When you’re a senior, your final home volleyball matches are always going to be emotional. And to a player like Montana State University-Northern senior Sierra Diehl, who’s already an emotional and passionate player, this weekend at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse will be an emotional roller coaster.
Diehl came to Northern four years ago from Helena and has seen the true ups and downs of a collegiate volleyball program. She’s endured the lows of struggling on the court, losing a dear teammate to a tragic automobile accident and coaching changes. But in the last two seasons, Diehl has also been part of a volleyball revival at Northern. She’s grown as a person, she’s become a team leader and she’s an outstanding middle. She says all of these experiences have helped shape her into the person she is, and it’s all part of what makes saying goodbye to Northern this weekend such an emotional situation.
Here’s five questions with the Sky
lights’ best singer as she prepares for her senior weekend matches against Westminster College and Lewis-Clark State.
HDN: What has your senior year and being a veteran leader on this team been like?
Diehl: “It’s been a complete 180 from my early years here. It’s been so amazing to play with this group of girls, who are like me in that they’re passionate about the game. It’s been amazing to play for Bill (Huebsch). I’ve learned more about volleyball from him than anyone else I’ve ever played for and he’s been a great influence on me. It’s been a little intimidating being a senior and a leader at times, with all the younger girls looking up to me at times. But this year overall, it’s been amazing and I’m just so proud of this team.”
HDN: What has it been like to be a part of the volleyball resurgence at Northern?
Diehl: “To look at the strides we’ve made, to see how far we’ve come, it’s indescribable really. In the past, it was tough. The losing at times was hard, the different coaches and different players, it was hard to handle sometimes. But Coach (Huebsch) has come in and really changed everything. And the girls we have now, they are just amazing to play with. I look at it now and I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else. ”
HDN: What’s your most memorable match as a Skylight?
Diehl: Easily the UGF match from this year. It was the most inspired and passionate match I’ve ever been a part of. The way we all played together and for each other in that match was truly amazing. And the crowd, the support we got that night, and to beat UGF like that on our home floor, it was just amazing.”
HDN: Singing is special to you. Do you know how many times you’ve sung the National Anthem here?
Diehl: “I couldn’t count how many times. It’s a lot though. But they are all different, and they are special to me. It’s an honor. To get to sing that song for your teammates, for you school, of course for your country, it’s very special to me. And I never get tired of doing it.”
HDN: How emotional will senior day be for you?
Diehl: “I imagine I’ll feel every emotion there is. I’m a passionate person. I guess I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I’ll be pumped up and excited and ready to play. My time at Northern has been very special to me. It’s helped me become the person I am, so these last home matches will be very emotional. I’m just excited to play them with this group of girls and we’re hoping to go out with a bang.”