Volleyball 2011 Season Review

 

A year after laying the foundation, the Muhlenberg volleyball team showed its rebuilding process is right on schedule during the 2011 season.

On top of improvement in the win column, four more than in 2010,

Davi Gordon
Gordon ranks in the top 20 in school history in career kills (14th, 511), blocks (14th, 133) and digs (18th, 593).
including three more conference wins, the youthful Mules were competitive in most of their matches, putting a scare in some of the top teams in the conference and finishing just shy of a playoff berth. And with all but three players set to return next fall, the future is definitely looking as bright as the new paint in Memorial Hall.

For the second year in a row, Muhlenberg won its first match of the season, sweeping Oberlin at Marietta’s River City Classic. The following weekend, the Mules hosted their annual Buttermaker Tournament, beating Albright in four in the finale. Senior Brooke McQueen and freshman Holly Hynson were named to the all-tournament team.

In the first conference match of the season, Muhlenberg took a pair of close sets from McDaniel before putting the Green Terror away, 25-11, in the final frame.

Jackie Price
Price closed out her career fourth in program history in blocks (241) and 12th in kills (632).

Following a tough five-set loss to CC playoff qualifier Haverford, the Mules hit their stride when the calendar turned to October. They won three of their first four matches of the month, all in conference play, to move into fourth place in the CC. Senior Jackie Price led the way, averaging more than 10 kills and four blocks per match during that stretch

The stretch started with a 3-1 win against Dickinson before the Mules picked up their first true road victory, 3-1, at Bryn Mawr.

Muhlenberg made it two in a row as Hynson pounded home 18 kills with only one error to come back after dropping the first set for a 3-1 win at Washington. The 18 kills were the most by a Mule freshman since 2002 and helped earn Hynson CC player of the week honors.

In the next match, defending CC champ Franklin & Marshall jumped out to a two-set lead. But the Mules battled back, claiming the third and fourth and taking the lead in the fifth before falling by two points.

From there, Muhlenberg finished the season strong, claiming four of its final five matches to reach the 10-win mark

On Senior Night, the Mules beat Ursinus in four to finish 5-5 in CC play, one win shy of a playoff spot as McQueen finished with 33 digs, the most by a Mule in one match in two seasons.

On the final weekend of the season, Muhlenberg traveled to St. Mary’s (Md.) for the Seahawk Invitational, where they beat Wesley, Bridgewater and the City College of New York.

Brooke McQueen
McQueen dug 555 balls during her Mule career, good for 21st on the school’s all-time list.

Price earned All-CC honorable mention after tying for third in the conference in blocks per set (0.67) and ranking fifth in hitting percentage in CC play (.293).

Playing primarily on the front row for the first time in her career, McQueen finished third on the team with a career-high 133 kills. She also ranked second with 212 digs. Despite battling injuries for much of the year, Gordon tallied 99 kills and 95 digs.

Sophomore Morgan Duggan led the team in assists per set (4.38) and was second in aces (27), while classmate Laurainne Ojo-Ohikuare was second on the squad with 29 blocks to go along with 94 kills.

Hynson finished her solid rookie season with 174 kills to become the first freshman to lead the Mules in that category since 2002. Classmate Nikki Dickson led the team with 29 aces and tied for the lead with 337 assists. Freshman Alyssa Schell finished eighth in the conference with a team-high 292 digs, and classmates Lindsey Gambocurta (109 kills, 97 digs) and Julia Elkin (114 digs) added solid contributions in their Mule debuts.