Volleyball: 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!  
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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.