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Dear Julie Darty:

An open letter to our Mississippi State volleyball coach.

Alex Gomez

Dear Julie Darty:

Through all the crazy moments we have had through this year, it seems only fitting that a thank you is in order for you and the girls. To me, the most influential team that has come through the entire state of Mississippi just finished their season tonight.

As I sat in my living room as the final point was scored, I truly realized what this team had done. Our team was the focus of the night. I looked around my living room. The watch party I hosted had 70 people packed into my two-bedroom apartment. We were all united for one cause—Mississippi State Volleyball.

You know, typically, Mississippi is last on every list that’s good and first on every list that’s bad, but Mississippi was being talked about in a new light. In a nation that seems to go back and forth on issues and that seems ever so divided these days, we all came together tonight for a common purpose. This group grew volleyball into the talk of the town and Twitter.

This team, led by you, grew volleyball overall. We knocked off the Florida in the Swamp. We broke every record in every book when it comes to volleyball. We made a run at a Southeastern Conference championship. We rallied from countless deficits. We packed The Griss. But most importantly, we had a good time.

One thing never changed, even in defeat and that was that the team was always smiling. It was about playing for each other. There is no greater victory than that.

Just know, that’s the key to understanding what this team has done. You might not have lifted the trophy, but I assure you that you won.

As silly as it sounds, the picture on the article is proof enough. There are so many words that I can say for including me in practice, the gear that I got from the team, or for even always responding to our many direct messages. But more than any words, the most important ones are, “Thank You.”

You have believed in this vision from the first day and the ride is far from over. I can’t wait to watch this team play for many more years to come, eventually in Darty-Dennis Arena, because that only seems fitting. The future is bright, and we couldn’t be more grateful to you for building it that way.

Hail State!