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Cate Vansolkema: The Lone Senior

Cate Vansolkema (‘20) enjoys spending time with friends and family and she loves playing volleyball. As a four-year varsity volleyball player, Cate is a defensive-specialist/libero on the school’s team this year. Senior year athletics are special for all student-athletes, but this year is even more special for Cate as she is the only senior on the varsity volleyball team. 

Cate’s teammates love her and appreciate all of the time and hard work that she pours into the team. To show their love, they gave her a very special senior night. Because Cate is the only senior, the team changed the evening’s title from “Senior Night” to “Cater Night”. The players sported homemade t-shirts with photos of Cate on them at school to promote the Cater Night game that evening. 

Cate has fully embraced being the only senior and has been a spectacular leader on and off the court as a team captain. Cate feels that being the only senior can be hard on a team full of juniors and one sophomore because she lacks having similar classes and friend groups with her teammates, making her feel out of the loop occasionally. Although this can be hard for her, she maintains a positive attitude and bonds with her teammates with a smile on her face. 

Cate Vansolkema (’20). Photo credit: Cate Vansolkema.

Cate says that what she loves most about volleyball is the team. “Everyone is fun and cool and I love the girls’ humor.” Her favorite memory of playing FHE volleyball is “getting to know girls that [she] would not usually hang out with”. Cate says that thus far, the 2019 season has been “the best season ever”. Her goal for the team in playoffs is for everyone to play as hard as possible and play every game like it is the last. 

Next year, Cate plans to study education. While she is undecided about where she will attend college, she is considering Hope College, Alma College, Albion College, Michigan State University, and Grand Valley State University. Cate’s parting advice to underclassmen student-athletes is to love your teammates before anything else. Thank you Cate Vansolkema for four years of hard work and outstanding volleyball!