November 19, 2000
Southern Illinois University Carbondale placed two student-athletes on the 2000 Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Volleyball Team announced on Wednesday, November 15.
Kristie Kemner was named to the First-Team Scholar-Athlete Team and Jenny Noel was named Honorable Mention Scholar-Athlete for the second consecutive year for the Salukis.
"I'm not surprised, they are both good students and volleyball players. I think their grades speak for themselves. They do a great job in their majors. When you're a sophomore and junior and over a 3.5 grade point average, you're doing well," said Sonya Locke, Saluki head coach. "Jenny's so consistent and she's been a starter for two years. Her grades have always been good and she deserves the recognition along with Kristie."
Southern Illinois University has been represented by at least one athlete on the scholar-athlete team since 1992, which is important to Coach Locke.
"We've had people pretty consistently on the scholar-athlete team, which says something about the roundness of our student-athletes. Our concern is that our kids be students first and athletes second. If they are going to truly excel, we want them to be good students and make a good life for themselves after they leave SIU, and that's what our kids are doing," added Locke. "It's nice that the conference recognized them, but we know how well they are doing as student-athletes."
Kristie Kemner, a sophomore outside hitter from Quincy, Illinois, has a 3.8 grade point average in Speech Pathology. She leads the Salukis in kills (340), kills per game (3.51), digs (280), digs per game (2.89), total attacks (924), service aces (41), and aces per game (.42).
She was named to the First-Team Scholar-Athlete Team the first time she was eligible and was a member of the 1999 All-Newcomer Team. The spot on the First-Team Scholar-Athlete Team may have been a surprise to Kemner, but is also very important.
"I was pretty surprised, but I think it's a great honor. I have worked hard and it is tough to play volleyball and keep up your academics. I take this as an indication that I am on the right track and I take my academics very seriously because it's important to me. My major is very tough and if I don't succeed in the classroom, I won't be able to play volleyball," Kemner said. "This sets a good example and this team is very goal oriented, especially in our academics. Last year over three fourths of the team made the Dean's list and it's a very high priority with us. I think if we set that standard now, then the new players coming in will feel it's a necessity to do well in the classroom."
Jenny Noel, a junior middle blocker from Cincinnati, Ohio, has a 3.5 grade point average in Foreign Language and International Trade. She leads SIU in block assists (88), total blocks (107), and blocks per game (1.05).
Noel is a repeat honoree from the 1999 Honorable Mention Scholar-Athlete Team, but is happy to earn the recognition for her academic work.
"I'm excited to know that all my hard work in school paid off and receive some recognition. It's important to make this team. Because of volleyball I've become a better student and I've had to learn how to manage my time. Managing my time with the limited amount of time I have to study has really helped my grades, and hopefully it will pay off in the next year and a half," said Noel. "I think it's always good to show people that your need to do well in your academics. You won't be playing volleyball your entire life, and you need to do well academically so you can succeed and get a good job when you finish school. If you¹re getting good grades, it shows you're organized and can think through things, which will help you out on the volleyball court as well. It's great that we have two people on the scholar-athlete team. We have a very smart team that is strong in academics."
The twelve returning players to the 2000 Saluki volleyball team have a cumulative 3.562 grade point average and ten of the twelve were named to the 2000 Dean's List last spring semester.