Bay Roberts volleyballer looks back on university career
There comes a time when all good things must come to an end.
© Photo by Nick Pearce
Memorial Sea-Hawks female volleyball player Sam March (left) goes up for a spike against the University of Moncton during AUS quarter-final action on Feb. 14. The Sea-Hawks would drop the game three sets to two in March's final game with the team.
Just ask Bay Roberts native Sam March.
On Feb. 14, March played her final game with the Memorial University Lady Seahawks volleyball team.
It marked the end of her six-year career with the volleyball program at MUN.
“It’s bittersweet,” she said.
Any athlete ending a portion of their career, there is a mix of emotions about being finished.
There might be that sense of relief of being finished. But, there is bound to be some regret and a feeling that something has vanished from their lives.
“It’s good to be done, but I’m so lost,” said March.
Elite athletes live on a strict schedule of practice and gym time. It’s a cyclical routine of school-gym-practice.
And, for the past half-a-decade, March has been a product of this routine.
“It’s weird to come home and have hours of no plans,” she said.
March is in the period of time where athletes let their bodies recover from the rigours of a season. It’s the break before the offseason begins.
However, this time there is no offseason.
“I’m always feeling like I should be somewhere or I’m supposed to be somewhere,” said March.
She is the daughter of Derrick March and Michelle Crocker.
March is finishing up her education degree from MUN.
At the end of the line, there is always a last game.
There is always a last time gearing up with the team you’ve known for the past six years.
For March, her Seahawks were involved in a hotly contested Atlantic University Sport (AUS) quarter-final match with the University of Moncton Aigles Bleues (Blue Eagles).
MUN was narrowly defeated by Moncton three sets to two.
March said the team was in the game from the beginning.
“We were doing so well,” she said.
Both teams waged a battle for the ages. Moncton took the first set 27-25, but MUN bounced in the second, taking it 28-26.
The Seahawks took the next set 25-16. The fourth belonged to Moncton (25-21), before the Aigles Bleues took the fifth set 15-11.
“We fought till the last point,” said March.
In the match, she led her team with 16 kills and 18 points.
“I played as well as I could have,” said March.
When the final buzzer sounded, it was the end.
Before the players of the game were called, the realization had yet to hit March. She was still “pissed” at the outcome.
But, when her named was called as MUN’s top player that match, it hit her.
“Once they said that, I started crying and it just came out,” she said.
What might have been
The week prior to the quarter-finals, MUN had been on a roll.
The team played well and above the University of Cape Breton Capers Feb. 8-9 at the Memorial Field House in St. John’s.
The Seahawks crushed Cape Breton in straight sets (3-0) in both games.
“We kept our game up, and played above and beyond them,” said March.
The team was feeling like they were peaking and at the right time.
“We could have given Dal or SMU a good run and we could have won,” she said. “At times this year when we played, we were unstoppable. It’s crazy, we played so well.”
Bounce back year
March had a bounce back year in 2013-14.
This season the Bay Roberts native placed second on the team with 121 kills and 138 points.
This was a noticeable improvement over the previous year, where she recorded totals of 36 (kills) and 51 (points).
When asked about some of her most cherished memories of her time as a Sea-Hawk, March pointed to a couple of instances.
First was reaching the AUS finals in 2011-12.
“That was pretty huge,” she said. “We hadn’t been past the quarter finals in a nice few years. So, when we got to semis that was exciting.”
However, what may have been bigger was hosting the AUS volleyball championship last year.
“It felt like MUN was important for once,” said March. “We weren’t taken as the little scrappy team that we usually are.”
It is a label the team is used to getting, but its one March does not feel they deserve.
“We’re just good,” she said.
Meanwhile, March does not think she is done with the game she has known since Grade 3.
“I could see myself coaching,” she said.