Volleyball 2012 Season Review

 

With a 14-player roster consisting of no seniors, only two juniors, five sophomores and seven freshmen, the Muhlenberg volleyball team went into the 2012 season knowing it would have to rely on young players.

Laurainne Ojo-Ohikuare
Junior Laurainne Ojo-Ohikuare averaged a career-best 1.56 kills per set.
That trust was well placed: The Mules finished the campaign with a 17-11 record, exceeding their win total from the previous two years combined. The 17 wins were the most for the team since 2008.

Freshmen led Muhlenberg in every statistical category, and two earned All-Centennial Conference second-team honors, becoming the first pair of Mule freshmen to make the All-CC squad in the same year.

Katherine Boll established herself as one of the top hitters in the CC, ranking sixth in the league in hitting percentage (.272) and seventh in kills per set (3.01). Boll’s hitting percentage was the second-best ever by a Muhlenberg freshman, and she tied a school record with 22 kills in a three-set match against Elizabethtown.

Morgan Duggan
Junior Morgan Duggan, who missed the second half of the season with injury, recorded a career-high nine kills in only 13 attempts in a three-set sweep of Centenary.
Chelsea Kaser made her mark on defense, leading the CC with 4.68 digs per set in league matches. She averaged 4.08 digs per set overall and was well on her way to breaking the school record for digs by a freshman before getting sidelined for the last four matches of the season. Kaser also paced the team with 37 aces.

Boll didn’t take long to make an impression, earning all-tournament honors at the season-opening Greyhound Premiere Invitational, in which the Mules reached the championship match before falling to host Moravian. A week later, Boll joined sophomore Holly Hynson on the Buttermaker Tournament all-tournament team as Muhlenberg split four matches.

A pair of wins at McDaniel upped the Mules’ record to 8-3, but they dropped their next three CC matches and faced an uphill climb to the playoffs for the rest of the season. They did sweep four matches in one four-day span and finished second at the Kean Invitational, with Kaser and freshman Sarah Weyhmuller earning all-tournament recognition.

Hynson had another solid season hitting, improving both her percentage (.146 to .183) and her kills average (1.83 to 2.29) from 2011. She was 15th in the CC in kills per set.

Weyhmuller, who was 11th in the CC in hitting percentage (.242), sophomore Lindsay Gambocurta (1.77 kills per set) and freshman Joanne Josephson (1.76 kills per set) also were key weapons on an offense that hit .181 – the Mules’ best percentage in 10 years.

Josephson led Muhlenberg and ranked 10th in the CC in blocks per set (0.63), with classmates Boll (13th) and Weyhmuller (15th) also in the top 15. Sophomore back-row players Alyssa Schell (2.57 digs per set) and Julia Elkin (1.66 digs per set) contributed to the defense.

Freshman Vanessa Pulice and sophomore Nikki Dickson alternated at setter, both averaging more than five assists per set. Pulice was seventh in the CC with 7.24 assists per set in league matches.