October 31, 2017
By: Erica Rose
Last week the Muhlenberg volleyball team learned that they had clinched a playoff birth for the fourth time in five years. On Saturday they earned a first round bye with a 3-0 sweep over Washington College. The Mules, who have been nationally ranked this season, are 24-5 on the year, 8-2 in the Centennial Conference and will return to the semifinals for the second straight year. Muhlenberg is the third seed in the tournament and will face #2 Swarthmore, at Johns Hopkins. (Hopkins earned the #1 seed, and will play the 4/5 winner.) Now unfortunately neither Swarthmore nor Johns Hopkins has been very kind to the Mules this season. In fact it was at Johns Hopkins where the Mules had their 12 game win streak snapped. They were one win shy of tying the school record. Nearly three weeks later the Mules suffered their second loss in the league to another regionally ranked opponent, Swarthmore. Prior to the loss, the Mules were picked fifth in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic regional rankings, the highest regional ranking in program history.
If the Mules should pull of the upset on Saturday they would play in the Championship game on November 5. Last season the Mules fell in the semi-final to Johns Hopkins, who would go on to win the Championship by defeating Swarthmore. So it appears these three teams know each other pretty well, but they do not have the Blue Jays number.
In the first meeting this season the Mules were swept by the Garnet, but every set was close. The key this time around will be the Mules jumping out to a quick start, rather then the Garnet. I’ve seen the Mules play several times this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they come home with the win next Saturday. Oh and maybe I should remind you, the Mules do not have one senior on their team!