WLU volleyball recognizes seniors in recent game


Hilltopper Sports

WLU Volleyball celebrate their five seniors

On Friday, Oct. 28, the West Liberty University Volleyball Team paid tribute to their five graduating athletes for senior night. Head Coach Riley Schenk’s squad took on the Frostburg State University Bobcats in the ASRC and secured a victory in three sets leaving the seniors with another reason to celebrate.

The five seniors (Nina Billotto, Kirsten Bogunovich, Jenna Caskey, Braidyn Reed and Ashton Wronikowski) were all honored before the start of the game as they were walked out by their loved ones and presented with a framed WLU volleyball jersey. Each senior has contributed positively to the program both on and off the court and the tears from fellow teammates as the upperclassmen walked out with their families highlights just how much their presence will be missed.

Billotto, a middle blocker from Oakland, Mich., capped off her senior night experience with a season and match high of 14 kills and four blocks, a statistic which echoes the strength of her career as a Hilltopper. “It was super special to celebrate senior night with my 18 sisters,” she said. “They made everything so special for us and it was even better to get the win.”
Billotto will graduate with a degree in exercise physiology this coming spring. She then plans to continue her education with a master’s degree in sports science and continue to play volleyball abroad.

Bogunovich also managed a season high for senior night dishing out 29 assists across the three sets. Having been a staple piece in the Topper volleyball squad since her freshman year in 2019, Bogunovich’s presence will be sorely missed. She said, “It’s definitely a crazy feeling to know that we’re already in the last week of regular season, but when I look back on the past four years, it really has been an honor to be part of this program.” Moving forward, Bogunovich plans to attend Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine after the completion of her pre-medicine biology degree this spring.

Out of Lancaster, Ohio, Reed was the third senior recognized on Friday night. Reed will graduate a full year early with a major in marketing after appearing in the All-MEC Academic Team for each year she has been on the Hilltop. On the WLU volleyball Instagram page, Reed said, “My time with the WLUVB program has been nothing short of life changing. I have grown so much as a person and a player because of my coaches, teammates and now second family.”

Caskey, a transfer from Jamestown (New York) Community College, arrived on the Hilltop in 2020 after impressing in the NCJAA. “I fell in love with the team and made lifelong friends. After my senior year I couldn’t leave so I didn’t. So here I am, the meemaw of the team for my fifth year,” she said. Caskey has appeared in 15 games so far this season in what is set to be her final semester at WLU. She is planning to graduate this coming December with an exercise physiology degree.

Outside hitter and right side, Wronikowski was the fifth senior recognized on Friday. She said “Senior night was surreal – the time has gone by faster than I could’ve imagined.” Despite being unfortunately impacted by injuries throughout her collegiate volleyball career, Wronikowski made an impressive mark on the team managing ten aces this fall and being recognized as a leader and captain both on and off the court. “I’ll miss this team more than anything,” she said. “We’re a family and the time we’ve spent together I’ll cherish forever. I’m so proud of this group of women and what we’ve been able to accomplish in our time here!”

The volleyball team will play their final home game of the regular season this Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m., in the ASRC before kicking off in the MEC tournament.