Women's Volleyball

Michelle  Strizak
Michelle Strizak


Cincinnati, Ohio

High School:
Mount Notre Dame




Illini Collect 59 Fall Academic All-Big Ten Selections

Athletes from Five Fall Sports Recognized for Excellence in the Classroom


Illini Close Final Road Trip with Sweep of Hoosiers

Brandi Donnelly posted her 500th dig in the match


No. 12 Illinois Takes Down Rutgers in Straight Sets

Michelle Strizak led the match by hitting .435 with 13 kills


No. 9 Michigan State Sinks Illinois in Straight Sets

A Family Affair: Sisters McKenna and Kristen Kelsay both saw time at setter--for opposing teams


No. 12 Huskers Top Illini in Return to Huff

Networkers raise over $4,000 for breast cancer in pink jersey auction


NCAA 2nd Round vs. Iowa State

No. 10 Illinois vs. Iowa State in the NCAA Division I Tournament 2nd Round game.


NCAA 1st Round vs. Murrary State

Illinois vs. Murrary State in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament at Huff Hall on December 5, 2014.


#11 Illinois vs. Michigan - Match Photos

Illinois vs. Michigan at Huff Hall on Saturday, November 29th, 2014


#12 Illinois vs. #17 Ohio State

Illinois vs. Ohio State at Huff Hall Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Illinois vs. Indiana

The Illini swept the visiting Hoosiers at Huff Hall on Friday, October 24th to kick off homecoming weekend!

Career Honors
2014 Academic All-Big Ten

Match-By-Match Stats: 2013 | 2014


  • Played in 17 matches as a sophomore, seeing action in 36 sets.
  • Totaled 79 kills, nine blocks, 10 digs and two assists, hitting .281.
  • Came in for the final two sets against Colorado, slamming five kills without an error to hit .385 and help the Illini top the Buffs in four sets.
  • Came in at the end of the third set against Rutgers and registered a kill on her only swing of the night to set up Illini match point.
  • Slammed a kill to tie the score at 24 in the second set, helping to lead the Illini to a 3-0 victory over No. 18 Minnesota by hitting .444 with five kills over the final two sets.
  • Hit .316 with a career-high six kills and no errors in the final two sets against Northwestern.
  • Matched her previous performance with six more kills against No. 17 Ohio State, including three in the pivotal fifth set.
  • Started at outside hitter at Rutgers and led the match by hitting .435 with 13 kills and a solo block, all personal highs.
  • Posted eight kills at No. 2 Wisconsin.
  • Hit .500 with 10 kills and a block at Indiana.
  • Had a career night against No. 10 Nebraska with 15 kills, four blocks and four digs.
  • Had kills on her only two swings against Iowa State in the NCAA Second Round.
  • Recorded four kills on five swings in the fourth set vs. No. 5 Florida in the NCAA Regional.


  • Saw action in seven matches as a true freshman, making one start.
  • Totaled 17 kills, four digs and a block in 10 sets.
  • Made her first career appearance against No. 12 Nebraska, knocking down five kills in the second half of the match.
  • Started her first match at Michigan State, registering four kills and a block.
  • Posted three kills on six errorless swings in the first set at No. 14 Michigan, adding four digs.
  • Notched a kill on her only swing of the match at Northwestern, coming in for a struggling Criswell in the fifth set.
  • Recorded a kill in the third set at No. 16 Wisconsin.
  • Had a kill in the second set at No. 2 Penn State.
  • Registered back-to-back kills to tie the score in the third set against No. 11 Minnesota.

