Colin Healy ‘25
Over the past weekend, Holy Cross volleyball held their senior day celebration at Blaney Gym. For the team’s three seniors, Gracyn Benck, Emma VanSeveren, and Peyton Dewers, Saturday’s match against Lehigh represented the last of their careers at Blaney. Joined by family and friends on the court, the three were honored in a ceremony before the match to commemorate their careers and time at Holy Cross.
While the seniors prepared to take to Blaney one last time, the rest of the team got to work behind the scenes. “They spent time decorating our locker room, the gym, and making us posters and senior baskets each with personal notes from the team,” Benck told The Spire. “Since we have only 15 people on our team we are a really close team and it shines through, especially during senior night.” The tight bonds between teammates on HCVB allow for the unique and special experience the seniors have enjoyed the past four years.
On top of the outpouring of support from fellow teammates, the ceremony on Saturday brought family and friends into Blaney to celebrate the three seniors. “Since we all live all over the country it was really nice to see all the families come out here together to support HCVB,” said Benck, who hails from California. “It was a great way to finish my four years of hardworking with my best friends on the court alongside me and my family and friends all supporting me in Blaney one last time,” she added.
Both on and off the court, Holy Cross has meant a lot to Benck and the team. The ideal mix of academic and athletic emphasis creates an environment that allows our student athletes to flourish. “I am forever grateful to HC for what it has taught me in the last four years in the classroom and on the court, but even more what it has taught me as a person,” said the senior in commenting on what the Holy Cross experience has given her. It has been a transformative four years for Benck, thankful for the memories created and friends made.
As for Saturday’s match, the Crusaders dropped the contest against Lehigh. After winning the first set, the Mountain Hawks came back to take three straight sets and close out the game. Despite dropping the final home contest, the team had another positive to take away from the weekend. The night before, the team captured their first win of the season at Blaney by way of a 3-1 margin over Bucknell. And while the weekend split marks the end of the home slate of matches, the team still has three more away games to round out the regular season.
Benck is planning on soaking up all that is left in the season as HCVB enters the final stretch. “It is hard to imagine not walking into the locker room everyday and getting to play in Blaney with my closest friends everyday. So, I want to take everything in during my last few weeks and enjoy playing the sport I love a few more times,” she said of the remaining schedule.
Her time as a member of the Holy Cross volleyball team may be coming to a close, but the team and this campus will always stay with her. It is part of what makes being a student at Holy Cross so special, that this campus will always serve as a second home. Gracyn Benck understands this well. “It has been an absolute privilege to be a part of HCVB and a HC student and I will forever be a proud member of this program and college.”