Sophomore Megan Mooney shines on volleyball team

Photo by: Aaron Gotter

Tim Laurent, Sports Writer

Sophomore Megan Mooney didn’t start playing volleyball until her freshman year of high school. Now, she’s the starting middle blocker for the Francis Marion University squad.

Mooney, a business – marketing major, hails from Lake Oswego, Oregon. On her quest to find a sport that would stick, Mooney tried her hand at soccer, basketball, swimming, and tennis before beginning volleyball.

It was during her senior year in high school that Mooney realized she had a desire to play volleyball for a long time.

After that, Mooney began playing practically year-round. Her high school season lasted from August to November.

Once that was over, Mooney would move over to play club volleyball with a travel team whose season lasted from December to May.

It was while Mooney was playing The Lone Star Classic tournament in Dallas, Texas with her travel team that she was discovered by FMU head coach Paul McDonald.

“Two things stood out to me in watching her play. She had a good ‘feel’ for blocking. Megan did a great job positioning herself to use her tall frame on the block,” MacDonald said. “Addition-ally, Megan was never afraid to take a big swing to get a kill for her team.”

Standing at 6’1”, Mooney is the starting middle blocker for the team, and averaged .76 blocks per game through 15 matches. She also started 13 of the team’s first 15 matches. Through those 15 matches, she averaged 1.38 kills per game.

Mooney visited FMU’s campus in February of her senior year.

When questioned about her decision to go to school so far from home, she said that she wanted to see more of the country and, like most students, wanted her education paid for.

“I liked The Grille and pool area specifically. I thought the culture change from Lake Oswego to Florence would be interesting, and the sunny weather was a huge plus,” Mooney said.

Lake Oswego is in Oregon, and Mooney is one of only two FMU athletes to come from the northwest state. Men’s soccer player William Barnette is the other.

Rarely seeing her family and the enlarged amount of travel and packing are reasons Mooney gave as to why it’s hard being so far from home.

“Although she was quiet on her visit to FMU, her father warned me that once she settled in with the team, she would be one of the most energetic and humorous players on the team,” MacDonald said. “She has not disappointed us in these areas either.”

Mooney agreed with her father’s sentiment.

“My team is very goofy, just like me,” Mooney said. “We know when to be focused but also when to have fun and let loose on and off the court.”

Mooney said that she wanted to make sure she maintained a good work ethic in order to stay in shape and succeed at the college level. She also acknowledged her need to maintain her GPA while being a student-athlete in college.

Mooney plans to keep a positive attitude, stay energetic on and off the court, and continue to show passion for volleyball in her remaining years at Francis Marion University.