“There were never any bad things,” said Rick Hall, Seton Hill University volleyball head coach, describing alum Margaret Mae Murray. “She was a bright kid, nice kid, never any problems. Always wanting to help people including the kids on the team. It’s tough speaking about her in a past tense. She was just good for everybody.”
Murray, 22, passed away from head injuries she sustained Sept. 29 in a boating accident off Lido Beach, on the Gulf of Mexico. The Erie, Pa. native was pronounced dead at 12:19 a.m. at Sarasota Memorial Hospital on Sept. 30.
“It’s a great loss,” Hall said. “Something that’s not going to go away. I think that everyone is going to remember Maggie as someone who always had time for everybody else. She was somebody who everyone knew they could go to and she always said the right things. Maggie was just so easy to step up to and talk to. She was that type of person, even if you didn’t know her. Her legacy is going to be one of someone who accomplished a hell of a lot in a short period of time, and someone that everyone loved and knew they could depend on.”
Murray was a member of the volleyball team for the four years she was at SHU and was captain for two of those years. She was attending LECOM School of Dental Health in Bradenton, Fla. following her graduation from SHU in spring of 2018.
She played in 130 matches for the Griffins volleyball team, including 427 sets. She finished with 2,268 assists, 508 digs, 382 kills, 207 blocks and 83 assists.
The match against the California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans on Oct. 2 was held in Murray’s honor, including a moment of silence for the former captain and a white-out from the SHU community. Outside hitter Viktoria Farian scored nine points in a row at the start of the match, which was the number worn by Murray for her four years at SHU.
“On the ninth point, everyone thought the serve was going out,” Hall said, describing the “Major Maggie Magic” that occured on the court. “It hit down on the end line and we like to think that was Maggie pushing it down.”
Murray’s memory remains vibrant across the campus. The team’s blue warm-up jerseys for the season feature Murray’s name and number on the back. Her picture was placed under the flag in the gym. There’s a laminated picture the team places on the last seat of the bench during matches.
Next year, her number nine will be retired. SHU is working on a scholarship in Murray’s name: the Maggie Murray Memorial Volleyball Scholarship.
A memorial mass was held in St. Joseph Chapel on Oct. 4. She is survived by her parents, Mary and Brian, sister Alexandra and brother Brian.
“It was really comforting and unbelievably supportive,” Hall said. “Not just the Seton Hill community, but the parents, alumni, the volleyball team, all the sports teams – the whole community. I think the way Seton Hill handled it was tremendous.”
The Griffins went to a tournament at Eckerd College in Florida in August, which Murray attended to support her former teammates. Hall said she spoke excitedly about her future, including recently buying her dental tools that she planned to use for a long time.
“She would have been someone that would’ve been able to give back to the university and someone you could say you’re proud that she’s a Setonian, she’s a Griffin, she’s a success,” Hall said. “Maybe she had done what she was supposed to do. It’s unfortunate. We’re the ones left back here grieving for her, but she’s probably up there saying ‘what are you crying about?’ That’s just how she was.”
A GoFundMe page created to cover Murray’s medical bills and funeral costs raised $27,969, surpassing the $15,000 goal.
Published By: Stephen Dumnich