By Patricia Doherty

June of 2019 marks such a huge occasion in my life. As most of you may know, my daughter Emma, setter on 18-Aurora, will be graduating high school. Emma has been at SoCal since we moved here to California in 2013 — just in time for 13’s tryouts! Shhh – don’t tell anyone , but Emma also tried out at another club as we didn’t know anything about California volleyball (or California for that matter), and felt like it was appropriate thing to do. Emma was offered a spot at another club as a 14-1’s setter, and she was offered a spot on 13-JT here at SoCal. When asked which she would like to join — without a moment’s hesitation — she said,“Mom, I want to join the team at SoCal, because it just feels like home.” Six years later, those words still ring true for both of us. Moving here from the Midwest to California was definitely not an easy transition, and the friends she made on 13-JT, the community here at SoCal, the support of Aimee, Scott , and the coaches – all gave Emma a support system and a sense of belonging that we both will never forget, and are so thankful for.   

As Emma started to play volleyball here, I started to volunteer — first at the store, at tryouts, helping the team, wherever and whenever I was needed. That soon blossomed into my administrative position here at SoCal. Being a source of information and helping the families here at SoCal has been such a pleasure.

With Emma’s graduation, and the responsibilities that surround her leaving for a summer program and then for college in July – as well, as some personal responsibilities with family that need my attention, I felt it was a good time for me to leave the nest too.  The end of May marks my last days here behind my desk at SoCal. It wasn’t an easy decision for me to say the least. As I leave, I am filled with mixed emotions, as like Emma, I am leaving a place of of security and comfort and that has been a second family to me. My position allowed me to get to know so many of you, your daughters, and at the same time be close to the daughter I love — playing the sport that she loves with all of her heart.  That is one thing we all have in common — no matter what level of play, or team we are on, from FutureStars to 18s, we’re here because we love our daughters and love seeing them participate in something that brings them amazing amounts of joy. I am so excited for SoCal’s future both with the growth at the club and now with the addition of the SoCal Beach Center. I am so sad that I will be missing all the excitement, with new tryouts and a new season, but so happy for all of you that will be here to experience and share in it together.  SoCal is definitely a place that is hard to leave, but with the love and nurturing that both Emma and I have experienced here, I have no doubt that no matter what comes our way in the future, we’ll be well prepared, and we take with us the SoCal family that will be ours for a lifetime.

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