By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
CORVALLIS, Ore. Tonight will be the last time Kristin Murray will play in front of the home fans at Oregon State University, as the Beavers take on the University of Southern California (USC) in Pac-10 volleyball action.
The senior outside hitter for the OSU women's volleyball team is a former standout in the sport at Del Norte High School.
Before the start of the game, Murray, the lone senior on the squad, will be honored, with both her parents escorting her onto the court.
"I feel a little bit mixed about it," Murray said about her senior season winding down.
While she is excited about life after college and volleyball, which she has played since sixth grade, she will miss the game and the interactions with her teammates and opponents. "It's opened up so many doors for me," Murray said.
Although tonight is the last home game, the Beavers have three more contests on the road to finish the regular season. The last game is on Nov. 23 at Washington State University.
It has been an up-and-down season for OSU, who plays in the competitive Pac-10 that features perennial national powers like Stanford University and six teams which are currently in the Top 25.
For the season, the Beavers are 10-15 overall and 3-10 in the Pac-10.
Murray said she has enjoyed watching her teammates grow and develop throughout the season.
"The know now what to expect and how to prepare for each game," she said. "There's some outstanding sophomores and freshman on the team. It's fun to watch them grow."
Murray, whose older sister Jessica played college volleyball at Humboldt State University, it has been an honor and an amazing experience to have the chance to go to school on an athletic scholarship and to be able to continue to play volleyball at the collegiate level.
"Not very many people get to play a sport in college," Murray said.
Murray will also miss the competition on the court each night.
"It's a challenge," she said. "Every night you play top competition week in and week out," adding many of the opponents are some of the best players in the country, with a few volleyball Olympians to boot.
"Sometimes I think that's crazy to think that a small town Crescent City girl is playing these Olympians," Murray said. "It's really been a lot of fun."
After volleyball season is over, Murray said she will finish up her studies at OSU. She is majoring in marketing management with a minor in athletic administration.