We asked, they answered: Maggie McNamaraThe Zumbrota-Mazeppa graduate and her Concordia, St. Paul, teammates won their third consecutive Division II volleyball national championship on Dec. 5.
By: R-E Sports Staff, The Republican Eagle
The Zumbrota-Mazeppa graduate and her Concordia, St. Paul, teammates won their third consecutive Division II volleyball national championship on Dec. 5. McNamara, a senior, was the two-time Daktronics Division II Volleyball National Player of the Year as named by the nation’s sports information directors. She also was nominated as a candidate for the Division II Athlete of the Year for a second straight year
How is this national championship different from the previous two you’ve won with the Golden Bears?
This national championship is different because it’s my senior year and my last chance to even play. I wanted to end my career on a good note, and this was it. Plus, it’s the first time in Division I or Division II volleyball that a team has one three in a row. I think that’s pretty cool.
Did you feel extra pressure to wrap up your senior season and career with the championship?
There was pressure around us, but our team and coaches did a good job of trying to ignore it and not let it get to us. My main focus of this season was to enjoy the volleyball and the team and just have fun.
I also think our athletic department risked a lot by agreeing to host the tournament again, I’m glad they took the chance on us.
What are your thoughts about all the individual honors and recognition you’ve received?
I really do appreciate all the awards but the greatest of all my awards is being a three-time national champion. It is cooler than you could even imagine.
If you had to describe your collegiate athletic career in 30 words or less, what would you say?
It has been the best experience I’ve ever had playing at Concordia. I have learned so much from my team, my coaches and the people at Concordia. Not only have I learned so much, but it has been so much fun along the way. I think I’ve grown into a better player and even a better person.
How did your experience at Zumbrota-Mazeppa help prepare you for your collegiate career? Anyone special you’d like to thank from your time as a Cougar?
Zumbrota-Mazeppa is another great community that I have been a part of. Since I’ve had my success at Concordia, so many different people have contacted me to congratulate me or came to watch my matches. They’ve given me opportunities to give back to the community and supported me greatly. All of my teachers and coaches have helped me become who I am today, and I am extremely grateful for that.
Tell us something about you that we don’t know.
Um ... I don’t know if I’m the most unique person in the world, but I love to travel. I went to Vietnam for a month with my boyfriend a year ago. It was another one of the best experiences I’ve ever had nor will ever forget.
What’s next for you?
I’m not quite sure what is next for me. I will graduate in May with a mathematics major and a coaching certificate. Although I will look for a career in the math area, I will always coach kids at some level. I love coaching, I feel like my skills and knowledge are still of some benefit and I hope I can really make an impact on some of the girls’ lives.