BCVB 2022: A Reflection through the Eyes of a Senior
By Zach Pressnell
#8 Caitlin Shannon
#11 Brooke Dahlgren
#24 Shayne Sanders
#30 Riley Felton
#32 Alaina Torres
#46 Alicia Dixon
A Look Back on 2022
The 2022 volleyball season looked to be an eventful and successful one for the Bethany College volleyball team. They came into the year ranked as the preseason favorite to win the PAC (President’s Athletic Conference). They brought back their team leader in digs (Asia Crim, 323 digs), their team leader in total blocks (Emma Marthins, 87 total blocks), and they returned 888 of their 1212 total kills from the 2021 season.
The 2022 season looked to be filled with nothing but success. But that isn’t how life works and that’s not how volleyball works. Adversity struck early as the Bison played a challenging non-conference schedule, leaving them with a 3-7 record with 20 games left to play. There were a few issues that seemed to trouble the Bison.
Senior Riley Felton recognized their two main problems as “Selfishness and overcoming adversity.”
“As a team, you won’t succeed being selfish and you have to realize the game is bigger than just yourself. Overcoming selfishness doesn’t take a day or two. It took us a long time to realize winning doesn’t work by yourself,” Felton said.
But when the Bison got through these issues as a team, they absolutely burst back on the scene in the PAC standings. They snuck into the playoffs as the 6 seed after finishing the season 14-6 in the last 20 games and they still faced an uphill battle to winning the conference. They would need to go through three away games in 5 days, traveling to Allegheny to start.
The first-round playoff game could be tabbed as the “Destiny Goodnight Game” as Destiny tallied a season high 17 kills in the game. She seemed to take the game over towards the end as the Bison rolled the Allegheny Gators in 4 sets, 3-1.
The PAC semi-final game found them matched up with Grove City College, a team that had already defeated Bethany earlier in the year. This game was much closer, pushing to 5 sets. The Bison had 5 players in the double digits in kills in the game as well as Alaina Torres tallying 54 assists in the game. Torres also tallied her 2000th career assist in the contest. Bethany snuck out with the 3-2 win in 5 sets, upsetting the Grove City Wolverines.
Next was the PAC Championship, where they were matched up with the Thiel Tomcats, a powerhouse team that had compiled a 9-1 record in the conference, with their only loss being to Bethany. Lightning would strike the Tomcats twice as the Bison would defeat Thiel in 4 sets, 3-1, claiming their first PAC Championship since 2018.
Riley Felton said it best when she stated, “Being ranked the number 1 seed at the beginning of the season and falling to the 6 seed made us grittier. We left it all out on the court and we were able to make a complete turn around and beat the number 1 seed in the Championship.”
The Impact of a Senior
The impact of a senior is something that is hard to put into words. For anybody that has ever played a sport, they would vouch to the true impact that the senior classes ahead of them had on them as athletes and people. Seniors are typically a bridge between a younger player and the coach. Seniors can be role models, either in a good or a bad way.
Thankfully, Bethany College Volleyball was blessed with 6 incredible role models and 6 incredible leaders in their 2022 Senior class.
The impact of a senior goes far beyond their play on the court. Of course, these 6 women are incredibly talented athletes. But their teammates will remember them for the love, care, compassion, patience, and leadership they each showed through their tenure at Bethany.
The leadership element was quite evident to the spectators in the stands, as one of these seniors often took charge in huddles before and during the games. The Bethany seniors have passed down a tradition of excellence, energy, and passion that the 2023 team will surely carry on and pass down to their future teammates.
But what do these women hope they meant to the program?
“So, if I impacted my teammates in any way, I hope that I showed them what a good teammate is and I hope I showed them what being a part of this game and this program truly means,” Riley Felton said.
We are proud of you 2022 seniors. Your passion for the game and for each other is incredible.
Take a bow, you deserve it.