Women's volleyball vs UP

Gonzaga celebrates after being awarded a point during the second set of the Dig Pink breast cancer awareness game versus the Portland Pilots on Oct. 22. Gonzaga won all three sets in the home match at the Martin Center, moving their record to 12-7 overall.

After a combined 1,687 sets played, 2,665 kills and 2,368 digs, the six seniors on the Gonzaga volleyball team head into their final two home matches of their careers.

As their time as Zags wind down, they reflect on their careers as a Bulldog. 

Each player answered these questions via email.

Morgan Douglass

Gonzaga Bulletin: What will you miss most about life at Gonzaga? And volleyball specifically?

Morgan Douglass: I’m going to miss being able to walk into the locker room at the end of each day to laugh and/or commiserate with my teammates. Finishing my career at Gonzaga is much more than just the last four years – it is an entire chapter of my life coming to an end. 

GB: What legacy does your group of seniors hope to leave?

MD: All of the girls in my class have dedicated themselves to turning this program around … Each year, the culture has tremendously improved ... the team’s chemistry is as good as it ever has been, and the relationship between coaches and players is very strong.

GB: Anyone you would like to thank for your opportunity and/or time in the program? 

MD: To all of my Zag coaches … Thank you for never sugarcoating anything and giving me a kick in the butt when I needed it … To my teammates, thank you for your friendship. You have each been an inspiration and motivator through your work ethic and dedication. You guys have made this ride fun, doable and worthwhile. To my family, thank you for attending all of my sporting events, since the time I was 5 … Some of you (Mom and Dad) have even traveled to all of my away games – if that’s not the epitome of a super fan, I don’t know what is.

McKayla Ferris

GB: What has your final season at Gonzaga been like?

McKayla Ferris: I put a lot of pressure on myself this senior season to not only succeed but also to never take a single second for granted … and further the relationships I had already made with the upperclassmen … aka my bestest friends.

GB: What legacy does your group of seniors hope to leave?

MF: An amazing work ethic.  We may not be the biggest, tallest team in the conference but we will outwork any team for a W.  

GB: What is your personal highlight in your time here?

MF: Every time I lace up, I reflect on how lucky I am to wear the Gonzaga name on my shirt.  

GB: Anyone you would like to thank for your opportunity and/or time in the program? 

MF: My family for always believing in me.  Coach Gantt for offering me the opportunity to follow my dream.  Coach Diane Nelson for being my idol.  The coaching staff as a whole for always pushing me to reach my potential. My trainers, Leanne Stockton and staff, for taking care of my broken self.  My professors, specifically Dr. Oosterhuis, for understanding that I had to miss class a lot. And my teammates for always being my family.

Emmy Allen

GB: Any regrets in your time here?

Emmy Allen: That I never got to play (and beat) Diane in sand volleyball. 

GB: What legacy does your group of seniors hope to leave?

EA: We hope to leave behind a legacy of unwavering belief in what this program can accomplish. When each of us decided to commit to Gonzaga, it was a commitment to be the change. During our recruitment this program hadn’t seen success in a long time and didn’t have all the bells and whistles of many top programs. 

GB: What is your personal highlight in your time here?

EA: My personal highlight was when Faith got hit in the face in a game when she was trying to dig and the ball hit her so hard that it bounced over and we won the point ... The best part was that it’s all on film. 

GB: Anyone you would like to thank for your opportunity and/or time in the program? 

EA: The coaching staff and all of my teammates. These individuals have created a culture in this program that is unlike anywhere else. Even more specifically Diane. On a personal level she has been the coach any player would want. I have never had a doubt in my mind that she believes in me. I have never had a coach that was able to instill so much confidence in my game. She will accomplish amazing things with this program.

Paige Folger

GB: What will you miss most about life at Gonzaga? And volleyball specifically?

Paige Folger: I am going to miss being able to see my team every day. They have been with me through the highs and lows and I can’t even imagine what it will be like to not have them there to run up and hug whenever I want.

GB: What has your final season at Gonzaga been like?

PF: This is such a special group of girls. They have more heart and determination than any other group I have ever played with and I wouldn’t want to end my time here with anyone else … I am excited to step aside for the next girl to take my place and start her own journey with Gonzaga Volleyball.

GB: Anyone you would like to thank for your opportunity and/or time in the program? 

PF: I would like to thank Coach Gantt for taking a chance on me back in high school. I want to thank Diane for taking over such a huge role and pouring her heart and soul into this program and elevating it to a whole new level. I really could not have asked for a better coaching staff.

Sarah Bradley 

GB: What will you miss most about life at Gonzaga? And volleyball specifically?

Sarah Bradley: Gonzaga has become a very special place to me where I have grown and found my own. The professors, classmates and sense of community will always hold a special place in my heart.  Volleyball has been a part of my life since I was in the fifth grade and these last five years playing with this group of people has been the best yet. I will miss seeing these girls every day.

GB: Any regrets in your time here?

SB: I tend to not want to regret anything in life. The years I have been here have flown by so fast that it was hard to grasp each amazing chance I was given to improve in my game and on myself. I wish I had another season with this group of amazing people.

GB: Anyone you would like to thank for your opportunity and/or time in the program? 

SB: I would like to thank anyone who has been my teammate over the course of these five years. They have all been an inspiration to me both on and off the court. I would like to thank the coaching staff for believing in me and pushing me to my potential. And I would like to thank my family for always being there for me no matter what and motivating me to be better.

Imani Wimbush

GB: What will you miss most about life at Gonzaga? And volleyball specifically?

Imani Wimbush: I will miss the community, atmosphere and people the most. Gonzaga is such a friendly and open place. Volleyball has been such an important part of my life ... I have my coaches and teammates to thank for that. Without them, I don’t know if I or my time here at Gonzaga would have been the same. 

GB: What has your final season at Gonzaga been like?

IW: The feeling is amazing and we have had some crazy highs. From the wins, to the laughs, to being on the road and traveling the most we ever have this preseason, to playing against the reigning national champs (Nebraska) with 9,000 fans and to the jokes in the locker room. 

Justin Reed is a sports editor. Follow him on Twitter: @JustinReed99. Contact him at justin.reed15@gmail.com.

 

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