The 2016 Senior Perspectives is the 11th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.
For a complete listing of 2016 Senior Perspectives, click here.
Kathleen Wallace, Women's Volleyball
Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.
Concentration: Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology
House Affiliation: Quincy
Looking back over the last four years, I can easily say that being a part of the women’s varsity volleyball team has been the most rewarding experience of my time at Harvard. From the moment I stepped on campus my freshman fall, I was instantly welcomed into a new family of teammates, mentors, and most importantly, friends who I know will be with me for the rest of my life. From double-days during preseason, 7:00 AM lifts and afternoon practices, and the bus rides to Ivy League matches, the time we spent together strengthened our bonds of friendship and allowed us to achieve a team chemistry unlike anything I had ever experienced before.
It was this team chemistry that gave us the power to transform the volleyball program over the past four seasons. I still remember my freshman year finishing the season tied for fifth place and questioning whether winning the Ivy League championship would become a reality. Moving forward, we were determined to make that dream a reality. In those three years, I have never worked with a more hardworking, selfless, and dedicated group of women. We challenged each other in practice and held ourselves accountable to our goals, never forgetting the Ivy League title at the end of the road. The pressure was daunting at times, the fate of our season hinging on several close matches. But in those moments, I knew I could turn to my teammates, take a deep breath, and know that each and every one of us was ready to put it all on the line for our goals and for each other. In the end, our efforts were rewarded when we won back-to-back Ivy League championships and made our first NCAA tournament appearance this past season. Words cannot describe the elation we felt on the night we secured our bid to the NCAA tournament, nor the feeling of receiving a standing ovation in Lincoln, Nebraska. However, what we lack in words we make up for with our memories, and these are moments I will never forget for the rest of my life.
It has been a privilege and an honor to be a part of the women’s varsity volleyball program. These women have taught me how to be a better volleyball player, teammate, and friend, and I am eternally grateful for the many ways in which they have enriched my life. Although the time has come for us seniors to move on to the next stage of our lives, I can safely say we will never forget what we have accomplished or the friendships we have made, and I look forward to watching the team reach even greater heights in the years to come.