HERSHEY, Neb. (KNOP)--- All season long Hershey volleyball has had a familiar face sitting on the sideline with senior Chanda Cooper supporting her classmates every serve along the way.
Senior student coach Chanda Cooper said, "I was originally a player and I said to myself, I was like, 'Why not let a younger girl have this jersey and have the experience when I'm just going to leave next year and I'm not really going to do anything else with volleyball,' but I still want to be a part of the team."
Hershey's head volleyball coach Amy Beyer said, "I totally admire, and respect. You know the maturity there, you don't see that very often and you know a lot of the team members were crying with her, cause you know it was that emotional, that touching."
"She's my best friend so at first my heart hurt a little bit and then I understood it's what she wanted and it's what was going to make her happy and in the long run, it's made us better, she's helped us improve in so many ways, even off the court," said senior left hitter Channing Holm.
And even though she isn't playing along side the friends she grew up with, she's still there cheering them on.
Senior middle hitter Emily Barr said, "The only difference I see is that she's not on the court. She's still supportive and still helps everyone get up and get hyped. And so the only difference I see is that she's not on the court with us."
Holm said, "Chanda is the spunk and the liveliness of the team. She's always like hyping us up and getting us in good moods. She's always in a good mood and like whenever we're down, she just brings it up, picks it up with energy and gives us compliments and is non-stop feedback."
Cooper said, "I enjoy watching them still. I love watching them and I love seeing them get a kill and getting excited because I'm always on the bench like yelling and screaming at them."
She's helping bridge the gap between players and coaches.
"She's one of our coaching staff. Sits on the bench with us, she kind of has that input of the dynamics of the group from the other side of it. And sometimes just her input is kind of the balance between the coaches and the kids," said Beyer.
"I've always seen it from a players point of view but now the coaches have taught me so much so I see if from their point of view," said Cooper. "So when we get frustrated with the girls, I know what they're going through, I'm like 'Oh wow this is completely different, like holy cow.'"