Wicinski continues assualt on NIU record book


By Abbe Barton

Lauren Wicinski has made history this year in more ways than one.

NIU’s outside hitter has helped her team post a record of 15-5 overall and 4-2 in MAC play.

“My motivation is to achieve our goal of winning the MAC,” Wicinski said.

On the way to helping her team with a successful season, the 2010 MAC Player of the Year became the fastest NIU player to reach 1,000 career kills, doing so in only 54 matches.

The same night, she had one of her best performances against Western Michigan. She recorded 25 kills on only 36 swings and ended with only one error, making it a career high .667 hitting percentage.

She would end the match with a career 1,024 kills, well exceeding the 1,000th mark.

“Lauren is a great player and she works really hard,” teammate Sarah Angelos said. “Lauren is one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met, and she will go out with anything she’s doing wanting to win. That really pushes us a team and everyone around her to win as much as she does.”

Last year, Wicinski was chosen as the league’s weekly MAC West Player of the Week five times, and won back-to-back once.

This year, she has made Huskie history for being honored four times, three of them consecutively.

On top of that, Wicinski became the first NIU player to be named a top performer since 2008 by Collegiate Volleyball Update (CVU.com).

Wicinski was recognized on the website from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 as one of 11 top performers of 2011.

“Lauren is a very skilled volleyball player who continues to learn about herself more and more, which helps to expand her volleyball game.” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. “The main thing for her is the team. She really wants to help the team to be as successful as we possibly can be. Effort, attitude and consistency are the three biggest things we preach to the team. They’re what makes great volleyball.”

Wicinski will be featured in the Chicago Tribune as well as Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd.”

Currently, Wicinski leads the MAC in points (6.67/set), kills (5.71/set) and aces (0.66/set).

She also leads the nation in points and kills, but falls fourth in aces and is ranked 96th in hitting percentage.

Wicinski has proven herself to be a very worthy Huskie game after game, win after win.