Glisk leads Huskies by setting example

By Kari Brackett

The setter is offensive leader in volleyball just as a quarterback leads his offensive team in football.

The “quarterback” for the NIU volleyball team for the last three years has been Beth Glisk. Although a football quarterback is a glamour position, a setter does not always get recognition other volleyball positions do.

“You don’t always get the respect from media and spectators, especially from people who do not really understand the game,” said Glisk, the only setter on the NIU team. “But I do get respect from the team.”

The 5-foot-10 junior started playing volleyball in grade school when her older sister “dragged her into the driveway” to play.

Setting is not the only position the southpaw knows how to handle. During her freshman and sophomore years in high school, Glisk was a left side hitter. She moved to the position of middle hitter as a junior and became a setter in her senior year.

Glisk, a native of Oak Lawn, Ill., attended Richards High School. She said her senior year was a disappointment because a long teachers’ strike abruptly cut into the season. Even though the team played four regular season games, it still made its way to sectionals.

“It would have been a good year for us,” the business major and economics minor said. “The strike hurt because there was not much exposure (for her or her team).”

Although Glisk did not get the exposure she wanted her senior year, she was active in the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) which gave her experience. For two years, Glisk competed on the Windy City team while seeing action with Second City her senior year. Glisk had to give up basketball and softball in high school because of the amount of time she put in with USVBA.

“The USVBA had big tournaments,” Glisk said. “It was a mixture of older women, college teams and high school players. Anyone could play.”

When it came to college selection, Beth chose NIU over schools like Louisville and South Carolina. School size and the business school were features which attracted Glisk.

“I first saw her when she was a sophomore in high school,” NIU coach Herb Summers said. “She is so competitive and so aggressive. As a leader she tends to lead by her own example.” Glisk said she enjoys setting for NIU, but she misses hitting.

“I’d like to hit because being left-handed is a definite advantage to hitting,” Glisk said.

“She has improved greatly since her freshman year,” Summers said of his sole setter. “But it is difficult for her to not be all over the court. She is so competitive that sometimes she does too much by herself.”

Glisk said she realizes she is the offensive leader of the team and has to keep a positive attitude about her play as well as keep the team up.

“A lot of team members look to me for leadership,” Glisk said. “I always try to think of others when I play and not just myself. I always keep a positive attitude.”