Muhlenberg volleyball stepped into Memorial Hall on Saturday, Oct. 19 looking to take their record against conference opponents to 4-3. On the heels of two forceful victories versus Mary Washington and Ursinus, the Lady Mules were eager to maintain their late season push. Not only were these statement wins fuel to continue their steady play, but the team-wide Volley 4 A Cure campaign, a longstanding tradition of supporting those with childhood cancer at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was meant to provide them with the extra push they needed.
The first two sets with Gettysburg, who currently stand at sixth in the Centennial Conference, certainly proved to give the Mules trouble as they pulled away for 25-16 and 25-13 victories. In the third set, however, the Mules got some momentum. The deciding set would be intense all throughout, and with kills by both Megan Ray ‘22 and Maggie Enestvedt ‘20 as well as an ace from Maya Illovsky ‘21, the Mules would take themselves a late 18-17 lead.
As the intensity-filled third set concluded, the Bullets of Gettysburg departed Memorial Hall victorious. As the season comes down to the wire and the Mules now find themselves at 3-4 in conference play and 9-12 overall, the playoffs are still within reach. However, Tara Register ‘20 has a sense of what the group needs to work on in order to ensure a playoff berth.
“Moving forward, we need to be able to adapt quicker to what the other team is doing. This will be a really big key in being successful these last couple of matches,” Register said.
She also acknowledged that with some formidable opponents coming up to wrap up the regular season, “cleaning up the little things and reducing the errors on our side of the net will be huge.”
While the group did not get the outcome they had hoped for, the entire purpose of the day had a much bigger meaning, one that extended beyond the game of volleyball and bounds of Memorial Hall.
This past weekend’s game marked Muhlenberg volleyball’s annual philanthropy campaign, this year being Volley 4 A Cure. This year’s initiative is in efforts to support the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and those suffering from childhood cancer. In previous years, the Lady Mules have organized similar events such as Dig for a Cure, Tanner’s Touch and Rally for Reagan.
For the Mules and for a veteran player like Register, taking part in such a campaign is something that she looks forward to doing.
“Raising money for such a great cause like CHOP is always rewarding and it’s exciting to see how much money we raise for the cause each year. As I’ve been to CHOP and have seen first hand the amazing things they do for children suffering with illnesses, it is even more rewarding to play and to raise funds for such an incredible organization,” Register said.
The final three matches of the season against McDaniel, Swarthmore and Washington College, mark the end of the road for Register’s remarkable volleyball career. Even faced with this unfortunate reality, Register is focused and has a gameplan. “As a senior, it’s the last time that I will get to go out and play, so I’m looking to play loose and aggressively,” said the outside hitter.
The purpose of the initiative of the past week with Volley 4 A Cure and the money raised in support of CHOP, will undoubtedly push the Lady Mules to fight till the very end. If they can rally behind their praiseworthy campaign and listen to the words of a veteran like Register, the group will find themselves in the playoffs.