Tonight is a lot of things for Marshall’s volleyball team. It’s the first game of the season. It’s also at home which means it’s the home opener. It’s also senior night for the Lady Mavs.
“We’re home against Gilmer so that will be the first time that we play in our new (renovated) gym,” Marshall head volleyball coach Kayla Allen said. “It’s going to be senior night to make sure we get it in.”
Emily Ellenburg is one of six seniors who will be honored following tonight’s game. She knows the reason her and her classmates to be recognized comes as a result of a valuable lessons she has recently learned.
“Never take anything for granted, never, especially around this time of the year,” she said. “You never know what’s going to happen, what’s going to happen next week. Do not take it for granted.”
It was a hard lesson she learned as a junior in the spring as a softball player for the Lady Mavs.
“It makes me sad because I didn’t get to finish that part of the season but I’m really excited to be able to play,” Ellenburg said.
Not only is she hoping that doesn’t happen to her senior year volleyball season but she also has high hopes of playing in the postseason.
“I want to go to the playoffs,” she said. “I think we can make it for sure.”
Now that she is a senior, she has taken on a larger leadership role.
“Since I was a freshman, I’ve considered myself a leader but now, I guess everyone looks up to me since I’m the oldest now.”
“Emily is a very good leader,” Allen said. “She’s a six-rotation player. She knows the game very well. I’m really excited this year for her. She’s always been a leader by example but this year she’s really grown into her voice on the court. She’s more confident.”
“I’m very talkative,” Ellenburg added. “I’m not really telling people what to do but I’m just kind of there to give some advice or anything they need. I’m always there for them.”
Ellenburg has given her verbal commitment to Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas where she’ll continue her volleyball career at the next level and will play for former Wiley College head volleyball coach Mike MacNeill.
Until then, she hopes leave a mark with her current teammates.
“I want to be remembered as someone who sticks out,” she said. “I’m not like the rest. I just want to be known as someone different.”
When asked how the chemistry among the Lady Mavs is, Ellenburg said, “It’s so close bonded. We tell everything to each other. We’re like sisters.”
“We have a big returning class so the chemistry so far has been really good between everybody,” Allen added.
Despite things being different due to the pandemic, Ellenburg said pracitcie is going pretty well.
“We’re doing lots of drills, competition and stuff,” she said. “We’re doing really well. Always be responsible with your time. They’ve taught me a lot of life lessons about being responsible and keeping up with everything, always be on time, always.”
Tonight’s game against Gilmer will be the first of what the Lady Mavs will be a good season.
“This is going to be my first class that has gone all the way through my program,” Allen said. “It’s going to be a fun year.”
Tonight’s action is slated to begin with the freshmen at 4:30, followed by the JV at 5:30 and the varsity at 6:30.