Thunder defends the court against the right side attacker from La Cite.

Although the Algonquin Thunder women’s volleyball team won their last home game of the regular season against the Coyotes, the atmosphere in the gym was bittersweet as many would consider it the end closing in on their regular season.

The Thunder will be saying goodbye to seven seniors who have been with the team for multiple years. Before the game against La Cité Coyotes, Coach Everton Senior gave an emotional farewell to all of his parting seniors.

The heartfelt speech left some players in tears as they received their parting gifts. Photographs that had been taken of the women in past games were given to them at the small ceremony.

“This team has made the season super sweet and can’t wait to take it to nationals with them,” said Senior.

Senior spoke fondly about his players and the crowd, even talking about getting choked up and holding back tears as he spoke. Senior pulled through with the rest of his speech.

Sarah Martin, a second-year nursing student, and a second-year player were one of the seniors departing from the team.

“It’s bittersweet just cause it been such a privilege to be able to play a sport that I love while making friends with such wonderful young women,” said Martin. “It’s a season and everything must come to an end and I’m just ready for other things.”

Martin wasn’t the only senior with this feeling at the game. MC Ozorak, a social service student at Algonquin and fourth-year team member, relayed her bittersweet feelings by mentioning how it hurts just a little bit to spend four years at Algonquin and have to see it go away so quickly.

MC Ozorak, left-side, takes a deep breath before serving against La Cite Coyotes.

A new generation of players have gotten to know these seniors over the season. Emily Porter, a first-year cardiovascular technology student, spoke on how she’ll miss those players leaving.

“It’s kind of sad that the first season’s almost over,” said. Porter. “I’m going to miss the seniors but I am excited for next year as well.”

The Thunder had a few close calls in the first set against the Coyotes, bringing in a win at 27-25. Later on, the second set was where the magic truly started working, with the Thunder winning 25-10 and leaving the third set 25-23.

However, Coach Senior wasn’t too pleased with his team’s performance, expressing the lack of enthusiasm in the women for their final regular-season home game.

“I was not very happy with the energy, it’s just flat and I didn’t get to do the things I wanted to do,” said Senior. “I know It’s an emotional night but I expected to come out a little harder and what happened in the second set is what I was hoping for the three sets.”

The Thunder is moving up in the ranks in the OCAA, now sitting in second place out of 10 teams in the East division. The next time Thunder will be on the court will be on Feb. 15 against Loyalist.