ASU women's volleyball seniors leave a lasting impact on the program

Despite a lackluster season, the seniors have shown poise while keeping their teammates composed

Each and every year in athletics programs across the country, seniors move on and graduate, leaving an impact on their teams. With the 2017 season being so difficult, the ASU women's volleyball seniors have proven their worth.

For senior outside hitter Isabel Miller, senior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro and senior libero Halle Harker, this season has been a long one. While the team's record may not reflect it, the three women had a monumental impact on those around them. 

Noah Lau

Assistant coach Macey Gardner and interim head coach Carlos Moreno both agree with that notion.

“(Harker's) definitely a key player for us, not just this year but every year she’s been here. She’s just been a rockstar,” Gardner said. “She's able to grind and she’s gone through a lot of things in this program, and she’s had a lot of patience that I don't think a lot of kids these days have with programs.”

Gardner, who played with Harker when she was on the team from 2014-15, said that Harker has been a leader since the moment she stepped onto campus. 

“It's been cool to see her develop and transform and grow as a player and as a person,” Gardner said. “I think this year the biggest thing I noticed is just her comfortability on the court and her awareness.”

Gardner said that each of the seniors contributed something different to the team. 

Moreno agreed, noting that Okaro’s athleticism makes her a joy to watch.

Noah Lau

“We’re gonna miss watching Oly playing and just her athleticism is pretty amazing,” Moreno said.  “We’re gonna miss Izzy Miller’s personality, just the way she brings great energy to the team and her hard work ethic.”

Over the past few weeks, Gardner said that Miller has grown as part of the program and has gained a newfound confidence. Miller, who spent two years at San Diego Mesa College averaging 4.89 kills a set, has notched in a total 28 kills this year and still has four games left to add to that total.

Okaro and Harker both have made clear impacts on the team. With Okaro leading the team in kills and service aces, 426 and 23 respectively, she has held an important role each and every match. 

Her teammate Harker has also left a lasting legacy on the program. With 544 digs thus far this season, Harker not only leads the team in the category, but sits at No. 3 on the ASU career digs leader list with 1,947 over her collegiate career.

While those accomplishments are something to be extremely proud of, Harker said the one thing she will miss most is the relationships she built with her teammates.

Noah Lau

“Getting to see the girls day in and day out, just being able to come into the gym whenever you’re having a hard day and knowing that your girls are there to cheer you up or there to hang out with you (is what I will miss),” Harker said. “Just the camaraderie and the sisterhood that you build here ... You go through so much from emotionally, to physically, to spiritually. It's just a crazy grind, and it's something that is very special, and it doesn't happen in the real world.”

Okaro believes that despite the difficulties the team went through this season, that the team remained composed. That is something she is proud of.

“We were able to play still with aggression, but we never really got mad at each other,” Okaro said. “Sometimes when girls are so competitive, it's easy to kind of get mad at each other.”

The Sun Devils hope to continue that camaraderie as they finish out their season with a two weekend road trip. The first of the four straight road games begins in Salt Lake City, Utah where they will take on No.14 Utah on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.


Reach the reporter at klbroder@asu.edu or follow @KellyB1459 on Twitter.

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