Volleyball off to promising start, win all 3 games in home tournament

By Jamie Macpherson

Despite an 0-3 record in the competitive MIAC, Mac volleyball has jumped out to a 6-9 record, a dramatic improvement over last season’s 4-24 campaign.Macalester hopes to make an impact on the conference by winning multiple conference games. However, the MIAC, competitive in any sport, is especially tough in volleyball with six teams nationally ranked in the top 30. Even so, Marie Godwin ’10 hopes to upset a few teams this season.

“In the past few seasons I feel that other teams in the conference have overlooked us and brushed us off, but we have been known to really fight,” Godwin said. “Seven of our conference games last year went to four or five sets. We are ready to upset the teams that aren’t ready for us.”

The team has seven returning players as well as six freshmen that have already played key roles so far this season. Taylor Tinkham ’12 believes the freshmen have pushed the entire team to play better.

“Besides giving us more bodies on the court, which we really needed, the freshmen have given us more depth,” Tinkham said. “Competing for playing time has pushed everyone to do their best in every game and every practice.”

The highlight of the season thus far has been hosting the Macalester Invitational in the Leonard Center. Macalester played fantastically, defeating all three teams they played (Dubuque, Grinnell, and Oklahoma Wesleyan) as well as picking up coach Stephanie Schleuder’s seven hundredth career win.

Godwin was pleased with the team’s performance at the invitational.

“It was the first time winning in the Leonard Center and we could really feel the excitement of all our fans,” Godwin said.

Coach Schleuder also noted the fun and excitement that went along with hosting an invitational.

“We haven’t hosted a tournament since I have been a coach at Macalester,” Schleuder said. “It was fun, we had a good crowd and it was a really positive experience for the team.”

Tonight Macalester will host its second annual “Dig Pink” game to promote breast cancer awareness and benefit the Side-Out Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The Scots will take on Augsburg at 7 p.m. in the Leonard Center.

“We will be wearing our pink jerseys again and raising money for the Side-Out Foundation. We have been collecting donations through our online site and will also be collecting donations at the game,” Godwin said. “In addition to collecting funds, we have informational pieces that will be on display at the game as well. Tami Gutz, a local middle school volleyball coach and breast cancer survivor will do the honorary first serve.”

Tinkham is anxious to take home a win against rival Augsburg College.

“They have always been a rival team for us and it would be amazing to beat them, while at the same time raising money for breast cancer research,” Tinkham said.