While most are familiar with the adage, “All good things must come to an end,” the sentiment became a reality for the Pierce Bears volleyball program when it concluded its season the week of April 5-9 with matches against Sutter, Chico and Pleasant Valley.
Although the Bears went 2-1, the contests are significant in a different way, marking an end of an era as they were the last for the Bears under the direction of Kim Travis, who stepped down after 11 seasons at the helm.
For Travis, as well as her seven seniors, having the opportunity to compete one last time for the blue and gold was incredibly meaningful, as the longtime coach explained saying, “This being my last season as Pierce’s coach was extremely special. I knew we would have a season, I believed that, and I asked them to trust and believe in me one last time. They did, and we had one hell of a season.”
In their sweep of both matches with Sutter last week, setter Sierra Murphy handed out 31 assists, Katie Williams tallied 14 kills, Betsy Myers made 10 digs and Maria Rivera served five aces and also recorded five kills.
Against Chico, the Bears prevailed 3-0, behind 15 kills from Ashlyn Wooldridge, 25 assists and 11 digs from Murphy, 13 digs from Myers and an additional 11 digs from Jocelyn Medina.
Pierce also suffered just its second setback of the season to section powerhouse PV, which had downed the Bears in a previous meeting as well.
Yet while this shortened season is now complete, the occasion gave Travis a sense of perspective about the impact of her experience at Pierce.
“These student-athletes have challenged me, supported me and trusted me. I will forever be proud of each and every one of them. The time I have been able to spend in their lives has made my life great. I will miss them immensely. I would also be remiss if I did not thank the many people who helped me along my journey at Pierce. These parents, players and community members are the heart and soul of the Lady Bears’ program. I will miss Pierce volleyball, but I will never forget it, and will continue to be one of its biggest supporters,” said Travis.
As the Bears now look to the future, they have a rich tradition of hard work and solidarity on which to draw, something that is a testament to Travis and her players who turned the program into one of the most respected in the Northern Section.