Sarah Powers Barnhard Formally Inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame
CLEVELAND -- Former Western Michigan volleyball standout Sarah Powers Barnhard was formally inducted into the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame on Wednesday evening as a part of the MAC's Honors Dinner ceremony.
Powers Barnhard becomes the 10th Bronco to be inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame.
Joining Powers Barnhard in this year's MAC Hall of Fame class was Patricia ‘Tish’ Bucher (Miami, women’s swimming and diving), Mike Jones (Eastern Michigan, men’s swimming and diving) and Marcy Weston (Central Michigan, administration).
“It is only appropriate for our Conference to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of our former students, coaches and administrators, specifically these four individuals, and their achievements during their time competing in the Mid-American Conference,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, MAC Commissioner. “We are honored to welcome them to the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame.”
Sarah Powers Barnhard
Sarah Powers Barnhard was the catalyst on dominating Western Michigan volleyball teams that reached success unmatched in Mid-American Conference volleyball history. Powers was a part of four MAC Championships, appeared in four NCAA Championships, which included four NCAA Tournament wins, achieved an overall record of 110-22, including a perfect 72-0 MAC record for four years (1983-86), and individual honors including All-American, MAC Player of the Year and four-time All-MAC selection.
Powers was a standout player during the 1980’s when Western Michigan dominated volleyball in the MAC, Midwest and was a national powerhouse. She was part of the program’s 72-0 record in MAC games and a 99-game Western Michigan conference winning streak that currently ranks No. 3 all-time in NCAA history.
A native Glen Ellyn, Ill., Powers is Western Michigan’s only three-time All-American in volleyball, as Powers earned Volleyball Monthly honors in 1984 and 1986, as well as American Volleyball Coaches’ Association (AVCA) nod in 1985. Powers was named the 1985 MAC Player of the Year and was a four-time All-MAC selection (First Team: 1984 & 1985; Second Team: 1983 & 1986). Powers was inducted into the Western Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 as a first-year eligible ballot selection.
As a freshman in 1983, Western Michigan (32-1 overall, 18-0 MAC) were MAC Champions and went to the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 after wins over Nebraska and Purdue before falling to UCLA. In 1984, the Broncos (26-8 overall, 18-0 MAC) were MAC Champions and went to the NCAA Tournament with a win over Illinois State before a loss to Nebraska. As a junior in 1985, Western Michigan (25-6 overall, 18-0 MAC) were MAC Champions and lost to Illinois in the NCAA Tournament. As a senior in 1986, Powers and the Broncos (27-7 overall, 18-0 MAC) were MAC Champions and defeated Colorado State in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Illinois.
During her career Powers set the school record for kills (1,387), digs (964) and points (1,725.5) and her total of 173 career service aces still stands as a Western Michigan record. In 1994, she was one of seven Broncos named to the All-Decade team (1984-93). Powers’ recognition went beyond collegiate volleyball as in 1989, she was named to the U.S. National Junior Volleyball Team.