Volleyball seniors ‘set’ to say goodbye


Hailee Munno, Staff Writer

As the North girls’ volleyball season comes to a close, the team says goodbye to its seniors. Due to Covid-19, the seniors’ final year was cut short.

“With the shortened off-season and season, we were limited on doing the things we would normally do with our seniors, but we’ve made the best of it.” Slechta said. 

For four years, seniors Jia Renzi, Isabella Horzen, McKenna Clinton, Rachel Haubert, Mackenzie Grant and Emma Callow have made memories to last a lifetime. 

“My favorite memories are the bus rides on the way to games,” Horzen said.  “I would bring my speaker, and we would listen to throwback songs while Coach D. would yell at us for the song being ‘too inappropriate’, even though it was the clean version.” 

During their time on the team, the girls worked hard building not only their skill set but learning life lessons.  “Skill wise my passing has improved the most, but in life it has taught me great communication skills,” Horzen said.

Life skills utilized off the court  have been taught to the seniors as well. .

“Volleyball has had a great impact on my leadership skills and has helped me grow to work well with others,” Clinton said.

Varsity coach Matthew Slechta will miss this particular year’s seniors. Slechta started at North in 2017, and is mindful of their unique connection. 

“We all started at North together in the same year, so there are many memories we have as a group and many I have witnessed and been a part of with them individually for the last four years,” Slechta said.  “They have helped make me a better coach over the years and I am very grateful for that.” 

Slechta has watched the seniors improve on and off the court.

“The seniors have continued to carry on the tradition of the program.” Slechta said. “They have been major contributors on each team they have been a part of these past four years and have tremendous demeanor in practice and on the court during games.”

While beginning his coaching career the same year as the girls began their high school volleyball career, Slechta watched  these girls grow and find their biggest strengths.

“It has been great to see how they have developed as both volleyball players and as people the last four years,” Slechta said.  “They are all very humble and are phnenomensal role models to our underclassmen. The goal of each seniors class is to leave the program better than they found it, and that happens year in and year out in this program without failure.” 

While the girls will cherish their time playing as a Tiger, Clinton looks forward to a volleyball career post high school.  .

“I’m very excited to continue playing volleyball in the fall at Elmhurst University, but will always miss my teammates and volleyball family here at North,” Clinton said.