Moving on: UNCW volleyball seniors exploring life after collegiate athletics
Published: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 17:12
As the UNC Wilmington volleyball squad's season ended, so did the careers of the two seniors on the team. Emily Mohrman and Kelsey Bendig leave behind productive stints as Seahawks, being a part of a program that has improved drastically since their freshman seasons. With graduation looming, they begin focusing on life after UNCW, but both plan on keeping the values they learned on and off the volleyball court.
"I think the team performed exceptionally well this season," said Mohrman. "We achieved higher goals than we have in the past 25 years, so it's pretty monumental."
The Seahawks finished the season with a 12-19 record and a 5-9 mark in CAA play. However, they performed admirably throughout the year and were able to put some highlight performances together, including defeating James Madison University when the Dukes were No. 1 in the conference. Mohrman and Bendig were both integral parts.
After the final match of the season, Nov. 13 against Northeastern, Bambenek praised the efforts of her seniors. "They have really had to go through some transition with me beginning the coach their sophomore year," she told The Seahawk. "I demanded a lot of them. Emily is an extremely versatile player, able to play many different positions and play them well. And Kelsey, I put a lot of leadership and responsibility into the setter position and I am probably tougher on her being the senior setter than anybody. She handled it really well this season."
Bendig leaves behind a notable record in UNCW sports lore as she stepped into fourth place on the all-time assists record. While neither plans to stick with volleyball on an extremely competitive level after college, both expressed interest in playing the sport leisurely.
"I would love to play beach volleyball," said Bendig. "We get to play it every spring and we do not get that long to do it, but I think continuing to play it would be fun just to keep with the sport."
As for careers, both have different goals in the professional world. Mohrman, a psychology major, plans to attend graduate school in Virginia and hopes to intern for the Department of Defense. Bendig, on the other hand, is majoring in communication studies with a psychology minor. She hopes to get involved with the integrated marketing communication field, desiring to stay in the Wilmington area.
If they were able to have their dream jobs, though, Mohrman would be a park ranger in Colorado while Bendig would be involved with the Pittsburgh Steelers somehow. While they both vary in their professional aspirations, each acknowledges that their time spent on the volleyball squad and at UNCW has shaped them for the better, leaving behind a message for the volleyball team in the process.
"Just enjoy your time and the team atmosphere," said Mohrman. "It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so cherish it while you can." Bendig added: "Keep your friends. I've been best friends with Emily for four years now, and you will never have friendships like these again."
The UNCW volleyball squad's aspirations are bright for next season, along with the futures of Emily Mohrman and Kelsey Bendig. As their college lives close, they enter the real world, but from what they have gained during their time at UNCW, they should experience nothing but success.