Siding out the bad luck streak

The Hamline Volleyball team had an outstanding season in their fourth year under MIAC Coach of the Year, Maggie Meixl, making it all the way to the semifinals for the first time in 21 years.


Aidan Stromdahl
The Pipers celebrate their win over Saint Benedict only momentarily to show good sportsmanship, but they make sure to uplift each other in their breif celebration.

Cathryn Salis, sports editor

Pounding out the chant “you can’t do that!” on the wall of the risers and under the dozens of feet of white-shirted students can be quite startling to the many parents that are in attendance of the volleyball quarterfinals of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) playoffs. However, to the students of Hamline University, it is a testament to the passionate support the school has for their athlete peers. 

The women’s volleyball team competed in the MIAC playoffs during the first week of November and for the first time in over two decades, the Pipers took home a win and an invitation to the second round. 

Last Wednesday, Saint Benedict College was defeated on Hamline turf in five sets and left in the dust of the playoffs as the Pipers advanced to the semi-finals. Each set was close in score but by the final match, the Pipers took the lead and kept it for the rest of the game, ending it with a score of 15–9. 

The following Friday, Bethel hosted Hamline and bested the Pipers in four sets, but not without a fight. Many lead changes and strong runs kept the Bethel game exciting for both teams and kept the spectators on the edge of their seats. Piper students packed Bethel’s house to cheer on their peers.

On Wednesday, because the Pipers were hosting the game, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Rachel Peirce, the Athletics Operations Coordinator, organized a white-out theme for the game and encouraged students to come support.

“We were handing out t-shirts and stuff and getting the word out through social media…we have members from each sports team in our organization so we were getting the members to get the teams to come out, getting every athlete from every team to come out, getting as many as we can,” Avery Nelson, president of SAAC, said.

SAAC’s efforts paid off. All of the event t-shirts were handed out and both the upper and lower stands were utilized by spectators. The student section was huge and they cheered for every impressive contact or point scored by the Pipers. 

“Great atmosphere, we have a lot of students out here supporting,” senior Teague Bogenholm said. 

In addition to the hype of a quarterfinals game, the Pipers were honoring a few players and their own coach for conference awards they had won. Jenna Rubbelke, a first-year player and the team’s libero, was named MIAC Rookie of the Year. 

“I didn’t even know it was an award,” Rubbelke said. 

Rubbelke, much like the rest of her team, is very pleased with the way her team performed in the season. Rubbelke is the third daughter in her family to play on the Hamline volleyball team and is already helping to make a difference in the future of the team.

“This is the first time our team made it past the first round of playoffs and the first time we have ever hosted it here, so we made history and we’re gonna keep making it,” Rubbelke said.

Aidan Stromdahl
Head coach Maggie Meixl was an assistant coach at Hamline before her time as a head coach, which allowed her an opportunity to become familiar with the school and the program before she started recruiting.

The Pipers were also honoring the head Volleyball coach, Maggie Meixl, as MIAC Coach of the Year. Meixl has been the head coach of Hamline Volleyball for four years and credits her team’s success to the players. 

“I think this senior class really came in, they were my first recruiting class and they have just made the choices to work hard and be good teammates and to be their best and I think that they have done an awesome job with that,” Meixl said.

Meixl has been head coach at Hamline for five seasons and is now the first Hamline representative to win this award since 2006. 

“I think it’s really cool that my peers voted me in on that. I think it goes back to the good people, good teammates, good scholars, good athletes fostering that environment,” Meixl said. “I think it’s one of those things that is cool, and also credit is due to the ladies that get it done on the court.”

Even though the team has ended their season, the support the Volleyball team received in their latest games is telling of how unending the Piper pride is in these athletes and spectators. As more seasons are wrapping up, spectators are encouraged to direct their love to the season openers and senior nights that are popping up in the athletic schedules in the coming weeks. Meixl is not worried about any lack of passion in the school.

“I think that’s also a Hamline thing, people showing up for each other and the support and the good people here,” Meixl said. “It’s such a cool community.”