Seniors go out with state gold
The journey might be over, but the memories will last a lifetime.
Four years ago the players that are now seniors on Parkland’s girls volleyball team came into the program hoping to uphold a legacy of success. They didn’t just uphold a tradition of greatness, they took it a step further.
This year’s team set a new standard for success in the program as it became the first team in school history to earn back to back state titles. With the strongest senior class that any program could hope for, the Trojans went 98-2 over the last four years and four district titles and three league titles in their time with the varsity program.
“The seniors are a sisterhood,” said senior Siena Salvaggio. “We’re honestly so close. Everyone has each other’s back. It’s been an amazing experience to be able to play with them. It’s sad to see it us go but it’s a great way to end. I’m so grateful for all the experiences I had.”
All five seniors (Salvaggio, Kristin Krause, Sam Webber, Avery Perosa and Erika Foose) play club volleyball together in the offseason. Over the years they’ve developed a chemistry that helps them when matches get close.
When Parkland fell behind 2-0 (25-23, 25-23) against Hempfield in Saturday’s state title match, the Lady Trojans didn’t flinch. They came back and cruised to wins in the final three games (25-15, 26-16, 15-12).
“We know each other so well,” said Perosa. “The synergy is amazing between us because we’ve been playing together for so long. We know each other’s moves. We know what’s going to happen. We know what to expect. We’re honestly like sisters. We spend so much time together.”
Over their final two high school seasons, this group of seniors posted back to back 26-0 season en route to the state title. The success was fueled by what the players experienced in the first two years with the program when the team went to a state title match then lost in districts the next season.
“Our freshman year,” said Krause. “We made it to the state final and we saw how hard those girls worked and we wanted to be just like them. We had a short season our sophomore year and that fired us up to never want to feel that way again. We just pushed through and now here we are.”
“I never expected this,” said Perosa. “I remember freshman year I was like ‘Oh my God, I hope I make the team.’ We were worried about try outs. I think we’ve really grown a lot together. Everything really came together and fell into place.”
Parkland head coach Mike Krause knew this year’s group of seniors had potential for success.
“When you put them in you want them to get better for today so they’re tomorrow. Then when you see the progress and you match up against the better programs and see how they do, that’s when it becomes a reality.
“We’re fortunate that our booster club supports us and allows us to get the funding to travel to these tournaments and gives us the chance to measure ourselves against them”
The seniors impressed their coach more this year than other years. They showed leadership at every turn, always doing what was best for the team and the program.
“They showed leadership,” he said. “They have such a good chemistry. They don’t panic. They bring the younger kids along. Some times you can into a cycle of five people and that’s your group. Not with these kids. Everybody is welcome in the group.”
The season had some extra special meaning for Mike and Kristin Krause, as it was the final one at Parkland for the father-daughter combo. While their coach-player relationship wasn’t always easy, it was something they’ll both cherish forever.
“We have our arguments at home and on the court,” said Kristin. “But I wouldn’t be where I am without him and I wouldn’t want to have any other coach.”
“When you’re coaching,” said Mike Krause. “You don’t get that parent feeling about it. Now, tonight, I just said it was really special for her to get that match-point block. I know she’s worked hard. When you see your own daughter be around good people and be able to perform at a high level, it’s so rewarding. I’ll be able to reflect and enjoy and have a bond of a lifetime that is very special.”