High School

  • Ohio Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Yea:r 2012.
  • First Team AVCA/Under Armour High School All-American: 2012.
  • Ranked No. 22 in the nation on PrepVolleyball.com's "Senior Aces" list.
  • Two-time Cincinnati Enquirer High School Volleyball Player of the Year: 2011, 2012.
  • Named to PrepVolleyball.com's "Freshman 59" and "Sophomore 79" lists.
  • One of five finalists for PrepVolleyball.com's Junior of the Year.
  • Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year runner-up: 2011.
  • GGCL Player of the Year: 2011, 2012.
  • District Player of the Year: 2011, 2012.
  • First team all-state: 2011, 2012.
  • Second-team all-state: 2010.
  • Women's Sports Association Volleyball Player of the Year: 2011.
  • Four-year starter for Mount Notre Dame High School under Head Coach Joe Burke, Strizak led the Cougars to four sectional championships, four district championships, three Greater Girls Cincinnati League Championships and three regional finals appearances, including the 2011 regional and state championships.
  • Accumulated 1,288 kills, 882 digs, 165 blocks, 161 aces and 26 assists over 97 career matches, averaging 4.78 kills, 3.43 digs, 0.63 aces and 0.50 blocks over her final three seasons.
  • Spent two seasons with the national training team, finishing third at the 2010 High Performance Championship with the USA Girls Youth National Training Team and fourth at the 2012 High Performance Championships with the USA Women's Junior National Training Team.
  • Also ran track, and earned a 2012-13 All-GGCL Track and Field Honorable Mention.
  • 2012-13 GGCL Scholar Athlete.


  • Born Michelle Christa Strizak on Dec. 19, 1994, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Daughter of Phyllis and George Strizak.
  • Has two older siblings, Ryan and Sharon.
  • Sister Sharon played volleyball at the University of Maryland.
  • Volunteered at Jewish Hospital Pharmacy, Matthew 25 Ministries and Safe Haven Farms.
  • CYO Volleyball coach and referee.
  • Received first honors every semester at Mount Notre Dame.
  • Social Studies Scholar of the Year.
  • Mathematics Scholar of the Year.
  • National Honor Society.
  • Student Task Force.
  • Ambassadors.
  • Graduated sixth in her class with a weighted GPA of 5.75.
  • AP Scholar with Distinction.
  • Majoring in kinesiology.

Career Single-Match Highs

K: 15 vs. Nebraska (11/26/14)
TA: 38 vs. Nebraska (11/26/14)
Pct: .500 (10-1-18) at Indiana (11/22/14)
A: 1, 2x-last vs. Ohio State (11/12/14)
SA: 0
D: 4, 2x-last vs. Nebraska (11/26/14)
BS: 1, 2x-last vs. Murray State (12/6/14)
BA: 4 vs. Nebraska (11/26/14)
TB: 4 vs. Nebraska (11/26/14)


Getting to know Michelle

Full Name: Michelle Christa Strizak
Nickname: Meesh
Fun fact: I have double-jointed fingers
Favorite Movie:Stick It
Movie you've seen in theatres that you've regretted seeing the most: The Watch
Restaurant you have to get to when going back home:Graeter's Ice Cream, Montgomery Inn, Skyline
Favorite Midnight Snack:Ice Cream!
Three things on your "bucket list" (do before you die): 1. Live in Europe for a year 2. Go on a Mission Trip 3. Scuba Diving
What are you most proud of and why? Winning a state championship!
Famous person you admire and why? Kerri Walsh
If you were to win $10 million, what would you buy?A trip to the moon, a beach house
Book you've read in the past year:Eat. Pray. Love.
Favorite quote: Whoever said winning isn't important probably lost.
When you surf the web, page you most often go to:Netflix
Your favorite sundae topping:Brownies
Your weirdest quirk:I can't blow bubbles with bubble gum
Favorite athlete:Brandon Phillips
Favorite professional sports team:Cincinnati Reds
Favorite TV Shows: Grey's Anatomy, Nashville
Favorite Musical Group: Luke Bryan
If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose and why?Hawaii
What is your favorite game?Apples to Apples
Lucky number:4
Favorite subject in high school:P.E.
Crazy thing you dream of doing someday:Bungee jumping
Who did you idolize growing up: My sister and brother