The 2019 Senior Perspectives is the 14th 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.
Hometown: Needham, Mass.
Concentration: Folklore & Mythology
House Affiliation: Pforzheimer
Brian Baise, Jeff Aucoin, Branden Clemens, Alec Schlossman, Alister Bent, Casey White, Sam Murphy, Riley Moore, Brad Gretsch, Jack Heavey, Marko Kostich. These were the men I had the pleasure of playing with and for in my first year, the people who welcomed me into HMV. Each of them looked after me, as well as improved my character and game. They all made me a better person and I cannot thank them enough.
With the end of my volleyball career here, as I approach graduation, I cannot help but reflect on my time here. I was a kid from Massachusetts, a state not known for volleyball, and had raw ability, but was by no means a college volleyball player quite yet. At the end of my career, I stand as a captain, a four-year starter, having made my mark in the team’s record book in multiple places, and having helped make history in winning our conference, the EIVA, for the first time ever. It’s crazy to think about how far I’ve come in my time here.
Volleyball was everything for me here at Harvard. You come into a family, immediately have people looking out for you. The team helps you meet other people and make new friends. It teaches you responsibility, staying on top of your work, and keeping you organized. The team was the most invaluable resource for me here for everything and fundamentally shaped me into the person I am today.
The other day someone said to me that it must suck to have missed playoffs this year after winning the conference last year. Sure, I wished my career here, my time on the court, went for a bit longer. But in no way does that mean I saw this year or any other year in a negative light. Every season here has been special for me in its own way and just because it didn’t end at the national tournament doesn’t mean I’m not appreciative of everything that this year was. We welcomed five freshmen into the program, five young men who immediately bought in to the team work ethic and culture. They, and everyone else on the team, worked their hardest, grinded day after day together. The men around me gave this lone senior everything they had and I thank them everyday for their passion and dedication this year.
Over these four years, I have met countless great people. I’ve met amazing alumni I never had the pleasure to play on the same team as. I have met multiple recruits that will help fill the void myself and other teammates will leave behind. I have gotten to play with and against some of the best people I have ever met in this world, but most importantly, I have gotten the opportunity to welcome numerous other young men into this program. A program that embraced me with open arms when I first came in. I have gotten to look after, be brothers with, people I will never forget and I wouldn’t trade any of my moments here with them for anything.
To all the athletic trainers and strength coaches: thank you for looking after me these four years. I wouldn’t have had the career I had without y’all keeping me healthy.
To my Harvard coaches: Brian Baise, Jeff Aucoin, Matt Jones, Jared Goldberg, and Bill Via, thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I cannot begin to state what being here has meant for me and it’s thanks to y’all that I even had the opportunity to play here.
Finally, to the men returning for another season here next year: I’ll be watching. I don’t say that to put pressure on y’all or to set expectations. I say that as a reminder that though I’m not on the court with you anymore, I’m not actually gone. I’ve still got your back. I’m still with y’all through thick and thin because that’s what this program is about.