Alma, Mich. – The Alma College volleyball 2018 season came to a close Friday, November 2 when the Scots fell to No. 14 Hope College in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Semifinals. Alma finished with an overall record of 19-8, good for a .704 winning percentage, the program's best since the 2008 season.
Three Scots earned All-MIAA honors with freshman outside hitter Sara Majerle (Rockford, Mich. / Rockford) and sophomore setter Haley Novak (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek) named First Team and senior middle blocker Katie Bush (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) tabbed to the Second Team.
Majerle and Bush led the way on offense with the freshman having 297 kills, sixth-best in the conference, and a 3.54 kills per set rate, third highest in the MIAA. The Scots as a team had the third-highest hitting percentage in the league thanks to Bush's .287 which ranked sixth best in the conference. While Novak ranks second in the league in assists with 902.
The Scots started their season off with four wins at the Buc Blast Tournament in Beloit, Wis. Alma only dropped one set over the course of the four matches. After dropping a match to No. 1 ranked and eventual MIAA Champions Calvin College, Alma went back on a run of six straight wins to start the season off 10-1.
Alma kicked off its conference schedule with a loss to Hope on the road, but quickly regained its composure with an eight-match winning streak that included six MIAA wins. Most notable was at Albion College where the Scots came back from down two sets to one.
On Friday, October 19 the Scots took a trip to Pittsburgh, Pa. for the Carnegie Mellon Tournament. Alma had to face the host Tartans to start things off and played in one of its most thrilling matches of the season. Although the Scots fell in five sets, it was a tough fight against a team that ended up earning an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The regular season ended with Alma earning the third seed in the MIAA tournament after going 6-2 in conference matchups. The Scots hosted Adrian College in the first round and came out victorious, 3-1, to earn their first playoff win since 2010. Their postseason run ended when the team traveled to Calvin to face Hope.
Novak had 10 matches where she made 40 assists or more including a career-high 53 against Olivet on October 16. Junior outside hitter Georgia Miller (Georgetown, Ky. / Scott County) led Alma with 362 digs and set a career-high 27 on October 10 at Adrian. In that matchup with the Bulldogs, Majerle had a career-high 21 kills.
Sophomore defense specialist Bailey Cantrell (Holt, Mich. / Mason) had team-high 32 service aces while Bush led Alma with 81 total blocks.