The University of Chicago volleyball team celebrated its Senior Day in dominant fashion, dispatching the Elmhurst Bluejays in a three-set sweep on Friday afternoon.
Fittingly, fourth-years Audrey Scrafford and Sarah Muisenga spearheaded the Maroons’ overwhelming offensive blitz. The duo, who have combined for 2,271 career kills, notched another 28 kills against the Bluejays, led by Scrafford’s team high of 19.
“Leading up to the game against Elmhurst, our coach Sharon Dingman consistently told us that this game was to honor our seniors, Sarah and Audrey. I think this reminder about how much our seniors have dedicated to the team both on and off the court really pushed us to play our hardest,” first-year Audra Berg said.
Playing in front of the home crowd, the Maroons raced out to a 6–1 lead in the first set before Elmhurst took a timeout. After the timeout, Chicago kept the momentum in its favor and clinched the set 25–13. Scrafford shone in the set, as she individually recorded more kills (nine) than the entire Elmhurst team combined (six).
The second set proved to be more competitive. This time, it was Elmhurst who pulled ahead early, leading 9–4. Powered by second-year setter Emma Griffith and a cadre of hitters, Chicago cut the lead and knotted the score at 21–21. The Maroons reeled off four straight points to take a 2–0 lead into the third set.
In the final set, Chicago took the lead 7–6 after briefly trading points, and never relinquished it. While the Bluejays struggled to answer, Chicago hit kill after kill, recording 17 for an outstanding 0.500 hitting percentage. The Maroons ultimately took the set 25–13.
It was a match defined by the Maroons’ offense. In addition to Muisenga and Scrafford, Griffith collected 39 assists, and third-year Madison Pearson registered 11 kills and four blocks. Overall, the team hit a stellar 0.345.
With victory in hand, the attention then shifted to Scrafford and Muisenga. Surrounded by posters and photographs celebrating their four years, both players were recognized on court with their families.
“My senior night was amazing—my teammates and coaches planned a great celebration for my family and me—and it was fun to get a nice win as well. It felt kind of surreal. It still doesn’t feel like it’s my last season, and I don’t think it will until this time next year when I’m not playing. The program has meant so much to me during my time here. The friendships I’ve made on my team will definitely be lasting. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to continue playing in college,” added Muisenga.
Scrafford and Muisenga will depart Chicago with two of the program’s greatest careers. Both players have secured their place in the record book among the top 10 in career kills, and they have garnered All-UAA and All-Region accolades. In addition to personal achievements, the two guided the team to an 87–36 record and two NCAA berths in their four years.
With the win, the No. 11 Maroons will enter UAA Championships this Friday atop the conference with an overall 26–3 record.