Northern Illinois volleyball juniors Kristin Hoffman and Allison McGlaughlin were named to the ESPN/College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District 5 First Team, the organization announced Thursday.
The two accolades mark the first time that the program has had two Academic All-District honorees in the same season, let alone two first teamers.
The Huskies are only one of five teams in the nation that can make that claim, and one of two in the Mid-American Conference, as Buffalo also accomplished the rare feat. The only other team in the MAC to be represented on the scholarly list was Western Michigan.
Among the District 5 distribution, which includes all Division I teams from Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canadian provinces Ontario and Manitoba, NIU was the lone squad to have two first team representatives. Southern Illinois was the only other to have two total players chosen between the first and second teams.
The noteworthy occurrence fits right into the lengthy list of historical achievements that the 2010 season has brought to light under the guidance of ninth-year head coach Ray Gooden. The accomplishment exemplifies that the success is not just coming on the court, but in the classroom as well, as the volleyball team continues to be the top academic program at NIU.
“I’m pretty confident in saying that the honor Allison and Kristin received today is one of the highest you can receive as a collegiate student-athlete. And for that, we are very proud of their accomplishments,” said Gooden of just the third and fourth Huskies to garner the award, all under his tenure. “As a program, we strive for our own ‘Triple Crown’ of sorts: champions in the classroom, on the court and in the community. This recognition is reflective of two of the three.”
Hoffman, a history major, sports a near-perfect 3.95 grade point average and has been an NIU Victory Scholar (3.5 GPA or better) in every semester as a Huskie. As the setter, the Batavia High School (Ill.) product currently ranks second in the league and 19th in the nation in assists (11.31/set). Hoffman also ranks second on the team with 24 aces. In each of her last 10 matches, the 2009 Academic All-MAC selection has dished out at least 30 assists.
With the same GPA as her classmate, McGlaughlin has also been a Victory Scholar each semester. The 2009 Academic All-MAC choice is an elementary education major and is only the second in program history to be named to the MAC All-Freshman Team and All-MAC Second Team in each of her first two seasons. The Morton, Ill. (Morton H.S.) native ranks second on the Huskies in points (3.11/set), kills (2.77/set) and digs (2.60/set). The 16th member of the 1,000-kill club at NIU has put down 10-plus kills in eight of her last 10 matches.
Hoffman, McGlaughlin and the MAC West Division second place Huskies (23-4, 9-3 MAC) return to action at 6 p.m. today to wrap up a season-long, five-game road trip against MAC West third place Western Michigan (18-8, 8-4 MAC).
For more information on NIU volleyball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.