Volleyball ends spectacular season

After big semifinal victory over Hopkins, Terror players hold high hopes for next year

By Chris Ferrick-Manley

The Green Terror volleyball team finished up its successful season with a trip to the Centennial Conference finals, falling to the Haverford Fords in three games. They were the only McDaniel fall sports team to reach the postseason.

In the semifinal round of the playoffs, McDaniel defeated the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in five games. Earlier, in the second to last game of the season, Hopkins had defeated the Terror in four games in Baltimore.

The win versus Johns Hopkins was significant to the players, who felt that they could have beaten Hopkins the first time around. According to freshman Kristen Nuckles, the team played very well in the first encounter but increased focus was needed in order to win.

Freshman Kelly Toms expressed a great deal of confidence in the team prior to their semifinal showdown with Johns Hopkins.

“We better be able to beat them,” said Toms. “They’re going down!”

Beating Johns Hopkins and making the conference finals was described by team captain Deanne Lehr as one of the biggest highlights of her career at McDaniel. Prior to their victory in the semifinals, Lehr and the three other seniors on the team had failed to beat Johns Hopkins in four tries.

While Lehr was a little disappointed in not being able to beat Haverford to move on to the national playoffs, she believes that the team will be very competitive in the near future.

“I definitely see this team going up,” said Lehr.

She also gave praise to the underclassmen on the team including Nuckles, whom she described as a big playmaker, and sophomore Sara Hanlon, who stepped it up in the playoffs.

“The underclassmen showed a lot of heart this year,” said Lehr.

Head Coach Carole Molloy echoed Lehr in her praise of the underclassmen. Molloy described Nuckles as full of positive energy in addition to being a good player and Hanlon as being “fearless” and a good learner.

Molloy also pointed out the contributions that Lehr and the other seniors had made to the program in the last four years.

“These girls came in and laid the foundation for our success this year,” said Molloy.

Molloy believes with the steady improvement that her team has been making, the outlook for next season is good. However, she was not ready to declare a third straight playoff birth, citing the need for offseason conditioning and the continued recruitment of quality players as necessary requirements.

The Centennial Conference playoffs were held at Haverford from November 3 and 4. The Gettysburg Bullets were the other semifinal team.