Sophomore Monica Dreifuerst looks to build off of a strong freshman campaign and continue to lead the Sabre women’s volleyball program.
A highly touted recruit out of Fond du Lac High School, Dreifuerst earned three varsity letters during her high school career. She went on to earn second team all-conference honors her junior season and helped lead the Cardinals to a third-place finish in the Fox Valley Association. When the time came to make a decision on where to attend college, staying close to home made Marian the perfect fit.
“It was important to me to stay close to home,” said Dreifuerst. “I value my family and being able to see them on the weekends is important to me. I also enjoy being able to support my high school team when I am not playing or studying.”
The small size of Marian and the ability to build relationships around campus also proved to be a deciding factor for Dreifuerst to become a Sabre.
“I ultimately decided to come to Marian because I enjoyed the campus culture and small class sizes,” said Dreifuerst. “I really enjoyed talking to faculty and students during my visits and I felt welcomed every step of the way. I liked the idea of ‘Sabres Supporting Sabres,’ and the close relationships built between athletic teams.”
Right out of the gates, Dreifuerst had an impact on the Marian women’s volleyball team in 2019 recording a pair of double-doubles in the first tournament of the season. She would record 12 kills with 11 digs against Loras to open the year and followed that up with a 10-kill, 14-dig performance against Lake Forest.
Following a 12-dig performance against Lawrence, Dreifuerst started a six-match stretch where she recorded at least double-digit kills. During this streak, she also had five double-digit dig performances. This strong stretch opened at the Johnson & Wales Tournament when Marian traveled to Denver, Colo., which has been her favorite part of competing as a Sabre.
“My favorite part of playing at Marian so far has been the traveling,” said Dreifuerst. “Having the chance to play in Colorado was such a great opportunity to play teams we don’t normally see. Traveling with the team is always a blast and we are always making new memories.”
The final week of that six-match stretch was especially impressive as she averaged 22.0 kills and 12.7 digs over the course of three matches. The week opened with her recording a season-best 23 kills against Beloit before leading Marian to only their second win against Ripon since the 2012 season. Dreifuerst had 21 kills to go with 15 digs and five service aces in that victory over the Red Hawks. She would go on to earn NACC player of the week honors becoming the first Sabre women’s volleyball student-athlete to earn the award since 2012.
After missing six matches with an injury, Dreifuerst was able to bounce back in the final 10 matches of the season recording at least eight kills in seven of those matches to go with three more double-doubles. She would also post six service aces against Benedictine to go with 15 kills and just as many digs as part of one of her double-doubles.
Her freshman season totals included a 3.28 kills per set average, fifth in the NACC, to go with 2.94 digs per set and a team-best 23 service aces. She also closed out the season with a total of 10 double-doubles in her 20 matches played.
When asked about her favorite memory from her first year at Marian she simply referenced the new people she was able to meet, whether on or off the court.
“My favorite memory at Marian so far has just been meeting new people,” said Dreifuerst. “I was surprised by how quickly I made friends here and how close we became in such a short time. Every day I find myself making new memories no matter how simple they may seem.”
Dreifuerst will once again look to lead the Sabres in her sophomore campaign when Marian is able to take the court in the early spring.