment without them at all.”
The team finished the 2021 campaign with a final record of 3-18 and 2-16 in conference play.