The Final Entry

Dec. 5, 2000

I'm still pouting.

That's what I say when people ask me how I'm doing. See, most people by now have heard about our loss to Santa Barbara on Friday night. They've heard that our season is over-and most of the faces I see around the athletic department also know that for me, it meant the end of my career.

Everyone is sympathetic. They know that we had a rough year. They know almost as well as me that Great America could name a new roller coaster 'Stanford Women's Volleyball 2000.' But you know what? I'd still buy a ticket. I'd ride that thing 'till my insides were on their way out. Because even after only three days worth of hindsight I know that it was all worth it and that if I had the choice I'd live every minute again.

My only concession would be that the whole team would have to do it with me. Not a chance I'd sign on for a ground-hog year by myself. No way. It's the team that makes it all worthwhile. When you think about it, any other way, all the luster is lost. I mean, when you win a point, whose hand do you slap? Who do you dance with in the lockerroom before the game? Whose eyes do you look in during the huddle? Can you have an inside joke with yourself? Who gives you a hug after the loss?

I just can't figure out.

So thank goodness I never had too. I've been on teams my whole life.But never one like this. This one was really something special. Indeed, we failed to be the most successful team in Stanford Volleyball history-shoot, we didn't even get close. We haven't finished out of the top two in the Pac-10 in how many years? I should know-every paper in the country took the liberty of pointing it out all season. Maybe though, that's the perfect testament to why this team was so special. We didn't listen. I swear, if somebody put us on a plane to Hawaii on tomorrow we would still believe that a National Championship was ours to win.

We believed all season long. And, if there was a time that one person didn't, a teammate was there to convince them. Somebody was always there to remind them that they were here for a reason-that they were good-that we damn good-and that together we could win a National Championship.But we came up one point short. One point short of moving on to regionals in Hawaii where surely streams of redemption would be running down our chins. Even one year later that terrible taste of last year's finals on the island of Oahu prowled our mouths...

And so now one more awful ingredient has been added to the brew. Unfortunately for me, there is not much I can do but watch-and wish. If I could have one wish now I'd surely give it away to my teammates and make sure that shining out from underneath those graduation caps would be a championship ring. I got one already. I was hoping for more but hey, not much to do now but be thankful for one and remember everything else I have gotten. Because when it really comes down to it, I wouldn't trade these women, this education or this experience for anything. Sure, it would have been incredible to get a championship-nothing less than a dream come true (I can admit now that my birthday candles were blown out with it in mind!) But as my pouting begins to pass-and my recovery starts to gain speed I have a feeling that what's going replace the hole losing left is the biggest, fattest, shiniest piece of thankfulness that has even been known to humankind.

So, to all of you who have made these last four years of my life so special-from the fans to the coaches, to other athletes, to the training room, to the administration-Thank you. And thanks especially to my team. I love you guys and can't even describe what an honor it's been to represent you as captain these last few years. You are truly an exceptional group of women with unlimited potential. The courage we demonstrated in our last match is unrivaled by anything I have ever been a part of. For that, I am exceedingly proud. So in the offseason, build on that everyday. You've got a championship to redeem and only nine years left to be the team of this decade! And don't worry, my season ticket application is as good as sent-I know you guys have it in you and even though it'll be excruciating not to be able to help, I can't wait to see you take it all.

So, to everybody else, thanks for reading. It's been an honor for me to take you along for our ride.


For all of Lindsay's 2000 diary entries, please visit 'Kagawa's Chronicles'.

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