Elswick digs her way into record books

By Gus Bode

Libero Kristy Elswick doesn’t like to be the center of attention.

However, Elswick’s team mentality didn’t stop the junior libero from taking center stage at Friday night’s SIU volleyball game, where Elswick broke the school record for all-time career digs against Drake.

Surrounded by teammates and receiving a standing ovation from the crowd, Elswick only took a second to capture the moment before quickly picking up the ball to continue with the game.


Elswick passed former Saluki standout Kristie Kemner, who set the mark with 1,355 digs in 2002.

Elswick, a 5-foot, 5-inch junior from Louisville, Ky., was shy when it came to discussing the record-breaking game, as she constantly shifted the focus toward her team.

“Right now it’s not such a big deal,” Elswick said. “It’s more if we win or lose. After I graduate it will be a big deal, but right now it’s just to go to the conference tournament.”

Teammates said Elswick was modest when it came to talking about the record and some were even unaware that she was set to break it entering the weekend.

Sophomore middle blocker Marina Medic said Elswick hadn’t talked about the record before the game against Drake and credited her for being team-oriented.

“She’s always looking out for the team and what’s going to help them first,” Medic said.

Coming into the match against Drake, Elswick needed 19 digs to break the record and managed to record exactly that number to give her the record.


After recording dig number 1,356 in her third season as a Saluki, play was stopped to recognize Elswick, who received a standing ovation from the Davies Gymnasium crowd.

While she has brought a lot of attention with the record, it isn’t the first time Elswick has put her name in the SIU record books.

Along with digs in a career, Elswick also claims the top spot for most digs in a season with 569 set last season, most digs in a three-game match on two occasions in 2005 and 2006, and is ranked third with the most digs in a match set on Sept. 1 against William ‘ Mary.

Since coming to SIU in 2005, Elswick has started every match of her career at libero.

She credits a combination of her programs from home, SIU coach Brenda Winkeler and support of her teammates for her success on the court.

With guidance from Winkeler, Elswick said she has improved her skills and techniques because of the role she was expected to play on the team.

“Coming in here, I knew they were dependent on me, so I knew I had to take a leadership role and I knew my team was supporting me, and they’re still supporting me,” Elswick said.

Winkeler said she was glad Elswick finally set the record so the pressure is lifted off her back; however, Elswick isn’t ready to stop with the dig record.

When asked what was the next accomplishment for her already successful career would be, Elswick joked, “I don’t know, maybe the blocking record.”

Elswick and the Salukis will return to the court today when they face Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The game starts at 7 p.m.

Daily Egyptian writer Megan Kramper can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 282 or [email protected].