Muhlenberg volleyball came out Sept. 13 with an overwhelming victory against a competitive Moravian University team. Moravian came into the game with an impressive 5-1 record, despite these odds, the Mules came out and dominated.
Coach Rob Vickers commented on the team’s victory. “I was very happy with how the team played for the most part. It was our best start to a match so far this season, and probably our most complete match to date. We even got the experience of coming back from a late deficit, which can prove to be valuable down the road if we find ourselves in a similar situation.”
“In general, we’re definitely a group of competitive girls. We know how to push each other and stay supportive during crunch time,” said Christina Marcin ‘26, who had an impressive 17 kills during the match against Moravian. Marcin continues, “I would say that playing smart is the key. It’s really important to see the court and understand where their defense is and work your way around it. Being resilient is also an important aspect to getting kills during the game, especially when faced with a big block.” Marcin’s mindset leads to her multitude of kills during the match. As a first-year, she has been a standout performer for the team.
Another indispensable player was Caleya Tereska ‘23 who served four aces during the match against Moravian. She said that, “The volleyball game against Moravian started off with a strong finish to the first set with a score of 25-9. After winning the first set, the Muhlenberg volleyball team brought the momentum in the second set. During my service run of this set, I was confident with my serves, bringing the team a total of four aces. I played volleyball in high school with-or-against a handful of the girls on the Moravian volleyball team. Since I knew some tendencies of the Moravian players from scouting and previous high school games, it was easier to understand where to target my serves.”
The turning point of the match was the third set. The Mules were trailing 22-13 in the third set when Vickers called a timeout. He said to the team during the timeout, “It starts with defense. We have been playing such relentless defense thus far. Win or lose, we haven’t seen that falter. Other than that, our team is gelling really well right now, and I think that plays a huge part.”
After gaining a few points back, the third set still looked out of reach. The Mules were trailing 24-16 when Julia Ficon ‘24 came up to serve. “I felt pretty calm during my serving run. I knew all I had to do was keep the ball in play and my teammates would execute our defense and offense to keep the run going. We all have so much trust in each other that it was easy to be relaxed during what could have been a really stressful situation.” Julia Ficon, with that confidence, was able to help lift the team to a 9-0 run to take the lead in the third set. Ficon adds, “The team was able to get the momentum back in the third set because we knew we had the ability and confidence to completely shift the game. Our staff and teammates have all the confidence in the world in us and told us that we could turn it around, so we did! I think we really focused on executing the little things like getting a good first pass and letting the right play to develop; we weren’t frantic and didn’t rush any plays.” Even while helping lead the team back, Ficon said it was a team effort.
Another important aspect of this match was the home crowd. Memorial Hall echoed each time the Mules scored. The football team, wrestling team, both basketball teams and many students cheered on the Mules. “The home crowd is always such an important part of getting excited during a big game. Cheering and support from the crowd makes playing so much more competitive and helps with the overall momentum of the game,” Marcin comments. Tereska adds, “At the Moravian game, we had so many supporters ranging from family members, to friends, the athletic department, and other Muhlenberg sports teams such as baseball, football and wrestling. The home crowd brought the energy into the gym the second that the game started. Our team was able to feed off of this energy throughout the entire game.”
“Our crowd has been a huge help during our first two home matches. They provide the energy when we make those big plays and give us the support to come back if need be. It has been such a fun atmosphere to be in. KEEP SHOWING UP AND KEEP BEING LOUD!” Coach Vicker comments.
The Mules next home game is Saturday, Sept. 24 against the Dickinson College Red Devils and hopefully the same energy from Wednesday’s game will be carried into it.