The Castleton women’s volleyball team wrapped up its season with a split doubleheader showdown in Glenbrook Gym.
The Spartans would lose to LEC opponent Southern Maine 3-0 in the first match but rallied back to defeat Fisher College 3-1 in the second.
But leading up to this doubleheader, senior setter Maddie Delsignore had a milestone on her mind: 1,000 career assists.
Before the season, she set a goal to break the school assist record after accumulating 437 assists in her 2022 campaign. Delsignore had already broken the record the week previous against UMASS Boston in just two years of starting. She passed Alex Madsen’s record of 942 assists, which was set back in 2016.
The other goal for the season was to become a leader in the locker room to set the standard for her team.
“As a senior captain, I wanted to be a good role model displaying strong work ethic and commitment to improvement,” Delsignore said.
Head coach Jessica Trudeau praised her presence on and off the court for her team.
“Maddie is a very driven and focused person and is well-respected by her teammates,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau knew that Delsignore was on the verge breaking 1,000 career assists and telling her about it only motivated her more. Her energy shifted the team focus motivating them to help her reach her assist record.
Senior right side hitter Caitlin Mahoney wanted to help her best friend reach this milestone.
“Maddie is more than a teammate to me and has been a best friend over the past two years,” she said.
Mahoney and Delsignore’s connection runs deep as they both have gone through tough times together. Mahoney appreciates her sticking through it all and helping her obtain this goal was something she was going to do without question.
“I know that if there was another record that any other teammate could break, she would work just as hard to help her teammates,” she said, adding that the team has a “we over me” mentality Delsignore implemented into the team culture.
The setter was filled with a lot of different emotions before her match, feeling excited with lots of anticipation and nerves in the locker room. Soaking in the moment, she also wanted to give her best performance for her team as they’ve helped her so much along the way.
She talked about looking back to her high school days when coaches doubted her abilities due to her height. She said It made her feel proud to have this opportunity to play college volleyball and to achieve her goal.
On the day of the 1000th set, the Spartans arrived at Glenbrook Gym ready to take on Southern Maine. As the game commenced, they kept it competitive against a dominant Huskies squad.
Trudeau knew her young team had a lot of pressure. The assists were being tracked at the desk and the anticipation kept building on the court. She was hoping her team could keep competing despite the goal and had rallies to take an early advantage.
The Spartans forced a timeout during a set and an announcement was made: Delsignore had achieved her goal.
The crowd began to erupt celebrating her big moment with “Mad-die” chants.
“I looked back at the bench and saw my teammates jumping up and down. Looking up into the stands and seeing my family and friends was something I’ll never forget,” Delsignore explains.
She now soaks in the moment and appreciates the journey she had gone through to get to this point. She was able to reach this milestone with her high school coach, Stephanie Gengel, in the audience.
Most importantly, she was able to celebrate with her team with a dance party after the game. She credits the team for her success working hard to etch her name into the record books.