Nov. 23, 2012
By Elly Walker
By Elly Walker
FRESNO, Calif. -- The Save Mart Center will be filled with friends, family and fans ready to watch a Fresno State volleyball match, just like any other, expect for one thing. Head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell will assign the lineup; the referee's whistle will blow; a rally will begin and sets will be played. For seniors Barabara Alcantara and Cecilia Agraz however, this will be their final game as Bulldog student-athletes.
Tonight, the `Dogs will play in their final 2012-13 conference game against Boise State. This special and memorable night will continue as the team honors Alcantara and Agraz as graduating seniors.
During there time at Fresno State, the duo was impacted by not only their experience as volleyball players, but also as students.
"We have to be consistent in our life and not just in volleyball," Alcantara said. "Through our life we have to know what we want, work for it, and never give up. You have to always look forward to the next day and to keep fighting for what you want."
As student-athletes, the pair learned life-lessons that they can apply to aspects of their life today, tomorrow and forever.
"The biggest lesson I've learned is accountability," Agraz said. "Not until I came to Fresno State, did this become more of a daily part of my life. "
Alcantara believes her experience as a student-athlete has helped her become a better person.
"I've learned how to respond better to people and how to work on things personally and how to make myself better," Alcantara said. "Being a student-athlete made me realize who I am right now."
With their final volleyball game in sight, the pair found time to reflect on the memories they've made and experiences they've had over the past few years.
Agraz recalls her sophomore year when the team beat Boise State in five sets as her favorite memory on the court.
"It was a really hard fought battle and Boise State was good competition," Agraz said. "We had long rallies and really tight sets, but we pulled off a win. I was so happy that I even had tears of joy, it was a great one!"
Alcantara remembers playing Boise State during this season where the team was behind by two points, but came back up and took a win.
"I think this game showed how good our team is and how well we can play together," Alcantara said.
Becoming student-athletes was a dream come true for both Alcantara and Agraz.
"I've always wanted to study here so once I got the opportunity I was more than excited about it," Alcantara. "I've met awesome people here that I am going to be friends with for the rest of my life. Everything that Fresno State gives student-athletes is unbelievable and I don't think I would have that if I were to be anywhere else."
Agraz remembers being a senior in high school and attending the Fresno State volleyball games and always sitting in the front row thinking about her future as a Fresno State student-athlete.
For Alcantara and Agraz, their time as student-athletes is coming to an end, but their time as a Bulldog will always be in their heart.
"I am appreciative of the opportunities I've had here and I will always look back to my time here with a positive outlook because of the relationships I've gained," Agraz said. "I am really thankful for everything I've experienced."
"I will always remember the time I spent here and I know I will continue going to the Fresno State Athletic website to see how to women's volleyball team is doing," Alcantara said. "Next year, I want to try and come back for the girl's senior year and support them as they've supported me."
As Alcantara and Agraz play in their final game as student-athletes and say a final goodbye to the Fresno State volleyball program, make sure to come out to the Save Mart Center on Friday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. and support the women's volleyball team and honor these two seniors.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" -- Bulldog volleyball hosts Boise State on Nov. 23 for their final home match of the 2012 season. Tune into the home of Fresno State volleyball, ESPN 790, for game day action.
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