Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, August 30, 2001
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Mules Open Up at Springfield Tomorrow

Laura Funsten
Senior Laura Funsten is the Mules’ all-time assists leader.
The beginning of the 2001 season will mark a change in collegiate volleyball: instead of playing games to 15 with points scored only when a team serves, the games will now be to 30 with rally scoring. That could give the Muhlenberg volleyball team an edge.

“We were good at getting side outs last year,” said second-year head coach Jenny Warmack-Chipman. “But we had some problems scoring points.”

The 2000 squad finished with a 17-11 record – the program’s 10th straight season with double digits in wins – and was 4-6 in the Centennial Conference. The Mules had only one senior last year and only one this year, so the bulk of the team is both young and experienced.

That lone senior is setter Laura Funsten, who already is the Mules’ all-time assists leader with 2,021. She averaged a school-record 8.48 assists per game in 2000.

The recipient of many of Funsten’s assists will be junior middle hitter Meaghan Billie, a second-team All-CC selection last year after recording 344 kills, the second-highest single-season total in school history. She also led Muhlenberg with 76 blocks.

Returning as starting outside hitters are juniors Dana Ferrelli (2.16 kills and 3.56 digs per game) and Lisa Giammalvo (1.73 kills, 3.49 digs). Junior Jennifer Leigh and sophomore Kate Woodruff were big contributors on defense a year ago.

The Mules, picked to finish sixth in the CC preseason poll, open up their season tomorrow at Springfield in a tournament featuring three teams that received ECAC bids last year. Muhlenberg faces one of them, Rochester Institute of Technology, in the first round.

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Last updated August 30, 2001