Girls’ Volleyball celebrates Senior Night

Final home game for the Class of 2022 seniors


Ravali Vallurupalli / Talon

Emma Songco, Lexi Lewis Maestu, Maya Zilberstein, Marta Tassinari, Sarah Carroll and Bethanie Giniewicz celebrate senior night

In the final home game of the 2021 season and for the current seniors on the team, Oak Park Girls’ Volleyball faced off against the Moorpark Musketeers on Oct. 7. Surrounded by their teammates and family, the night started off with senior gifts and sentiments from their head coach. 

“I wish I had another year with them,” head Coach Shelynne Philmore said. 

Philmore has been head coach of the girls’ volleyball program for two years. Due to distance learning last year, this is the beginning and end of her time with the seniors since they were unable to play any games last year. It was an emotional night for all involved. 

While preparing for the journey ahead, senior Lexi Lewis Maestu expressed how she feels about leaving behind the team she has been on for the past four years. 

“It’s honestly really sad because just a few days ago, it feels like I was a freshman, watching the seniors and looking up to them, and now it’s just a whole new world because the freshmen on our team and freshmen in the program are looking up to me,” Maestu said. “And it sucks because I’m leaving, and I missed a year due [to] COVID, but it’s exciting and I love my team.”

On the other hand, Maestu’s teammate expresses that while part of her feels she is not ready to move on, it is time.

“I served my purpose here, like just being a teammate and a good peer, and it shows that I can move on and I can go into college feeling that, ‘Oh, I did volleyball for three years on varsity.’ It makes me feel like I’ve been here for enough time. It’s time for me to go,” senior Emma Songco said. 

Despite leaving, both Maestu and Songco will return to check up on the team they know and love. 

“If I end up going to college in California, I will be coming to as many games as possible,” Maestu said. 

As the seniors reminisce on the friendships made through volleyball, it is the connections that the team builds that make the seniors eager to return and visit. 

“I’d say I made one of my closest friends and a ton of other friends strictly through volleyball,” senior Maya Zilberstein said.

The seniors believe they will continue to strengthen their strong bond after high school. 

“I personally love our team, especially the seniors that are graduating this year. Most of them, I’ve been going through almost every single year with, so I’ve gotten a really good bond … I think all of us have gotten extremely close and we will still be close when [the] season ends and even in the next few years,” Maestu said. 

Maestu imparted a piece of advice for the volleyball players now and in the future. 

“Always work hard and get bonds with people because in the end, looking back at this team, it’s something that I’m so glad I was a part of. And if I wasn’t a part of the volleyball program, I feel like a huge part of my high school career would have not been as fun,” Maestu said.

As for the seniors’ futures, Philmore conveyed her enthusiasm for finding out how far all the seniors will go in life. 

“Each and every one of them have hearts of gold, and I seriously cannot wait to see what they do in their future,” Philmore said.