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 new associate head coach. Head volleyball 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 not only to the volleyball program and the athletic department, but to the entire Northwestern University community. We are all thrilled to be able to reward her dedication and effort with this deserved title."
In Jensen's three seasons with the 'Cats thus far the team has achieved a great deal of success. In 2009, her first season, several of 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 apiece.
2010 saw Northwestern win 20 matches and advance to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. That year two of 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, a feat that had not been accomplished since 1984. Memorably, 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 coaching career as a volunteer assistant at NIU while she pursued a master's degree in kinesiology and physical education.
Jensen graduated magna cum laude from Ohio State University in 1997 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 amassed 655 kills and a hitting percentage of .260, which ranks 19th in OSU annals.
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