Wednesday night at 7, Blackburn College will honor two senior volleyball players who have committed and devoted their time to this program. The volleyball team will honor players Delanie Casto and Alexis Dick.
“I couldn't be prouder of these two seniors. They are 4-year veterans who have stuck with the volleyball program here through some pretty lean times. I'm so glad we were able to give them some success in their final season” commented coach Jim Hunstein.
He also added that, “Of course, a big reason for our success this year has been because of them. We turned a big corner because of how much they wanted it and how hard they worked for it. They are both a couple of the toughest competitors around and they brought that out in everyone around them”.
Delanie Casto is the daughter of Lloyd and Amy Casto and is a Right-Side hitter from Pittsfield, IL. Delanie has played a variety of hitting positions for the Beavers including; outside and middle, before finding her home on the right side. Hunstein commented on Delanie’s work ethic stating, “she gave us absolutely everything she had this year to make herself better and make the team better”. Casto has played in total of 102 matches for the Beavers. She has recorded 167 kills and has a total of 39 blocks. Delanie’s most memorable moment was during her sophomore year, when the team won their first match of the season against MacMurray. Their coach was unable to make it due to a wedding, so Coach Neal (baseball coach) had to fill in. The team then FaceTimed their coach to tell her the news and she began to cry. Another favorite moment of hers, was the Colorado trip they took her freshman year. Off of the court, Delanie has received honors such as; Highest GPA on the Volleyball team and has been named to the SLIAC All-Academic Team multiple times. She is majoring in Elementary Education. After Graduation, she plans to teach an elementary grade and continue her education. She plans to specialize in early childhood and special education and eventually get her masters. Delanie’s advice to underclassmen is, “to enjoy every single moment and never take it for granted. You will make friends for life and memories that you’ll never forget”. Delanie would like to thank her family for all their years of support, even through the injuries and the complaining. She would also like to thank her coaches for always believing in her. Lastly, she would like to thank her friends and amazing teammates for becoming her family and for all the laughs, tears, and memories. She loves you all.
Alexis Dick is the daughter of Chris and Amy Dick and is a Libero from DeLand, IL. Alexis has been a strong backrow player, making her mark as the “hustler” on the team. Coach Hustein talked about the leadership and the role she played throughout the season, “Lexi is a very vocal leader. If you have any doubts, come to any practice or match. She led by her example of effort and the kind of gritty determination you need in a libero”. Alexis has appeared in 112 matchers for the Beavers, where she also has learned to play a variety of positions. Before being the libero, Alexis was an Outside hitter, as well as a defensive specialist. Prior to tomorrow’s match, she has recorded 70 service aces and 879 digs. Both of these numbers have earned her a spot on the Blackburn Volleyball All-Time Record list. She will be listed as 4th in total Career digs, and 3rd with Service Aces. Alexis’s favorite moment was when the team beat Eureka this year. She knew as a team they could accomplish the win. It was a good hard win and she couldn’t be more thankful for her teammates. Off the court, Alexis has received the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Award multiple times. Alexis currently serves as the Administration Department Manager her at Blackburn. She is a Graphic design major with minors in Professional Writing, Marketing & Communication, and Business Administration. After graduation Alexis plans to work in the Design and Marketing field and eventually open her own Photography business. Alexis’s favorite quote is, “Thrive to be”. She states, “You can thrive to be anything you want”. She would like to thank all of her college, high school, and camp coaches. Alexis would also like to thank her parents, boyfriend, and friends for standing behind her through this journey. Lastly, she would like to thank her teammates for the best four seasons of her life.
Coach Hustein closed out his comments by stating, “they are both consummate leaders. They showed us all how important it is to not only work and try, but to care. I will never forget the looks on their faces and those of their teammates in the huddle after the win over Eureka”.
Blackburn College will recognize these two seniors Wednesday night, as they take the court one last time. The Beavers will host Harris-Stowe in a non-conference matchup at 7pm.