Storer Scholarship Recipients Announced

2 recipients of the Storer Scholarship were announced.  Click here to be redirected to story.



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Muncie Central Athletics

Information about the 1974 and 1975 Northside High School state championship volleyball teams’ recognition and banner celebration!

Date:  Saturday, November 29, 2014
Place:  Muncie Fieldhouse
Time of recognition:  Between JV and Varsity Muncie Central/Yorktown basketball game

In 1974, the Muncie Northside girls’ volleyball team brought to Delaware County its first state championship in any girls’ sport.  At that time, the IHSAA held a single class tournament in girls’ volleyball.  Northside defeated South Bend Riley in the final match, finishing their season with a perfect 22-0 record. Their coach, Debbie Millbern, was only 23-years-old.  Debbie was a 1973 Indiana University graduate who had led the women’s basketball team to IU’s only women’s Final Four appearance.

In 1975, the Northside Titan girls faced an unprecedented challenge in defending their state title.  South Bend Clay High School had allowed two high school boys on their girls’ volleyball team. These boys were 6’2” tall, and one was a Junior Olympic player.  The tallest girl on Northside’s team was 5’8”.  Amid protests and court injunctions, the IHSAA allowed the boys to play, and the matches were played on a court using the girls’ shorter net.  Northside faced South Bend Clay and the boys in the state championship final match.  Covered nationally by sports journalists and mentioned in Sports Illustrated, the mighty-mite Northside Titans defeated South Bend Clay and the boys in a raucous, feminist-fueled final match that went the full three games and was won by a scant two points.  The girls finished the season with a 25-1 record, and were the first school in Indiana volleyball history to win back-to-back state titles.  The IHSAA later passed a resolution prohibiting boys from playing on girls’ teams, making the 1975 state championship a unique, unparalleled victory for girls in IHSAA sports history. These girls not only initiated the tradition of outstanding volleyball in Delaware County, but triumphed against insurmountable odds. 

Many players on the 1974/1975 teams were among the first girls in the state of Indiana to earn athletic scholarships to play sports in college.  Members of the 1974/1975 teams being honored are:  Elizabeth Albright Engelking, Jane Amlin Weaver, Barb Cass Burgauer, Cindy DeWitt, Debbie DeWitt Disney, Joni Ewing Newman, Carole Hagen Barry, Perri Hankins, Polly Hankins Riddell, Tricia Liston Kitchell, Sandy Lounsbury, Melissa Meredith, Cindy Parker Nestel, Sandy Schneiter, Christy Wagner Huhn, Shelley Walker Ahlersmeyer, and Perri Williams Byrne.

After her stint at Northside, Debbie Millbern Powers went on to become the head women’s basketball coach at Ball State.  She recently published her memoir recounting her experiences as a female athlete growing up in Indiana and as a coach at Muncie Northside High SchoolMeeting Her Match: The Story of a Female Athlete-Coach, Before and After Title IX, Debbie takes readers on a heartfelt and entertaining journey that culminates with the 1975 volleyball team’s victory.  Her story is not only a real-life history lesson about the evolution of women’s sports, but her themes of determination, perseverance, and hope will inspire all athletes.  Meeting Her Match was recently awarded First Place in the 2014 Royal Palm Literary competition.  Powers will have a book-signing at Concannon’s Café & Coffee Bar on Baker Lane on Friday, November 28, 2014 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. 

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