“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
The past two years have literally flown by. It is hard to believe that my athletic career is over, but I can honestly say that I have had the best collegiate experience. I have done it all. From being a regular student to a walk-on Division 1 athlete, I am so proud to call myself a Hokie. Being on the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team taught me so much. I am thankful for all my experiences and for my teammates. I admire and respect each one of them for different reasons.
First, my fellow seniors: I really look up to Alyssa Fenyn, her leadership, and love of the game. She made me want to get better each day to help my team be successful. Her passion for basketball is totally infectious, and I know she wanted more than anyone to win her last game in college. I am so lucky to not only call her my teammate but also one of my friends. As for Aerial Wilson, I wish I had her quick first step. She stepped up as our point guard and her star-studded performance against Georgia Tech is something I'll never forget. Last but definitely not least is Rachel Nichols. Her quirky sense of humor, I know, kept the team sane when we faced adversity. She has the ability to ease any situation and brighten everyone’s day, especially mine. I am so glad I got to share these past two years with her. She is honestly one of my best friends.
As for the juniors, Monet Tellier is by far one of the best basketball players I have ever seen. Her knowledge of the game and her ability to make plays are incredible. She has an amazing future in the sport. Porschia Hadley, we joke, is our team granny. She has an old soul, and we all love her for it. She never complains. She can charm anyone with her sweet personality, and I will really miss her. Nia Evans, or "Miss Nia" as I like to call her, is the perfect blend of sweet and sassy. She is one of my favorite players to cheer on because, when she is in the game, she works her butt off! She will fight 'til the end, and I love that about her. And Uju Ugoka is a truely gifted athlete. All season, she battled with her knee pain but overcame it to finish out the season strong.
As for the sophomores, Kelsey Conyers kept the team grounded. With her strong faith and love, Kelsey wanted us to be successful. As walk-ons, we spent countless hours getting in extra work before and after practice. I have gotten so close with Kelsey and will really miss her. Larryqua Hall is incredibly charismatic. I am really going to miss seeing her every day and especially her neon shoes, backpack, and cell phone case. She always dresses to impress.
And for the freshmen, they have so much to look forward to. The past four years at Virginia Tech have been the best four years of my life. They are so lucky to have three more years in Blacksburg. I hope they won’t take it for granted. Alex Kiss-Rusk is one the hardest working girls I know. She really stepped up the last six weeks by getting extra work in on the court and in the weight room. She got so much better in those six weeks, and I am so proud of her. Taijah Campbell is also a hard worker and unfortunately suffered a foot injury that kept her off the court. I wish I could have gotten more time to play with her. But she is so gifted at basketball that I know she is going to be successful. And Alexis Lloyd, or Lexi, is one of the goofiest girls I have ever met. She can make anyone smile with her outgoing personality. Lauren Evans also really stepped up this season. She is a remarkable basketball player and person. Anyone who ever got to see her play can agree that she always kept her composure on the court. She never seemed to look like a freshman out there. Hannah Young is also very composed, and she always brightened my day. She had to overcome a lot of adversity at the start of her career as a Hokie but is definitely going to prosper. Her patience and focused attitude are only going to help her as an outstanding athlete.
I am going to really miss these girls so much! I only teared up three or four times while trying to write this but understand that everyone’s time as an athlete must come to an end. Every day in the gym made me a better person. From 6 a.m. summer workouts to four-hour bus rides, I have tried to savor every moment as a member of the Virginia Tech women's basketball team. I have learned so much from my peers and am utterly blessed. I really hope the girls returning next season really appreciate all that is given to them. Basketball at Virginia Tech has given me so much in such a short amount of time.
I want to give special thanks to my coaches. I truly appreciate the opportunity to have played and for all of the support and encouragement. I also want to give a shout-out to the Hardwood Club for their endless dedication to the program. You are like family to us.
It has been a great run, and I will miss it!
And for the last time…GO HOKIES!
Kerry “Queen of the Cassell” Sarver
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).