Senior libero Missy Mackowiak set a new program digs record at the opening game of the season at Grace College’s Wyndham Classic on August 22.

Mackowiak entered the season just 17 digs short of Anna Herdeck’s GC best, 1,867. Then, during the game against Indiana University East, she became the all-time digs leader.

As a varsity starter, she wanted to break the record for digs at Goshen College, and become the all-time leader in GC history.

She said “I was pushing hard to break it. I knew I was close, but I didn’t know how many more I needed.” She explained that she was not counting how many digs she needed to break the record at the time.

When Mackowiak achieved her goal, she said, “That means a lot for me. It feels good to be in the record books as number one.”

Mackowiak also explained how she felt when she knew that she set the record, “When I found out that I broke the record, I thought about my parents and how I knew how much they were proud of me.”

Mackowiak was born in North Liberty 21 years ago. She started playing volleyball at the age of eight at Dunes volleyball. “I started playing because of my sister, who is four years older who played on a club team,” she said. “She basically taught me the game.”

Before attending to Goshen College, Mackowiak was a student at John Glenn High School. She decided to come to Goshen College, “basically for my major, Psychology.”

Mackowiak also liked the small campus feel and the volleyball team when she first came. Another good reason to come to play for the Maple Leafs was that Goshen is just one hour away from North Liberty so some of her family members can come to see her games.

But breaking the record was not Mackowiak’s only goal for this season.

“My next goal is to be libero of the year,” she said.

This year, the volleyball team has added six players. Hopefully this means that many things will change from last year, in which the Maple Leafs finished with a record of 9-25.

“My expectations for this season are to be at the top of the conference and have a conference championship,” Mackowiak said. “The team has come a long way and has improved even from preseason.”

She is impressed with the team’s chemistry and knows how important point that is during tough games. “I believe we can all work together as a team as one and win games, especially the championship,” she said.

The first conference game for the volleyball team will be on Friday at 7 p.m. against Huntington University. The game will be played at the Rec Fitness Center and will mean the start of the Crossroads League play for the Maple Leafs volleyball team.