Koralewski valuable player


Norse volleyball coach Carlos Chia has been fortunate enough to have recruited a long list of outstanding offensive players at Northern Kentucky University. Chia can add Kristin Koralewski to his list of great players.

Koralewski, a senior outside hitter and native of Muskego, Wis., has put herself in the NKU record books by joining the 1,000-kills club earlier in the season. She becomes the 10th player in Norse volleyball history to reach 1,000 kills.

Before graduating from Thomas More High School in 2000, Koralewski led her team to the 1999 Wisconsin state championship. She finished her prep career as the school’s all-time career leader with 1,073 kills, 515 digs and 209 service aces. She credits her coaches for developing her success at a young age.

“My high school coach (Rob McLaughlin) and club coach (Joe Lynch) really trained me into the athlete that I am today.”

She began her collegiate career at Northern Michigan University where she earned Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year honors in the 2000 season after leading her team with 354 kills and 351 digs. She also had a team-leading 49 service aces.

After the 2001 season, Koralewski decided to move on to play for the Norse.

“I was real excited with the style of play at NKU and the type of coach Carlos had the reputation to be,” Koralewski said. “I also knew NKU was very good and that they bring in really good players.”

Because of NCAA rules for transfers, Koralewski was ineligible for the 2001 season and so began her career at NKU in 2002. She played in 31 matches, recorded 346 kills and racked up 315 digs. She led the team with 46 aces and was named All-Great Lakes Region Honorable Mention.

Chia feels Koralewski has improved her overall game while at NKU. “She has really learned to play our type of offense and defense. Our style isn’t like any school in the country.”

In the 2003 season, Koralewski was named First Team All-American and GLVC Player of the Year. She started all 38 matches for the Norse and led the team with 580 kills and 487 digs.

“My proudest moment was when we beat Northern Michigan in the NCAA Regional Tournament on their home floor and they were 26-0 on the season.”

Chia feels Koralewski’s attitude is a major reason she is so successful. “Her demeanor on and off the court is very good. She can go compete against the highest level or lowest level and her demeanor never changes,” he said.

The 2004 season has given Koralewski an opportunity to become more of a team leader. “Being the captain on the floor, I really try to lead by example, always giving 100 percent and just hoping everyone follows that effort,” she said.

Sophomore teammate Andrea Lanham feels Koralewski is a true leader for the team.

“She is very hardworking, and she is always concerned about the well-being of our team,” Lanham said. “She is a very serious player who cares about the team more than her individual accomplishments.”

Koralewski was already named the GLVC Player of the Week in August. She has 93 kills and 101 digs to lead the team, while also contributing five service aces.

Koralewski is a sports business major at NKU and hopes to attend grad school to study more about business and sales promotions. She also plans to begin coaching volleyball either at the club or high school level.

Koralewski will leave NKU with many memories. “I will miss the teammates I have played with and the accomplishments we have made together, and also what I have learned from Carlos on and off the court.”