McGlaughlin looks to end NIU career on high note

By Mike Romor

The past four seasons for NIU volleyball have been some of the most promising in recent memory, and the team adds more to the mix as each season passes.

One of the only constants for the program during that span has been senior outside hitter Allison McGlaughlin.

The Morton, Ill. native appeared in every match since joining the Huskies and has been a staple to their success while they built their record from 2008, when the Huskies went 18-14, to this season’s 28-6 mark.

“She has been playing some of her best volleyball in her last year here,” said NIU coach Ray Gooden. “She will leave the program as one of the more decorated players as far as number of kills, probably in the top five, and number of digs, on top of playing some of the most games in a career for NIU. She has to be one of the top players at NIU.”

McGlaughlin has earned the right to be listed among some of the best in the program’s history.

She has been named All-MAC three times in her career as well as to the All-Academic MAC team last season.

In her time as a Huskie, McGlaughlin never achieved her ultimate goal of bringing a MAC Championship banner to Victor E. Court, but she said this season is special in its own way.

“Getting to the NCAA Tournament [this season] is huge,” McGlaughlin said. “That’s definitely a highlight. I think all the friendships and relationships that I have made through volleyball are definitely highlights.”

With Gooden and Kristin Hoffman as the only other members of the program that worked with her all four years, the connections between the three are strong.

Hoffman is the only other senior on the squad, and from the beginning, they bonded well. Since then, their friendship has continued to grow.

“She has been my best friend for the past four years,” Hoffman said. “From that standpoint, she is a great person to be around and a great friend to me. She always has been. On the court or off the court, she is always there and willing to help. On the court, obviously, she has had a lot of success over the years and it’s been really exciting to be a part of that with her.”

McGlaughlin was quick to praise the coaching staff for her development at NIU, and says neither she nor the team could have done what they have without Gooden.

“I have grown closer with them,” McGlaughlin said. “Each year I’ve gotten closer and closer with Ray. I would definitely say he’s become one of my good friends. I am comfortable talking with him about any problems I have on or off the court. Ray’s a great coach, and I respect him so much.”