By Taylor Lee
DENVER –– Being on a team that makes it to the state tournament is a pretty invigorating experience. Berthoud’s five senior volleyball players know just what it’s like, and some of them were fortunate to experience it twice.
Last year, the team went 0-3 in pool play. But this year, the Spartans went 2-1 and competed in a tiebreaker game against Lewis-Palmer for a chance at the semifinals.
Even though they lost that match, for seniors such as Kelley Arnold, who moved to Berthoud as a sophomore, the experience is something they’ll always cherish.
“This past season, we knew what environment we were getting into and what pressures are there,” said Arnold, who plans on majoring in Early Childhood Education at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where she received a volleyball scholarship. “Things didn’t work out how we wanted them to, but I’m proud of the season we had after losing seven seniors.”
Unlike Arnold, Kayla Schinke isn’t so sure that volleyball is in her immediate future. Schinke, who played volleyball for all four years of her high school career, plans to attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to study sports medicine in hopes of becoming an athletic trainer. While volleyball is still an option, it’s not at the top of her list. But Berthoud High will always be something she’ll treasure.
“To be a part of the BHS volleyball team and to be able to go to state my junior and senior year has been an incredible opportunity and experience that I will never forget,” Schinke said.
Volleyball isn’t in Sarah Fietchner’s immediate plans, either. She doesn’t plan on playing her freshman year of college. Instead, she’ll use the break as a way to relax. But she said in later years that she would consider playing again. But, for now, she just wants to reminisce about this past season, one where Berthoud won conference, district and regional.
“I’m at a loss for words,” she said. “All my teammates are amazing and what they brought this year, such as character and personality, was priceless.”
While Arnold and Schinke have been mainstays on the team, this was Paige Lockard’s first year and her first state experience.
“It was amazing. It was such a thrill to be on the court and having everyone cheering for you,” Lockard said.
She plans on going to college to start a career and said she believes that this is probably the end of her volleyball career. And going out the way Berthoud did at state was a hard loss for Lockard.
Like Lockard, teammate Amanda Shiley first saw action on the varsity squad in her final season. She aspires to attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs along with Schinke. Shiley plans to study psychology in hopes of becoming a children’s psychologist.
But no matter what her future holds, Berthoud volleyball holds a special place in her heart.
“It has been a good experience (playing volleyball the past four years), and I’ve had a lot of fun,” Shiley said. “I’m glad I got the experience of going to state this year.”