Taking over the court

MVP Q&A with volleyball outside hitter Erin McNeil

Senior+Erin+McNeil+goes+for+the+tip+over+the+net+to+score+a+point+on+Sept.+1+in+their+game+against+the+University+of+Chicago+at+the+Williams+Center.

Morgan Guenther

Senior Erin McNeil goes for the tip over the net to score a point on Sept. 1 in their game against the University of Chicago at the Williams Center.

Nay Salter, Sports Editor

With sports back into the flow of things, Erin McNeil, a senior on the volleyball team is eager to get back to playing with her team. Last year was a rough season, but she held her head high and worked hard and is ready to get back to competing for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s volleyball team.

Back in 2018, McNeil was named first team All-WIAC. Not only that, but she has accomplished much throughout her years playing for Whitewater. In 2018 she was named player of the week (Sept. 10-16), she totaled a team best of 299 kills and earned 2.90 kills per set, she was names fifth best in the WIAC and first on the team, and she was on the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Scholastic Honor Roll in 2020. 

Q: How long have you been playing volleyball? 

A: I have been playing volleyball since I was 8 and I’m 21 now so for about 8 years. I enjoy the sport, I always have. I wouldn’t have chosen to play it in college if I didn’t enjoy it. 

Q: Why did you choose Whitewater for volleyball? 

A: I didn’t necessarily choose Whitewater. I kind of ended up here and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m really happy I ended up here and I can’t see myself anywhere else. But my sister played on the team before me and I kind of knew what the program was about already and I just really liked how although its a D3 sport we still spend as much time as d1 athletes would practicing and lifting and I like how much commitment there is and still being able to have some freedom. 

Q: When was the moment you realized that volleyball was the sport for you? 

A: I’m not sure if there’s a specific moment, but I grew up watching my sister play volleyball, and her friends and it’s always been a big part of my family’s life so I just kind of fell into the same path. 

Q: What is your favorite memory you have from being on the whitewater’s volleyball team? 

A: My favorite memory is probably my freshman year when we won conference i think it was or we advanced to the next part of the tournament. I can’t remember which one it was, but it was a big game and we won. And the picture of us all cheering and stuff we still look back on to this day and get to remember that moment. 

Q: What are you most proud of from your volleyball career? Awards? Games? Skills? 

A: For whitewater I think I’m most proud of coming in my freshman year and dong as well as i did and having a lot of upper classman to look up to who were teaching me how to play at a college level. I’m also proud of myself for being able to take on the challenge of starting off as a freshman and doing really well. 

Q: If you could describe volleyball in three words what would they be? 

A: I would probably say “Game of mistakes” 

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater volleyball team started its 2021 season last Wednesday, Sept. 1 with a thrilling 25-21, 25-14, 23-25, 20-25, 17-15 victory over ninth-ranked Chicago in a non-conference match at Russell Arena. The volleyball team then improved to 2-0  Saturday, Sept 4 with a 25-18, 25-15, 25-13 triumph against Lakeland in a non-conference match at home. The Warhawks hit .209 offensively and totaled 13 blocks in the performance.

The women Warhawks will get their next shot at victory against Elmhurst on New Student Welcome Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7 in the Kris Russell Volleyball Arena in the Williams Center. 

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