Volleyball sets their eyes on a top spot in the OAC

Volleyball sets their eyes on a top spot in the OAC

The Muskingum volleyball team under the direction of Head Coach Hallie Cruzen, who was named Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2018, returns 13 letterwinners and six starters from last year's 25-win team.

Last season, the Muskies finished runner-up in the OAC Tournament for the seventh time in school history and notched a spot in the OAC Tournament Finals for the first time since 2006. The Muskies registered 11 consecutive wins, secured 15 straight-set victories, and had four players that were awarded All-OAC accolades. The Muskies will look to their returning upperclassmen and a strong recruiting class to help Muskingum challenge for a conference championship this fall. 

Guiding the Muskies on the court will be junior outside hitter Brooke Fatheree, junior setter Erin Dickson, junior defensive specialist Jessica Cottle, and junior middle hitter Brynn Guist

Fatheree, a First Team All-OAC honoree, ended her sophomore campaign with a team-best 452 kills, a team-high 500.5 points (3.5 points per set), and ranked second on the team in digs with 446 (3.81 digs per set). She ended the year ranked first in the OAC in kills with 452 and second in the OAC in kills per set with 3.86. Through her first two years, Fatheree has recorded 751 kills and 747 digs.

Dickson, a Second Team All-OAC award winner, finished the year with a team-high 1,210 assists (10.34 assists per set). She secured a total of 120 kills, 198 digs, and 52 blocks. Last season, Dickson was named OAC Player of the Week for her incredible performance against Mount Union and Baldwin Wallace. Dickson recorded 33 assists against the Purple Raiders and 43 assists against the Yellow Jackets. Dickson ranked first in the OAC in assists and fifth in the conference in assists per set. Throughout her two years, Dickson has recorded 1,969 assists, making her sixth overall in Muskingum history for career assists. 

Last season, Cottle and Guist were both named Honorable Mention All-OAC. Cottle finished the year with a team-best 622 digs, securing 5.46 digs per set. She notched a ferocious 31 service aces in 32 matches played. Cottle ranked first in the OAC in digs and third in the OAC in digs per set. Guist recorded 326 kills last season, ranking second on the team in kills and kills per set. She secured a team-best 100 blocks, 103 digs, and 24 service aces. 

The Muskies also return junior defensive specialist Maddie Sikorski, junior defensive specialist Kamryn Smith, senior defensive specialist Allison Cramer, senior middle hitter Jada Briggs, and junior outside hitter Kaitlin Goedde.  

Coach Cruzen will also have the benefit of a strong recruiting class to add depth and talent to the potent Muskie lineup.

Muskingum opens the season on Friday, August 30, against Earlham at the Mount Union Invitational. The Muskies open home play on Wednesday, September 18, against Bethany. Muskingum begins OAC play on Tuesday, September 24, at Ohio Northern.