The traditional senior night is filled with laughter, speeches, goodbyes, games and the occasional tears.
This year a global pandemic by the name of COVID-19 joined the itinerary, but Skyline senior Diamond Bay’s teammates refused to let that stop them from giving her the night she has so anxiously waited for.
“I’m really excited,” Bay said. “I just feel like I’ve always been waiting for this moment and it’s just less than a day away. It just feels so surreal.”
For junior captains Alejandra Ramirez, Sadie Phillips and Bekah O’Day, this has been a night they have been working toward for weeks. With just one senior to celebrate, the girls find it easier to organize, but that does not mean any less effort.
The Coyotes faced off against the Westwood Warriors on Thursday, Oct. 22, the night Bay was honored. Skyline fell 3 sets to none. The Coyotes finished the season Tuesday, Oct. 27 with a win over Dobson.
For many, this night is more than just a goodbye to a teammate. Some friendships, like Ramirez and Bay’s, run deeper than just on the court.
“I've known Diamond for a really long time so I want to put as much effort in as I can for this senior night for her,” Ramirez said. “My parents are really into it too because they are also really close with her.”
The three captains, along with the rest of the team, have planned out an exciting night for their fellow teammate, including gifts and gym decorations. Even with a small crowd because of COVID-19 restrictions, they thrive for a big night.
The girls have decided to decorate the gym and give Diamond questions to answer that they can read off as she walks out with her parents, according to Ramirez. They also planned out a gift including gift cards, candy, and other miscellaneous items.
“[We’re] just having a small senior night; not too big but also not too little,” Ramirez said.
Having one senior has made social distancing a lot easier and has allowed Skyline’s senior night to go along almost as it usually would.
“Just because there's one there's not really much we need to do to like distance,” Phillips said. “She’ll just walk out with her family and take some pictures, just away from people, but that's basically it.”
Bay, on the other hand, is relieved that she gets to sit back and wait for her night, but she never shied away from a moment of decoration in years past.
“Setting up in the past was pretty easy because we always had fun when we did it because we were so excited to celebrate our seniors,” Bay said. “It is pretty nice to not have to worry about anything, but even though I’m the senior, just being a part of the team doing it with them just makes me happy.”
Bay plans to go to college to become an RN after her time at Skyline. While there haven’t been talks of her going anywhere for volleyball, she is still open to it and would take the opportunity if presented. Bay, with one regular season game left, has marked six kills on the season.
Ramirez had a closing message for her.
“Diamond, I have known you for a long time now and you’re like a sister to me,” Ramirez said. “You have always been there for me when I needed you and treated me so well.
“We have made so many amazing memories together that always make me smile when I think of them. Thank you for all of those fun sleepovers and dances you forced me to go to. Don’t forget me when you become a millionaire. The family and I love you so much.”
Kayla O’Sullivan is a sports journalism major at Arizona State University covering Skyline High School.