There are some nicknames in sports that just fit. The Dream Team, the Fab Five, the Steel Curtain — all of these define not only the players themselves, but their generation as a whole.
The William and Mary Volleyball junior class, consisting of Ginny Bray, Cassie Crumal and Erin Skipper, is simply known as the Moo Class.
“Your freshman year you’re given an animal name, and they ask ‘Are all the freshman here?’” Crumal said. “Instead of being like, ‘Here,’ you can say, ‘The Moos are here.’”
The Moos have definitely arrived this season. Because all three players on the court have been together since the beginning of their freshmen year, they are instrumental to the College’s success.
Skipper, a first-team All-CAA selection last season, leads the team in kills with 263. Although her kill total puts her behind her 400-kill pace from last season, she still averages 2.89 kills per game and leads the team in total attacks.
“She’s like an Alaskan Husky,” Bray said. “She’s dependable, she’s very sensitive and she’s a leader.”
Bray, who was a third-team All-CAA selection last season, leads the team with a .444 set percentage and a .272 attack percentage. Playing the middle blocker position, Bray has teamed up with Skipper and hitters Lauren Powell and Lindsay Kresch to form a formidable front line.
“I would describe her as eclectic,” Crumal said. “She’s very hyper and also together, but she’s everywhere.”
Crumal, who ranks second on the team with 400 sets, took the longest of the three juniors to assert herself on the court. Stuck behind All-CAA setter Kim Mount her first two years at the College, Crumal is seeing regular playing time for the first time since the beginning of her freshman year, during which she filled in for an injured Mount.
“With the middle connection, you really have to be on the same page with your setter, and I feel like we’ve established a real connection,” Bray said. “She’s the reason the team ticks.”
The relationship between the Moo Class continues off the court as well. Bray, Crumal and Skipper all share a house off campus with the word “moo” emblazoned above each of their bedroom doors.
Their main goal now is to make the CAA tournament — a definite possibility as the Tribe is fourth in the conference heading into Friday’s match against George Mason — and to win its first match at Mason since 2001.
“I think we have the most potential this year out of all the years we’ve been here, and I’m excited to see where we can go,” Skipper said.