Schauer provides the Huskies’ kill

By John Dietz

Strength, power and size.

Three attributes that can send opposing volleyball teams into panic or at least grave concern.

Belvidere’s Kori Schauer possesses all three and with her experience level rising, she can only improve.

Schauer stands 6-4 and uses every inch of that to punish opponents.

In her first two years at NIU, Schauer’s attack percentages were .233 and .244, respectively. Through 26 matches this year, Schauer’s percentage has skyrocketed to .363.

With her power and size the question becomes, can she unleash a kill on almost any point?

“Well, not on every point, but with my ability I’m able to hit around the block,” Schauer said. “I feel I can score if it’s a good set and the play is there.”

Schauer shares playing time with junior defensive specialist Amy Vandermeer. Head coach Pete Waite and Schauer both explained the reasoning behind this strategy.

“The two of them together make a great player,” said Waite. “It originated last year with Kori’s injury. It enables us to rest her body more.”

“Amy plays better defense than I do,” Schauer explained. “She concentrates on that, and it gives me the ability to concentrate on front row play.”

Schauer also received high praise from Waite about her impressive progress over the three years here at NIU.

“If you compare last year to this year, she’s doubled her production,” Waite said. “It’s regular for her to get 15 or 20 kills in a match.”

That regularity of play has once again been acknowledged by the coaches of the Mid-Continent Conference. For the second time this season, Schauer was awarded Mid-Con Player of the Week honors after her performance last weekend in California.

Schauer broke two tournament records at the Cal State Northridge Invitational. She had a .727 kill clip against Cal State Fullerton, which set a record for highest hitting percentage for an individual in a match. Schauer also broke the hitting percentage record for the tournament with a .404 clip.

“Kori really deserved the honor,” said Waite. “Kori was aggressive at the net, hitting shots we have not seen before at speeds we’ve not seen before.”

If Schauer continues to improve, it can only get worse for Huskie opponents.