Women’s Athletic Program Earns Historic Honor
The bar is set high for NIU women’s athletic teams this year, as the achievements of last year’s teams made history: NIU was honored as the top women's athletic program in the Mid-American Conference. The program was presented with its first-ever Jacoby Trophy after nine of its 10 women's sports programs finished in the top half of the MAC during either regular season or tournament play in 2017.
The Huskies' previous best finish was second place in 1999. NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier was thrilled to see NIU's program recognized and said it is evidence of the hard work toward NIU Athletics’ goal to be more competitive and to win championships in all 17 sports’ programs.
“With this recognition, we have achieved a department first and a significant milestone,” he said. “I'm extremely proud and humbled to be a part of this NIU historic accomplishment and credit the coaches, student-athletes, staff, faculty, alumni, donors and fans for their continued unconditional support which made this happen."
2017 NIU women's athletic program highlights
- 2017 MAC Tournament Championship won by the Huskie volleyball team, which claimed the tournament title for the first time since 2001 and went on to compete in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament.
- Women's soccer played in the MAC Championship title game, advancing to the MAC Championship game as a No. 8 seed.
- Women's basketball played in the MAC Championship title game, marking their first postseason bid since 1995.
- The Huskies finished second in the MAC Championship meets in cross country and women's golf, securing the highest placing ever for cross country at the MAC Championships, and the best finish for women's golf since 1999.
- In track and field, NIU tied for fifth at the MAC Championship meet during the indoor season and placed fourth at the outdoor championship.
- The Huskie gymnastics placed second in the regular season MAC race before taking fifth in the MAC Championship meet, where they recorded the highest team score in school history.
- In softball, Northern Illinois finished second in the MAC West Division for a No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament.
- In women's tennis, the Huskies advanced to the MAC Tournament for the first time since 2012, gaining the fifth seed with a 10-13 overall record, 4-4 in the MAC.
For the Jacoby Trophy, points are awarded based on each school's finish, with the overall total divided by the number of sports sponsored by each school. The women's trophy is named for former MAC Commissioner Fred Jacoby.