The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Volleyball senior departs

    Mississippi State volleyball waved goodbye to one of its most valuable clubhouse leaders Sunday, as Ashley Sledge finished out her four-year eligibility.
    Sledge, from Arnaudville, La., was the lone senior on this year’s historic volleyball squad, and one of the most respected. Her influence on and off the court was a driving force in the team’s recent success.
    “Ashley has been our leader all season,” said head coach Tina Seals. “She has definitely been the glue that has held this team together down the stretch.”
    Sledge played her first three years at MSU as an outside hitter before converting to a libero or defender for her senior campaign. Sledge was the opening day starter for the Bulldogs at the libero position but suffered a hamstring injury midway through the season and was never able to reclaim her job. Her final action of the season came Wednesday night in the team’s five-game win at Mississippi.
    “On the court, Ashley has stepped up her game amazingly,” junior Andrea Mead said. “Her leadership has really helped us this year.”
    Sledge’s influence on the program has extended far from the court. Earlier in the year Seals referred to her as the team’s mother figure. Mead said she will especially miss Sledge.
    “When I first got here, Ashley was the one who reached out to me and took me under her wing,” Mead said. “We did everything together, and that was big on her part because it made me feel more like a part of the team.”
    Sledge was overwhelmed on Sunday as her teammates presented her with gifts following the game.
    “It’s good but it’s sad,” Sledge said of ending her career in Maroon. “I couldn’t have asked for a better senior year and a better group of teammates. This group will go far. They will make the SEC tournament next year and in four years they will be one of the top teams in the conference.”
    Sledge is majoring in physical education, and has a very promising future according to Seals.
    “Ashley was a great team player for us this year, and I think she will make a great coach someday,” Seals said.

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    Volleyball senior departs