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For one group of seniors at Starkville High School, they waited a long time to have their night in the lights.
Michaela Mills, Jamiyah Covington and Stacie Young are the only three seniors on the SHS volleyball team, and they played their last regular season match in the Beehive on Tuesday night.
"It means a lot to me," Mills said. "I have been playing for four years. I have been going through so many senior nights and I never knew what it meant. It really means a lot to be with my family, my team and get that win."
The Lady Yellowjackets sent the seniors out in style with a 25-8, 25-7 and 25-1 victory over the Yazoo City Lady Indians.
The three seniors have had a huge impact on the Lady Jackets getting to 18-11 overall and 7-0 in Class 5A, Region 2 play.
Head coach Lauren Love and the rest of the Lady Jackets have a lot of respect for them and it shows.
"This senior class has worked hard to get where they are," Love said. "They really work well together. They're all three co-captains. They were voted on by their team. That says a lot. Their team respects them. They come out, work hard and that's reflected in our team."
Mills ended the night with 18 aces, while Covington chipped in three digs and one kill. Young had four attacks.
Sophomore Courtney Wilson ended the match with 14-straight aces.
Mills and the rest of the seniors do not take the respect lightly from their teammates.
"(Being elected co-captains) really means a lot to us â€“ to see what the other teammates think of us as leaders and seniors," Mills said.
Mills, Covington and Young have formed a special bond over the years, so for them to go out as co-captains means a great deal.
"The other two seniors, Stacie and Jamiyah are practically my sisters," Mills said. "We have been together for four years and I have never had a relationship this close with another friend."
Love was absent for most of the start of the season due to the birth of her first child. The seniors took it upon themselves to lead the rest of the squad.
"They're the first ones in the gym," Love said. "At the beginning of the season when I wasn't readily here, they had everybody warmed up. They would come in and set the tone with their attitude and their actions."
The season is not over for the Lady Jackets. They travel to Callaway next Tuesday for a huge district match. A win means first place in the district and a home playoff match.
The Lady Jackets aren't taking anything for granted.
"We are going to have to work hard," Mills said. "We are used to winning by long runs, but we are really going to have to put some extra work in and play as hard as we can."View more articles in: