BRISTOL - The Bristol Central girls volleyball team didnâ€™t see much success in its final game against rival Bristol Eastern.
Though, the season was a success overall.
After just six wins as a program last year, the Rams finished their season 13-9 this season, a seven game improvement, and the conclusion of the season results in the loss of seven seniors - including senior captains Brianna Saverino and Xiaâ€™ian Carrasco.
The two were a big reason for the success of this yearâ€™s group.
â€śMy seniors are outstanding,â€ť Bristol Central coach Holly Willette said.
â€śEspecially my senior captains [Saverino and Carrasco]. I couldnâ€™t be prouder of them. They led this team just how I wanted my captains to lead the team. They worked so hard. Their effort is outstanding. Theyâ€™re always trying to grow and progress and Iâ€™m going to miss them.â€ť
While the loss of the seniors is tough, they have left the program in good hands, as three sophomores will enter their junior season with two years of varsity experience - Kathryn Ross, Peyton Greger and Ashleigh Clark.
â€śTheyâ€™re hard workers,â€ť Willette said. â€śTheyâ€™re always trying to get better and push themselves to the next level and thatâ€™s how you grow. Theyâ€™re getting it.â€ť
Along with those three are freshman Emily Ericson, who saw her playing time grow as the season went on and will be expected to take a big step forward in her sophomore year.
Also expected to step up next season as sophomores are Brooke Soucy, an outside hitter, Alexa Furniss, a setter, and Gwen Toresso.
This yearâ€™s senior class knows that the young players on this team are capable of having another successful season next year.
â€śI think even though theyâ€™re much younger than us, weâ€™ve learned a lot from them,â€ť Saverino said. â€śStarting from when we were juniors last year with three freshmen (Ross, Greger and Clark). I think Iâ€™ve learned the most from those three.â€ť
â€śEven though theyâ€™re younger they persevere and they fight through it,â€ť Carrasco said. â€śThatâ€™s very inspiring, even though Iâ€™m older than them.â€ť
The seniors had no shame in how they went out.
â€śI couldnâ€™t be happier in the way we fought,â€ť Saverino said. â€śI think everything went for the reason it was supposed to be. If we had to lose, we needed to lose, but we went out hard and went out swinging.â€ť
Following the loss, Willette was already excited about next year, with good reason.
â€śWeâ€™re young and weâ€™re going to keep working on it,â€ť Willette said.
Dan Orencole can be reached atÂ orÂ On Twitter: @OrencoleDan