Womenƒ?TMs volleyball misses MIAC playoffs

By Emily Dunn

Women’s Volleyball ended its season on Oct. 25 with a loss to Bethel. Despite 23 kills from Sonia Muzikarova ’09 and 53 assists from Kari Tanaka ’08 the Scots failed to qualify for the post-season MIAC playoffs.
After cutting JV volleyball last spring due to budget cuts as well as the fact that most other colleges cut their JV teams as well, this was the first season there was only a varsity team.

On the season the women went 12-11 overall and 5-6 in the MIAC. The Scots ended up 7th in the MIAC, with the same MIAC record as Bethel and St. Benedict. However, even with a season full of ups and downs, the team was able to pull of some great wins as well as learn from some loses.

“There was disappointment in not making it to conference, overall we played well. The matches we lost were close and our stats were there,” Lauren Eberhart ’07 said.

The Scots were joined this year by a small recruiting class of 2 first-years, Erin Cusac and Marie Godwin.
“The first-years contributed a lot, but with fewer players to fill positions they really stepped it up,” Eberhart said.

The women can also boast a handful of outstanding players this season. Earlier in the season Eberhart, who was named All-Conference in 2005, made Mac history with more than 1,226 kills, placing her second behind Jennifer Hodges ’99. She also has 147 block assists, the fourth highest in school history.

Along with Eberhart, her teammates Andrea Hansen ’07 and Muzikarova have been selected to the All-MIAC team. This is the first time Mac has had multiple All-MIAC selections since 2000. Hansen ranked second in the MIAC in hitting percentage and fifth in blocks, while Muzikarova ranked second in kills and eighth in aces per game. Muzikarova also spiked 4.3 kills per game—the Scots’ highest by a player since 1999.

In addition, Hansen was recently been selected to the All-Central Region Volleyball team. Hansen will now be considered for All-American honors. This is the third time in four years Macalester has had a representative on the All-Region team.

Overall, the Scots record is a big improvement from past seasons; last year they went 11-17 overall and 4-7 in the MIAC. This year at the Iowa-Minnesota Border Battle the women went 2-2 on the weekend, compared to last year when they finished the tournament 0-4.

“With a smaller team our team became incredibly close this season,” Eberhart said. “There is much to come.”