May 24, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Kirstine Jensen begins her fourth season on the bench for the Northwestern Wildcats in the fall and will do so as the team's associate head coach. Head coach Keylor Chan announced Jensen's promotion on Thursday, May 24.
"Kirstine works extremely hard every single day and is an invaluable member of our program," said Chan. "She is a tremendous asset to not only the volleyball program and the athletic department, but the Northwestern University community. We are all thrilled to be able to reward her dedication and effort."
In Jensen's three seasons with the 'Cats the team has achieved much success. In 2009, her first season, NU's outside hitters experienced career-best years with Jensen's assistance. Former Wildcat Ariel Baxterbeck notched well over 200 kills and 50 blocks, while Alex Ayers and Brittani Gray also tallied 100-plus kills.
2010 saw Northwestern win 20 matches and advance to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. That year Jensen's pupils Stephanie Holthus and Christina Kaelin each pounded down over 300 kills and Holthus was named to the Big Ten's All-Freshman Team.
During the 2011 campaign, NU broke out to its best start in 14 years. The 'Cats won their first five matches of the season and all 15 sets along the way. Northwestern knocked off three top-25 opponents, including a monumental triumph against second-ranked Nebraska in the regular season finale.
In addition to working with the outside hitters, Jensen is responsible for coordinating the recruiting efforts for the Wildcats.
Prior to arriving in Evanston, Jensen spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Northern Illinois University and a fourth (2008) as the program's associate head coach. Before arriving in DeKalb, the Sycamore, Ill., native worked for three years, from 2002-05, at Florida State. Jensen also worked at Ohio University and began her career as a volunteer assistant at NIU while she pursued a master's degree in kinesiology and physical education.
Jensen graduated from Ohio State University in 1997, magna cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in speech and hearing sciences. She was a four-time scholar-athlete for the Buckeyes and helped the squad reach the NCAA Final Four in 1995. As a player Jensen amasses 655 kills and a hitting percentage of .260, which ranks 19th in OSU annals.
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