Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, September 10, 2005
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Home sweet home! Muhlenberg, playing in the championship bracket of the Buttermaker Tournament on its home court, did what it failed to do last week on the road – win both matches in the championship bracket. The Mules, who fell just short of winning the Moravian Greyhound Premiere Invitiational, defeated Dickinson and Penn State-Altoona to win the Buttermaker Tournament for the first time since 2001.

Senior Julie Lauro was named the tournament MVP for the second
The Muhlenberg Volleyball Team
straight year. Lauro, Muhlenberg’s all-time kills leader, racked up 54 over the weekend to go along with 34 digs and 10 aces. In the championship match against Penn State-Altoona, she propelled the team with 17 kills and 14 digs – her third double-double of the young season.

“I feel really confident about this season,” said Lauro. “We just keep getting better and better. This should be a great season.”

After defeating Dickinson, 3-0, in the semifinals, Muhlenberg met up with Penn State-Altoona in the championship game. It was the second time in nine days the two met up and the result was the same – a 3-0 Muhlenberg victory.

The Mules, who had a five-hour layoff between Dickinson and Penn State-Altoona, played even with the Lions throughout most the first game. However, leading 22-19, Muhlenberg took over behind the serving of junior Kate Haggerty, who collected six straight points, including two aces. The Mules went on to win 30-23.

“We all really came together today,” said Haggerty, who had eight aces, 29 kills and seven blocks over the weekend. “Coming out and winning this tournament is a huge start to the season.”

In the second game, once again, Haggerty’s serving sparked the team. She gave the Mules a 5-0 lead, including an ace and a kill in that stretch. Muhlenberg led by as many as eight, but Penn-Altoona clawed back and used a 12-3 run to take a 24-23 advantage. But after a long rally ended with sophomore Jess Anselmi recording a kill, Muhlenberg took over the momentum. Lauro had three kills and senior Mary Henning had an ace, before Anselmi’s fifth kill of the game gave the Mules a 30-27 victory.

Anselmi provided a nice balance across from Lauro at outside hitter
Courtney Williams
Courtney Williams collected 18 kills and five blocks as Muhlenberg won all four matches over the weekend and improved to 7-1 on the season.
throughout the tournament. She finished with 32 kills and 22 digs, including her first career double-double in the match versus Albright.

“I feel really comfortable opposite Julie,” said Anselmi. “We were very prepared and ready for this tournament.”

Both teams exchanged points in the third game until the score was 16-14 in favor of Muhlenberg. The Mules then took over, finishing the tournament on a 14-3 run.

Muhlenberg defeated Dickinson, 3-0, in the semifinals.

The first game against Dickinson saw numerous lead changes. Tied at 25, Lauro and junior Julia Lamborn each recorded a kill followed by another Lauro kill to seize momentum. After the teams exchanged points, Lamborn’s block finished the game.

The Mules, trailing at one point 14-12, finished the second game on an 18-5 run. Haggerty served the final four points as Dickinson failed to return the ball over the net each time.

Senior Jen Weist served 11 consecutive points, including three aces, as the Mules took a 22-7 advantage in the third game and held on to win 30-15.

Weist, who was successful serving throughout the tournament, proved that it is not always how hard you can hit the ball, especially on serves.

“I changed it up and did a float serve,” she said. “I thought about what serve I find hard to receive and try that against opponents. It worked well.”

The Mules, who are 7-1 to open the season, will look to keep the home court advantage working as they host Moravian on Thursday.

Click here for box scores.

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Last updated September 10, 2005