Elizabeth Muliaga a student, TexAnn and mother

Kristen Bowman, Contributor

Photo courtesy of Tarleton Athletic Communications
The Texans and the TexAnns have a rich history of service to the community, leadership on campus, and being the best players around. One of the main teams on campus is the Volleyball team. Since the 1960s, each team has helped the growth and development of their success. The team’s first season as a senior college was in 1960. Within the next 30 years, the team won three Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships. Next, the team excelled to having their first season as an NCAA college in 1994. Since then, the team has won two Lone Star Confernce Championship and two LSC Tournament Championships. Overall, the team has a long history of success that continues to show through the current team.

Not only are they successful on the court, the TexAnns also play a large role on campus and in the local community. They are leaders for their peers, they provide service to the community and they are working hard to achieve their own personal goals. One excellent example of a true Tarleton TexAnn is Elizabeth Muliaga. Her dedication to her team, her university and to her family is unmatched.

Muliaga is originally from Pago Pago, American Samoa. Her college adventure started with the New Mexico Military Institute. There, she was very successful and received several awards, such as, NMMI Athlete of the year. Her interests stretched further than sports. She became increasingly interested in the Tarleton ROTC program. So much so, that she transferred here to be a part of the program.

However, Muliaga faced wonderful life experiences that guided her in a different direction. Muliaga found out that was going to be a mother, so she stepped down from ROTC, but stepped up in her love of volleyball. Furthermore, her son M.J., is her drive to be successful as a student and as an athlete.

“I love everything about volleyball,” explained Muliaga. “Its fun, I love my teammates, and when I told them that I was going to have a child, they were very supportive.”

Muliaga explained that everyone on her team is amazing. There is not simply one fellow volleyball player to give a shout out to because they all deserve the recognition for continuing to help each other on and off the court. Muliaga explained that her teammates are her family and she will greatly miss them after she graduates.

Muliaga is a senior majoring in Criminal Justice. Muliaga is excited to graduate soon, but is also sad that this is her last season with her team. Her team supports her all around, from having her back on the court to offering to babysit her son. Her teammates love getting to see M. J. and play with him because he is a very happy person, just like his mother.

In a typical week, Muliaga is juggling taking 15 credit hours, practice two times a week, working out, games, being involved and so much more. Even with all of these responsibilities, she is able to be successful and be a role model for other students. However, she has not let all over her responsibilities overwhelm her. While she was pregnant, she continues to be active and eat healthy, which worked in her favor because it did not take her log to get back into shape. She recently reached the goal of being a good mom and making it back out on the court to help her team win. She is proud of her accomplishments of being healthy for her son and herself.

Muliaga has big plans for this season. Her goal is to win conference, regionals and then go to nationals. Since this is her last year, she really hopes that her and her team will be able to accomplish this.

“As of right now, we are doing really well,” stated Muliaga.

Achieving goals is essential for Muliaga’s success. She sets goals for each practice and game. For example, she shared that she does her best to get a certain number of kills at each time she plays. But, when does not reach her personal goal, then she is more motivation to reach the goal the next time.

Muliaga is clearly a good teammate to have because of her impressive performance. Last year, Muliaga reached a high of 10 kills against Texas Woman’s University. Then she achieved 10 blocks against Western New Mexico University. More so, her grades are exceptional because of her dedication to her classes. Currently, she is working hard to keep up her grades, stay in shape and be a good mother.

As for her future plans, she is going to enlist in the air force next September. She plans to use her degree in aiding her future career in the military. She has a family net that wants to help her with M.J. so that she can follow her dreams.

There have been many people along the way who have helped Muliaga to get closer to her goals. One of her main role models is Coach Mary Schindler, Head Coach of TexAnn Volleyball. Schindler is a major role model for the volleyball team because of her ability to be an amazing coach and be a mother, which is a major source of inspiration for Muliaga.

“She has been very helpful through everything,” expressed Muliaga. “She is a mother and she is so fit. I want to be like her.”

The JTAC Laren Walters
Elizabeth Muliaga stands with her family and coach after the senior night game against Cameron State on Oct. 27.

Muliaga has had an incredible experience at Tarleton. She has been able to get involved in more than simply volleyball. She also enjoys playing rugby on off season times. She likes to stay active and be a part of the events on campus, especially with her friends. Her favorite Tarleton Tradition is Midnight breakfast. She loves getting to eat the purple pancakes while also getting to meet new people from all over campus.

Overall, Muliaga explained that being at this university has helped her to grow as a person with people that she loves. Muliaga has been able to learn skills that will take her into her career, such as, team work and communication. Muliaga has demonstrated the highest of Tarleton Core Values while also maintaining her grades and being a mother. Muliaga has made great achievement while here and she will continue to have a great impact on those around her in the future.