The volleyball season has officially come to a close as they finished an overall conference record of 11-15. Two weeks ago on Nov. 5, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) released its 2014 Volleyball Awards. Junior middle hitter Alyssa Taylor and First-Year setter Marisa Morgan made it onto the All-Conference team.
The last time any Gustavus volleyball player made it onto the All-Conference team was in 2007 and 2008. It was a surprise to have two players make it this year, but the awards were earned through hard work.
“It’s actually really crazy but awesome at the same time. I was so surprised when I heard I made it,” Morgan said.
Morgan has been playing volleyball for the past 12 years. All throughout her volleyball career Morgan has been a setter, and the years of training prepared her well for playing at Gustavus.
“For a first-year in a six-rotation, Marisa did a great job running our offense and made significant strides from the beginning to end of the season. She still has a lot of room to grow over the next three years, which is very exciting for her and the future of Gustavus volleyball,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said.
In Morgan’s first season of collegiate volleyball, she showed consistent improvement, maturity and readiness. Overall, Morgan distributed 824 assists for an average of 29.4 assists per match and 8.4 assists per set.
“Volleyball season was so much fun. Since I’m a first year it was a bit scary playing college volleyball but everyone was so nice and welcoming. When I get on the court I try to just get in my zone and then I don’t think about anything else except my team and playing the game,” Morgan said.
Alyssa Taylor is a middle hitter for the team and is also leaving this season with an impressive reputation. She finished the season as the team’s leading hitter for the second straight year with 284 kills for an average of 10.1 kills per match and 2.9 kills per set.
“A very deserving honor for Alyssa after another outstanding season. One of the strongest middles in our conference – both offensively and defensively – Alyssa elevated her all-around game to new heights this year. Alyssa has a true attacker’s attitude and wants the ball every point.
Despite being the focal point of our opposition’s game-plan virtually every match, she continues to lead the way at the net and is the tone-setter for our offense,” Sherden said.
Taylor has been playing volleyball since the fifth grade. Between that time and now, she has participated on traveling teams and high school’s varsity volleyball team.
“It’s a humbling honor to be a part of the all-conference team because there are such high caliber volleyball players in the conference, so to be acknowledged as one of the top players in the conference is pretty cool. I am so excited for next season because I think that our team is going to be ready to bring it. We got a taste of what it was like to be in playoffs this season and we want and expect more next season. I expect us to have a competitive team with the mentality to be at the top of the conference,” Taylor said.
The women’s volleyball made it into MIAC playoffs for the first time in three years, losing in the first round.