The Mills volleyball team played against a special opponent this past Saturday, Sept. 30: alumnae of past teams. This is a Mills tradition and one that new coach Daniel Rasay said he was glad to uphold.
“This game was tough to organize,” he said. “But it’s a good thing. I was happy to organize it.”
Marielle Warren, class of ’94, agrees. “These alumnae games give a sense of continuity in the program,” she said. “It brings in a legacy, brings in a feeling that playing on a team at Mills, being at Mills, is about more than just your four years here.” Warren comes back up from Mountain View, California to play in this game every year.
“I really want to keep in touch with the college, keep in touch with the program. It’s been fun to watch the team change over the years,” Warren said. “And I wanted to welcome the new coach.”
Janice Pettis, class of ’05, said that she would always come back to Mills. “I’ll take any excuse, but especially volleyball.”
Many of the alumnae commented that this game is a great way to keep in touch with old friends and make new friends.
“It’s a small community here, but I keep meeting new people, making new friends with old Mills students,” Pettis said, “Today I made a friend with someone from the class of 1980!”
“Sometimes there are more like fifteen players, sometimes there are six, like today,” Warren mentioned. There was a small showing of alumnae at this game, and two players from the current team had to play with the alumnae.
“That was weird,” said sophomore Robin Cumming. “I didn’t like playing against each other. But this game is much more relaxed than a normal game. It’s just supposed to be fun.”
It seemed like the whole game was about bringing the school together and creating a sense of community. Not only did it bring old and current volleyball players together, but it brought the crowd down from the bleachers to play. Between games two and three, there was a serving competition of the fans with prizes like blenders, toasters and cereal. No one in the crowd was very good, but the team cheered them on.
The Mills team won all three games, but the alumnae put up a great fight. “We still like to win,” said Warren. “But this isn’t really about that.”