Aug. 22, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - Fresh off a stellar junior season, Northern Illinois senior middle blocker Mary Kurisch was named to the 2012 Preseason All-Mid-American Conference Team, the league announced Wednesday. Voted on by the league's coaches, the team includes six selections from each division.
Starting all 35 matches last season, the 6'2" La Crosse, Wis. (West Salem H.S.) native was a first team All-MAC and honorable mention Academic All-MAC selection as she set career marks for points (378.5), total blocks (109), digs (80), solo blocks (34), and aces (22). She tallied a hitting percentage of .321 to finish second on team and sixth in the MAC, while compiling 20 matches with 10 or more points for the second straight season.
For the second straight summer, Kurisch continued to develop her game as she participated in the 2012 China-USA Challenge Invitational Tournament in Beijing, China, with the BIP/USA Development Team.
Kurisch enters her final season in a Huskie uniform ranking fourth on the all-time NIU career attack percentage list (.303), 14th in total blocks (288), and 17th in blocks per set (0.81). She has 732 career kills (2.05 per set) and has a chance to become NIU's 19th member of the 1,000 Kill Club as she has tallied over 280 kills in each of the last two seasons.
Returning three starters, senior libero Amber Walker and 11 letterwinners overall from the 2011 team, the Huskies have 71 percent of their blocks, 51 percent of their digs and 43 percent of their kills back, along with their two most accurate hitters - Second Team All-MAC junior middle blocker Sarah Angelos (.359) and Kurisch (.321).
The defending MAC champion Huskies begin the 2012 season this weekend with the annual NIU Invitational at the NIU Convocation Center's Victor E. Court against North Dakota State, Wichita State, and New Mexico State.
East Division Preseason All-MAC Team
1. Danielle Tonyan, Bowling Green
2. Liz Scott, Buffalo
3. Madison Hardy, Miami
4. Chelsea Bilger, Ohio
5. Lexie Hartnett, Ohio
6. Kelly Lamberti, Ohio
West Division Preseason All-MAC Team
1. Kara Bates, Ball State
2. Kaitlyn McIntyre, Central Michigan
3. Rachel Iaquaniello, Eastern Michigan
4. Mary Kurisch, Northern Illinois
5. Jessica Brown, Western Michigan
6. Terin Norris, Western Michigan