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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

5 minutes with Kristin Hoffman

By Mike Romor | October 6, 2011

NIU volleyball begins spring play this weekend at the Campus Recreation Center in the Salvani Spring Play Date. The annual tournament honors former NIU player Karen Salvani (1998). The Northern Star spoke with setter Kristin Hoffman about getting back into the game after the Huskies lost the championship match of the MAC Tournament to Ohio in the fall.

In her junior season, Hoffman earned a spot on the first team all-conference and became the first Huskie to be named an ESPN Academic All-American. Hoffman led the team with 1,496 assists, ranking second in the MAC and 17th nationally.

Northern Star: So Kristin, did you do anything exciting for spring break?

Kristin Hoffman: I went to six states; it was crazy. It was a lot of driving. I went with Students Today Leaders Forever. It's a regional organization headquartered in Minneapolis. There are different chapters in the U.S. I went with the University of Iowa's bus corps. It's a community service, volunteer, alternative spring break-type trip.

We went to six cities in a week. Each place we did a different service project in the morning and had a little time to explain the town in some of the places. Then we would drive to the next place.

NS: After the final game against Marquette during Thanksgiving break, how long was it before you got back into the gym?

KH: It seems like so long ago now. I want to say we lifted that first week we came back. We played that Saturday and lifted that following Monday. Pretty quick turnover. We also had a few open gyms before winter break, but nothing too serious. [We had time to] get prepared for finals, and finish up the semester with trying to go home and enjoy our family and friends which was nice.

NS: What do you feel is different playing spring ball as opposed to competition play in the fall?

KH: I think spring is a good opportunity for everyone on our team to grow as a player. We get more individual attention because we don't have to focus on a specific team and watch film. Spring is a really good time, especially for the younger players to develop their own skills and gain confidence in themselves.

NS: With the tournament this weekend, what does it mean for the current players to match up against the alumni?

KH: That's one of the most exciting parts of the Savani tournament. We do get to play former teammates and girls who we didn't play with who are quite a few years older. The support they give to our team is exciting. The fact that there are so many of them, more than can even play. They have players sitting on their bench. It's really nice to know they hang around and come back and want to be a part of the program. That is not always common in college sports.

NS: Most importantly, how much trash-talking are you going to be doing across the net?

KH: Probably a lot. Usually we tend to play the alums around the end of the day. Everyone is tired, and we've been playing a lot. Big bragging rights come with that game.

Lauren Wicinski embraces her emotions during a stoppage in play.

Top 10 Huskies of the Year: #2 Lauren Wicinski

By Katie Leb | May 8, 2011

While aspiring to be "the freshman that doesn't make the mistakes," Lauren Wicinski helped the NIU volleyball team get to the MAC Championship match and garnered herself the Northern Star's No. 2 Huskie of the Year. The Geneva, Ill. native came to NIU...

Softball crushed by DePaul

By Katie Leb | May 5, 2011

Stephanie Tofft ended her school record-breaking hitting streak at 36 games as NIU softball fell at DePaul Wednesday afternoon, 9-1 in five innings.Tofft was 0-for-3 at the plate, ending a historic streak that began March 4 in the first game of the Colorado...

NIU to host MAC Championships

By Katie Leb | May 3, 2011

NIU's track and field seniors will be busy the weekend of May 13-14, not only because of commencement, but also the MAC Championships. With the Championships being held at NIU for the first time in more than 30 years, the seniors will be able to participate...

The NIU golf teams recently received a brand new van to travel in.

NIU golf teams roll in style

By Katie Leb | May 2, 2011

Conversations about flashlights generally do not result in the purchase of a $150,000 van. But, when alumnus Jerry Rich asks what the NIU golf programs are in need of, somehow the discussion ends with such a resolution. Rich, whose golf course, Rich Harvest...

Freshman File: Clarie McAuley keeps on running

By Katie Leb | April 28, 2011

Coordination is a necessary skill in most athletics. Being uncoordinated, however, has led Claire McAuley not only into a sport she loves, but across the ocean to a new country. A Torrance, Glasgow native, McAuley has a general love of sports, but always...

Donnelly’s recruits help team succeed

By Katie Leb | April 26, 2011

For the seventh time in nine tries, NIU men's soccer has claimed the Governor's Cup after defeating both Western and Eastern Illinois on April 16. Some of the Huskies were part of a national "Top 40 Recruiting Class" by College Soccer News for the 2010...

Jennifer Barnett swings away at a pitch earlier in the semester.

Softball splits doubleheader

By Katie Leb | April 26, 2011

DeKALB | The Huskies maintained a .500 record after splitting a doubleheader against non-conference rival Western Illinois Tuesday afternoon at McKee Stadium. NIU (21-21, 10-4 MAC) began the day with a run in the opening inning, but quickly fell behind...

Huskies host NIU Open

By Katie Leb | April 25, 2011

DeKALB | Sprinting events highlighted a successful Huskie Open for the NIU track and field team on Saturday. The Huskies came away with nine event wins, while also claiming the top four spots in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. "One thing they do a...

Track hosting meet this weekend

By Katie Leb | April 21, 2011

NIU's track and field team is staying home this weekend to host the Huskie Open at the Soccer and Track & Field Complex.The open usually serves as the lone home meet for the Huskies, but this year NIU will also host the MAC Championships in May.The...

Tofft the model of consistency

By Katie Leb | April 21, 2011

It may have taken the fall semester for Stephanie Tofft to get used to playing college softball, but she has been on a tear ever since.Tofft currently sits on a 27-game hitting streak that began on March 4 in the first game of the Colorado State Classic.The...

Rant: Reds are red in the face

By Katie Leb | April 19, 2011

The Cincinnati Reds’ website states “This is red country.” The Reds should change that to “This is caught red-handed country.” I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have $59.88. If Mike Leake would have asked, I would have...