NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    Sept. 25, 1997

    Wildcats Open Big Ten Campaign at Iowa and Minnesota

    Following a successful nonconference slate, Northwestern looks to continue its winning ways into conference play, opening the Big Ten schedule this weekend at Iowa and Minnesota.

    The Iowa and Minnesota contests will mark the first matches in 13 days for the Wildcats, who have not played since defeating DePaul and Illinois-Chicago on Sat., Sept. 13. However, NU played 11 matches in 13 days to open the season.

    The Dig ... And The Kill For Holloway
    Junior outside hitter Jessica Holloway (Lafayette, Ind./McCutcheon) once again ranks among the Wildcat leaders in kills and digs. This season, she leads NU and ranks ninth in the Big Ten in kills per game at 3.85. She is second on the team in digs with 113 (2.90 per game).

    Holloway has recorded at least 300 kills and 300 digs in each of her first two seasons at Northwestern. As a freshman, she led NU with 313 kills and 360 digs. Last year, she amassed 306 kills and 370 digs. Her 28 digs last year vs. Ohio State was a personal best and marked the best single-match performance in the Big Ten.

    A Power Surge
    Jessica Holloway is one of the strongest athletes at Northwestern - male or female. The outside hitter posted a leg squat of 350 pounds earlier this fall. Of all current NU student-athletes who weigh 185 pounds or less, Holloway's squat is the sixth best overall and tops among NU female athletes. Of the five 185-pounders above her, all are football players.

    Burbach Among Top Big Ten Freshmen
    Outside hitter Carmen Burbach (Columbus, Neb./Scotus Central Catholic) is establishing herself as one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten Conference. She currently leads NU and ranks eighth in the Big Ten in aces, averaging 0.41 per game. Her 2.97 digs per game also leads the team and is 11th in the Big Ten. Burbach opened her Wildcat career with an 18-kill, 21-dig performance against Akron, followed by a 14-kill, 15-dig effort vs. Georgetown.

    More on Burbach and Holloway
    Either Burbach or Holloway has led the 'Cats in kills and/or digs 10 times this year. The only exceptions have been at Northern Illinois (Christman 12 digs) and vs. Loyola (Fisk 26 kills).

    Set 'Em Up
    Junior setter Liz Renius (Temperance, Mich./Bedford) currently ranks sixth in the Big Ten in assists, averaging 12.49 per game. For her career, Renius has tallied 2,531 assists, placing her third on NU's all-time assist chart. Andrea Proos (1985-88) is in second at 2,874, while the NU career mark of 3,634 assists is held by Renius' predecessor, Jeanne Wohlberg (1991-94).

    Renius' offensive production has improved tremendously during her career, hitting a career-best .408 this season. As a freshman, she hit .154 and tallied an average of 9.04 assists per game (932 total). Last season, she finished second on the team in hitting at .208 and averaged 10.39 apg.

    Last season when the 'Cats traveled to Iowa City, Renius notched the first triple-double by a Wildcat in seven years. Her triple-double on Oct. 19 (11 kills, 22 digs, 61 assists) was the first by an NU player since Miriam Stariha posted a triple-double in 1990, also against the Hawkeyes.

    Honors and Awards
    Here's a list of accolades, thus far, for the 1997 Wildcats:
    Jessica Holloway - Wolfpack Invitational MVP
    Carmen Burbach - Wolfpack Invitational All-Tournament
    Jessica Holloway - Wildcat Classic All-Tournament
    Melissa Doan - Wildcat Classic All-Tournament
    Sharon Fisk - Chicago Challenge MVP
    Liz Renius - Chicago Challenge All-Tournament

    Wildcats Nearing Win No. 400
    The NU volleyball program is nearing a milestone, entering this weekend with an all-time record of 397-334-5. With three more wins, the 'Cats would reach the 400 win mark.

    1997 Wildcat Match Superlatives
    Individual
    Kills - 26, Sharon Fisk vs. Loyola-Chicago, 9-12
    Attacks - 52, Carmen Burbach vs. Akron, 8-29
    Percentage - .538, Melissa Doan at NC State, 8-30
    Aces - 5, Carmen Burbach vs. DePaul, 9-13
    Assists - 59, Liz Renius at Western Michigan, 9-3
    Digs - 23, Jessica Holloway vs. Loyola-Chicago, 9-12
    Block Solos - 2, Sharon Fisk at Western Michigan, 9-3, and vs. DePaul, 9-13
    Block Assists - 7, Sharon Fisk at NC State, 8-30, and vs. DePaul, 9-13
    Total Blocks - 9, Sharon Fisk vs. DePaul, 9-13

    Team
    Kills - 76 at Western Michigan, 9-3
    Percentage - .299 at NC State, 8-30
    Aces - 10 vs. Georgetown and at NC State, 8-30
    Digs - 69 vs. Akron, 8-29
    Total Blocks - 10 vs. Virginia Tech, 9-6, and DePaul, 9-13

    Where They Rank
    Here's where NU ranks among the current Big Ten leaders:
    Kills - Jessica Holloway (9th - 3.85 kpg)
    Assists - Liz Renius (6th - 12.49 apg)
    Blocks - Sharon Fisk (6th - 1.26 bpg)
    Aces - Carmen Burbach (8th - 0.41 apg)

    Lots of Personal Bests Set This Year
    Several NU players have set or tied personal highs during the 1997 campaign:
    Melissa Doan
    .538 hitting percentage at NC State (old mark: .517)
    four aces at UIC (old mark: three)
    Sharon Fisk
    26 kills vs. Loyola-Chicago (old mark: 13)
    51 total attempts vs. Loyola-Chicago (old mark: 51)
    seven block assists at NC St./vs. DePaul (old mark: 5)
    nine total blocks vs. DePaul (old mark: 8)
    Jessica Holloway
    20 kills at NC State (old mark: 19)
    four assists at No. Illinois (ties mark)
    four block assists vs. Florida (ties mark)
    four total blocks vs. Florida (ties mark)
    Kitty Owen
    12 kills at Western Michigan (ties mark)
    .500 hitting percentage at UIC (old mark: .381)
    Liz Renius
    five block assists vs. DePaul (old mark: four)
    five total blocks vs. DePaul (ties mark)
    Sarah Strauss
    three block assists vs. Akron (ties mark)
    three total blocks vs. Akron/Georgetown (ties mark)

    Roster Changes
    Please add #13 Karen Christman (So., DS, Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood) to the Wildcat roster in the media guide. Christman played in 30 of NU's 33 matches last season and recorded 70 digs. Christman originally was scheduled to study overseas this fall, thus her omission from the media guide. At the same time, delete #4 Karen Church from your media guide roster.

    Head Coach Kevin Renshler
    Kevin Renshler (Ohio State, '87) is in his first season as NU head coach and his fifth season overall. His career record stands at 65-69. Renshler spent four seasons at head coach at Kent (1993-96) before taking over the Northwestern program. Last year, Renshler guided Kent to a 20-12 overall mark, a 10-7 record in the MAC and an impressive 13-1 home record. The 10-7 conference record was the first winning conference season in school history.