A Memorable Senior Day

The University of Chicago women’s volleyball team is set to celebrate Senior Day, a bittersweet celebration of the seniors who have given their all to the team.

By Alyssa Rudin

This Friday, the No.11 volleyball team will celebrate its Senior Day while playing against Elmhurst College. Chicago is currently 25–3, and the Bluejays sit at 10–17. The team is honoring its two fourth-year players, Audrey Scrafford and Sarah Muisenga, who have led the Maroons to an 86–36 record and two NCAA qualifications in their four years.  

Muisenga has a decorated career. In her first year, she started in almost every game and totaled 64 kills in the season. In 2016, she really took control, leading the team with 380 kills and 34 aces. She started in every game of the season and was rewarded by being named for the All-UAA First Team and getting an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region honorable mention. She was also awarded UAA Athlete of the Week and nominated for the Carthage Invite and Gargoyle Classic All-Tournament Teams. Muisenga continued her success in her third season, once again starting in every game, earning 359 kills, including 16 double-doubles and 23 matches with double-digit kills. She was named for the UW–Eau Claire/Eastbay and Aurora Invite All-Tournament Teams and earned All-UAA First Team honors and AVCA honorable mention once again. In her final season, Muisenga joined the 1,000-kills club and was named for another All-Tournament team. 

Scrafford has also been successful throughout her time on the team. As a first-year, she started in 25 games and racked up 238 kills, ranking third on the team and earning more than 15 kills in seven games. She was named UAA Athlete of the Week and UAA Rookie of the Year and nominated to the All-UAA Second Team. She showed continuous improvement in her second year, playing 27 matches and coming in second in kills on the team. She was named for the Carthage Invite All-Tournament Team and the All-UAA Second Team. In her third year, Scrafford stepped it up once again, starting in every game and making 389 kills with double-digit kills in 22 games. She was named for the Illinois Wesleyan Classic and Aurora Invite All-Tournament Teams and was a three-time UAA Athlete of the Week. Her hard work paid off as she got nominated for the All-UAA First Team and the AVCA All-Region honorable mention. 

Muisenga can't believe her senior night is already here. “My four years have truly gone by so fast. I am a little in denial that my career is ending soon, so I haven't really allowed myself to think about it much. It has been an amazing experience, and I cannot express how grateful I am to have it in college.” Reflecting on her favorite memories, she picked “going to Niagara Falls my freshman year when playing in Rochester, our yearly team Halloween parties, going 8–0 in conference play for the first time of program history sophomore season (also my first time beating Wash U and Emory), bumping to jams with our assistant coach Thom when we traveled in vans, and going to an escape room being split into two teams fiercely competing against each other after a tournament.” 

The fourth-years, boosted by the strong performance of the rest of the team, have led the Maroons to a very successful season, including a season-high rank of No. 8 in the country. The Maroons will be facing off against Elmhurst College, a slightly less formidable opponent, at Ratner at 4 p.m. this Friday.