Northern Illinois senior Mary Kurisch (La Crosse, Wis./West Salem), junior Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) and sophomore MacKenzie Roddy (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) were selected to the Academic All-Mid-American Conference Team, the league announced Thursday.
“I’m very happy for Sarah, Mary, MacKenzie and NIU volleyball,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden, who has coached 14 Academic All-MAC selections in his 11-year tenure.
“Our program takes great pride in being successful in the classroom as well as on the court. It’s great for these three to be recognized by the conference for their commitment and excellence in the classroom and on the court because this award honors the true meaning of being a student-athlete.”
Angelos and Roddy were first-time selections, while Kurisch improved upon her honorable mention status from 2011 to being one of the MAC’s two unanimous choices in 2012. The Huskies garnered three of the MAC’s 23 overall honorees.
Angelos, a business administration major with a 3.379 GPA, put together a stellar junior season as she was a first team All-MAC performer and was named MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 11.
In the MAC Tournament, she broke the block assists record with 13 for the weekend. Averaging a career-high 2.49 kills and 0.73 blocks per set with a .288 hitting percentage, she had 18 matches with 10-plus kills. She also had 10 matches will a .400 hitting percentage or better and had multiple blocks in all but 10 matches. She finished second on the team in blocks and hitting while ranking seventh in the MAC in hitting.
Kurisch was also a first team All-MAC selection and earned a MAC All-Tournament nod as well. She broke the MAC Tournament block assists record with 22 and set a new total blocks mark with 23.
Along the way in 2012, the business administration major with a 3.585 GPA became NIU’s 19th member of the 1,000 Kills Club. In her final season, she set career highs of 2.51 kills and 0.95 blocks per set and 24 aces. She led the team in blocks and hitting with a MAC fifth-best .299 hitting percentage. She had 19 matches with 10 or more kills and 10 matches with a .400 hitting percentage or better. She also had multiple blocks in all but 10 matches.
Roddy enjoyed a breakout sophomore season and was named MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week on Oct. 4.
The accountancy major with a 3.893 GPA set career highs of 3.33 kills, 0.33 aces and 2.43 digs per set in 2012. She had double digit kills in all but six matches and had multiple aces 13 times. She also had 16 matches with 10 or more digs and 11 with multiple blocks. She led the team in points per set with 3.9. Additionally, she led the MAC and ranked 89th in the nation in aces and ranked eighth in the league in kills.
Five other Huskies earned an honorable mention: senior middle blocker Sam Grams (Forest Park, Ill./Fenwick), senior defensive specialist Sue Hayes (Evergreen Park, Ill./Mother McAuley), sophomore middle blocker Emily Paschke (Winfield, Ill./West Chicago Community), senior Meghan Romo (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) and junior defensive specialist Justine Schepler (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore), who was also an honorable mention last season.
The Academic All-MAC honor is for a student-athlete who has excelled in athletics and academics.
To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport. The honorees are voted on by each MAC school’s Faculty Athletics Representative.