Zach Peters: June 2011 Archives

Coached by Northern Illinois volleyball assistants Dan and Coley Pawlikowski, Huskie incoming freshmen Jess Lubic, Haley Norris and Emily Paschke led their Kane County Gold club team to a first place finish at the 2011 Volleyball Festival in Phoenix, Ariz.  Most of the 64-team field was from volleyball hotbeds California, Arizona, Hawaii and Texas.

In the semifinals, KCG took down Club Troy, who is run by University of Southern California Coach Mick Haley.  Then KCG lost to Santa Monica Beach Club in the winner's bracket finals (18-25, 26-24, 15-17).  Since the tournament was double elimination, KCG had to play the next morning versus the loser's bracket's City Beach, from the bay area.  After defeating City Beach, KCG played Santa Monica again, and won in two sets (25-23, 25-15).  Because Santa Monica had yet to lose in the bracket, KCG had to play one more set to determine the championship, and won 25-22 to claim the prestigious title.

Congrats to the Pawlikowskis, Jess Lubic, Haley Norris and Emily Paschke!  
Incoming men's golf freshmen Nick Huggins has kept himself busy this summer. He tied for 52nd place in the 94th Western Junior Championship held at Beverley Country Club located in Chicago. The tournament attracts some of the best junior golfers in the nation. Past winners include current professional golfer Rickie Fowler, who won it in 2005.

Currently, Nick is playing in the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions. It is regarded as the "Masters" of junior golf events where only an elite field is invited to compete. Nick shot a 71 and is tied for third after day one.

NIU Hall of Famer Dave Mason will be inducted into his high school's Hall of Fame on December 9th.  The Philo Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will feature Mason along with two others.  At Philo High School in Duncan Falls, Ohio, Mason won 11 varsity letters, four football, four baseball and three basketball.  He was named an all-conference performer for baseball four times, football three times and basketball once.  He was a starter in every year in each sport. 

In 1970, Mason  took the reigns of the NIU baseball program, where he left an indelible mark.  He put together a .531 winning percentage (94-83-1) in five seasons as head coach for the Huskies and took the 1972 team to NCAA Tournament, giving the program its first trip to the NCAA Tournament.  In 2008, the 1972 team was inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame, and two members of the team (Tom Wittum and Jay Graziano) were later inducted in the Hall as individuals.

Congrats, Coach Mason!
Yahoo-FB-Preview-Screen-shot.jpgA yearly staple of Yahoo Sports!/Rivals.com's college football coverage, the 13th annual Preseason Top 120 Countdown is well under way.  With this week's release of teams ranked No. 56-60, the Huskies check in at No. 57, which is tops among all 13 Mid-American Conference teams and is ahead of 23 BCS teams.  To read Tom Dienhart's preview for the 2011 NIU football squad, click here.
Dale Berman, who played tackle for NIU from 1958-59, will be inducted into the Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame on Friday in Canton, Ohio.  Well-known for being the mayor of North Aurora, the 77-year-old Berman was named to NIU's All-Century team in 1999 and was a two-time all-conference selection for the Huskies. 

Berman enters the famed Hall for his contributions to the Tri-State Professional League's Aurora Clippers and Elmhurst Travelers, where he was an all-star selection.  To find out more about Berman's story, click here to read Denise Crosby's article in The Beacon-News that ran yesterday.

Coach Mathey Featured on Rawlings Video

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Mathey.jpegA few months back, NIU baseball head coach Ed Mathey spoke on camera to Rawlings about the importance of coaches at the Division I level.  Click here to view the video that is featured on Rawlings' Facebook page.  His part is near the end from about 1:43-2:06.

"It's not everyday that you can walk into the dugout and be congratulated by Ryan Klesko."

That's what NIU baseball's Trey Lang said Tuesday night after Ryan Klesko visited the clubhouse of the Hannibal Cavemen, a collegiate summer team in the Prospect League.  Klesko, a former MLB standout, and Woody Williams, another former MLB standout, recently became part of the ownership group for the Hannibal, Mo., team.  The two pros took the time to meet and greet the team Tuesday night.  To read about the details and advice that Lang, his Huskie teammates Jake Hermsen and Jeff Zimmerman, and the rest of the Cavemen received, click here.

Two New Huskies Have Joined The Family!

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NIU-Babies.jpgOver the past few days, two members of the NIU athletics department have welcomed two new Huskies to the family.  First was Nora Vivolyn Harris, daughter of Ryan and Liz Harris.  Ryan is the associate director of sales for Huskie athletics.  The Harris' firstborn child came on June 2nd at 7:27 a.m.  Nora weighed in at 7 lbs, 13 oz., and she and Liz are doing great!

The second addition to the Huskie family came today at 9:24 a.m. as Camden J. Elliott was welcomed to the world.  Weighing in at 7 lbs, 12 oz., Camden joins his four-year-old sister, Kylan, in women's basketball associate head coach Marsha Frese and Jason Elliott's family.  Both Coach Frese and Camden are doing very well!

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"Swing Away" is their name and that's exactly what they did. NIU volleyball assistant coach Coley Pawlikowski (pictured on the left), who is the team captain, and her Swing Away girls went undefeated (10-0) over the weekend to win the 2011 USA Volleyball Open National Championship, avenging last year's second place finish. Hosted in Dallas, Texas, at the Dallas Convention Center, Pawlikowski and Co. took down the best of the best around the country from May 28-June4. Playing as the libero, Pawlikowski helped her team be the last one standing in the AA division, which was comprised of 19 of the best teams from all over the nation.

A former Huskie herself, Pawlikowski's team is composed of several other former NCAA Division I players from CSU San Bernardino, Dayton, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wake Forest.

USA Volleyball has hosted its annual championship tournament for 80 years and it's one of the largest national championships of all sports in the United States. For more information, visit the USA Volleyball website.