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WU's Maxwell not big on stats, but reaching 1,000 kills a highlight



About the only stat Washburn University senior volleyball star Allison Maxwell pays a lot of attention to is the final score.

"It's pretty much the parents that pick out stats and will tell us afterwards, like, 'Oh, you had this many kills,' '' Maxwell said. "Then you're like, 'That's, cool,' but mainly we focus on winning and mostly having fun.''

 AllisonMaxwellESU2Washburn senior Allison Maxwell (8) delivers a kill in Tuesday's 3-0 MIAA volleyball sweep over Emporia State. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

But the 6-foot-1 middle hitter out of Jefferson City, Mo. is proud of the statistical milestone she reached last Saturday at Nebraska-Kearney, with Maxwell becoming the 23rd player in Washburn history to reach the 1,000 kill mark for their career.

Even though Maxwell knew she was getting close to 1,000, it still kind of snuck up on her.

"I think it was during preseason and I checked and I saw I had like 800 (893),'' Maxwell said. "I think that was the only time I ever checked and then I kind of forgot about it since then.''

But after recording 13 kills in a 3-1 win over the then-No. 1 ranked Lopers, a win that propelled the 11-1 Ichabods to the top spot in this week's national rankings, Maxwell found out that she had more than one reason to celebrate that huge road win.

"It was a really cool moment,'' Maxwell said. "We were in the locker room and one of my teammates looked at her phone and it was a notification on her phone and she goes, 'Oh my God, Alli got 1,000 kills tonight!' So we all just screamed and it was a good moment.''

Maxwell's accomplishment and the subsequent No. 1 ranking, the first in the history of the WU program, were a nice reminder for Maxwell of how far she and her senior teammates have come since arriving on campus in 2017.

Maxwell was one of five freshman starters for Washburn as the Ichabods struggled at times on the way to an 18-14 record in 2017, but since then Washburn has flourished, advancing to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including the national semifinals in 2018, before having the 2020 season wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If you look back at our freshman year I think the goal was to just survive that year,'' Maxwell said. "I don't think I would have ever dreamed at 18 what those same girls would have accomplished by now.

"We pretty much did a 180, we had to. Coach (Chris) Herron's expectations of us were really, really high coming in and freshman year we definitely didn't live up to them, but I think we really found our way.''

Now in her final year with the progam, Maxwell has mixed feelings. She knows that the sky is the limit for her team this fall, but she also feels sadness knowing that her days with her Ichabods will come to an end sometime in December.

"Of course there's sadness,'' said Maxwell, who has recorded 120 kills on the season. "I don't even want to think about it. It's definitely bittersweet, but we're trying to make the most of the sweet part right now and just hopefully create the best memories that we can.''