By Taylor Granell
Two time varsity captain, last year’s first team all conference, team leading blocker, all while balancing a nursing major. Seems like there isn’t much senior, Maddie McElroy, can’t do. While the women’s volleyball program was juggling quite a few injuries last year, players were put to the test by being forced out of their original positions. McElroy didn’t let that slow her down.
Last year alone, she finished fifth in the conference with a.261 hitting percentage and eighth in the league by averaging 2.61 kills per set. Despite missing eight matches during the season, she still led the team in total blocks (66) and commanded second place in team kills (264). She also put down double-digit kills in 13 matches, marking her season-best (17) against Wis.-Platteville.
“I was initially interested in playing basketball,” McElroy said, “but realized I was pretty bad at it so I gave volleyball a try and realized I really enjoyed it.”
Switching positions for most players can be a challenging task, but has been the norm for McElroy.
“I’ve played right side, middle and most recently outside,” McElroy said, “although it’s one of the more harder positions physically, middle is my favorite position because it is the position I started off with.”
Sometimes even being a student can be stressful enough. Student athletes must juggle their academics as well as their athletics. Last year alone, the Queen Bees were on the road with seven conference games and six away tournaments.
“I lay out my course calendars and my volleyball calendars in my planner ahead of time so I am organized and prepared for both,” McElroy said, “I actually do a lot better in school in volleyball season than I do out of it.”
The Bees overcame many obstacles this past season, so maintaining their health and improving their record are their biggest goals for this new season.
Most recently, the women’s program went 2-1 at the Mount Mercy Mustang Invitational, taking down Dakota State (3-1) and Hannibal-LaGrange (3-0). Their last match against Benedictine University at Springfield was cancelled due to slippery floors.