Seven volleyball players collect Academic All-MAC honors

Seniors Emily Paschke (18) and Mackenzie Roddy
Seniors Emily Paschke (18) and Mackenzie Roddy

Seven members of the Northern Illinois University volleyball team have been selected to the Academic All-Mid-American Conference Team, the league announced Wednesday.

Mackenzie Roddy (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) earned the honor for the third time in her career, while Emily Paschke (Winfield, Ill./West Chicago Community) and Lauren Zielinski (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) each earned a spot on the team after garnering honorable mention recognition in 2013.

Four other Huskies – sophomores Paige Dacanay (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge), Malia Gabel (Pinckney, Mich./Father Gabriel Richard), Mary Grace Kelly (Strongsville, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) and Jenna Radtke (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson) – claimed the award in their first year of eligibility.

“Our program strives to not only be champions on the court, but in the classroom and community,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. “We are thankful for the student-athletes that are a part of NIU volleyball and their level of commitment.”

With seven individuals on the Academic All-MAC team, the Huskies more than doubled the previous program record for most honorees of three. The conference changed its rules this year for selecting the teams to include all eligible student-athletes, who must have at least a 3.2 GPA, be a sophomore or higher and have played in at least 50 percent of all matches during the year.

Lauren Zielinski
Lauren Zielinski

Roddy joined Kristin Hoffman and Allison McGlaughlin as the only Huskies in program history to collect Academic All-MAC honors in all three years of eligibility. In November, she earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors, in addition to being one of 30 national candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. Meanwhile, Paschke got a spot on the team after being named to the honorable mention list in 2012 and 2013.

As a team, NIU’s seven honorees was tied for most in the conference alongside Akron and Eastern Michigan. Ball State, Central Michigan, Kent State, Miami and Ohio each had six individuals on the team.

The Huskies finished 2014 with a 21-10 record and won the MAC West Division championship for the second time in four seasons, while also advancing to the MAC Tournament semifinals for the fifth consecutive season.

Huskies on the Academic All-MAC Team

  • Paige Dacanay (Sophomore; Nutrition, Health and Wellness; 3.447)
  • Malia Gabel (Sophomore; Physical Education; 3.52)
  • Mary Grace Kelly (Sophomore; Health Sciences; 3.936)
  • Emily Paschke (Senior; Accountancy; 3.946)
  • Jenna Radtke (Sophomore; Undecided; 3.218)
  • Mackenzie Roddy (Senior; Business Management; 3.218)
  • Lauren Zielinski (RS Sophomore; Health Sciences; 3.454)

For more information on NIU volleyball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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