Marist grad Murrihy off to good start in Memphis
Molly Murrihy, who led the RedHawks to the Class 4A state volleyball championship in 2017, is off to a productive collegiate start as a freshman at Memphis. That’s where she’ll be rooting for her alma mater over the weekend
Molly Murrihy, a 2018 Marist graduate who led the RedHawks to the Class 4A state volleyball championship in 2017, is off to a productive collegiate start as a freshman at Memphis. That’s where she’ll be rooting for her alma mater over the weekend as Marist plays in the Class 4A semifinals.
Molly Murrihy is going to be busy Friday.
The 2018 Marist graduate is the starting setter for Memphis, which will be playing in a home match against Connecticut.
A large portion of Murrihy's heart, however, will be in Normal, where Marist will be playing against Benet in the Class 4A state semifinals.
A year ago, Murrihy led the RedHawks to the program's first state championship.
She'll be rooting for them to repeat.
“I'm extremely sad that I can't make the match on Friday,” Murrihy said. “I've definitely been keeping tabs on what they've been doing all season. I would give anything to be watching them downstate.
“I could not be any prouder of the girls on that team. They've worked so hard day in and day out, from even before the start of the season to this point. This was their goal. I'm wishing them the best, for sure.”
Murrihy is having a memorable freshman season at Memphis.
The 6-foot-tall setter has fit right into the rebuilding program started by new coach Sean Burdette.
Murrihy has 872 assists for the Tigers (11-14), the secondhighest among setters in the American Athletic Conference.
In conference matches she has 452 assists, which puts her at the top of the AAC leaderboard. On defense, she's second on the Tigers in digs with 200.
The faith Burdette had in her from the first day has been rewarded.
“She is doing very well,” Burdette said of Murrihy. “It's a learning curve for any freshman in any position, but at the setter slot there it is probably much more so with everything you have to deal with.
“I had a chance to see Molly play through club season last year, and I knew we had something special here. She has done a real good job of going out there and competing and kind of taking the reins.”
Throughout her career at Marist, it seemed as though Murrihy took her game from one level to the next. She was always improving, always adding to her game.
In her senior season, Murrihy broke a school record with 1,132 assists. She also was a major contributor in kills, digs and blocks. It was fitting that she had the final kill for the RedHawks in their victory over Minooka for the state championship.
It was a no-brainer to make her the Daily Southtown 2018 Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.
Another person who isn't surprised by Murrihy's fast start at Memphis is Marist coach Jordan Vidovic.
“No, it's no surprise at all,” Vidovic said. “The setter spot is a tough spot to transition into college, but Molly had so much experience with us. She set full-time for three years, and even from the strides she made in just her senior year shows kind of her drive and her ability to improve.
“Even when she was already at a really high level, she found ways to put us over the top her senior year with her blocking, with her defense and her set location. I'm sure that's continuing where she's at, and I'm sure her coaches are just as happy as we were here.”
OK, somebody has to be surprised about all of this. Murrihy? Sure, at least a little bit.
“Coming in, although it didn't seem like it, I was really nervous,” Murrihy said. “I just didn't know what to expect. Obviously, it's a much fasterpaced game than high school and club, and kind of being that freshman and being put in the position I was put into, it was a little bit intimidating.
“Being the youngest player on the court was a cool feeling for sure, because everybody had my back. But it's something that you really can't take for granted. You have to work hard.”
Murrihy doesn't know any other way.
Marist graduate Molly Murrihy, left, is a freshman on the volleyball team at Memphis. She has has 872 assists for the Tigers (11-14).