April 6, 2006
Champaign, Ill. - Outside hitter Amy Palash has announced plans to transfer to the University of Illinois to play volleyball. The 5-10 Palash graduated from traditional volleyball power St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Ill., and comes to Illinois after spending two seasons at Valparaiso Univeristy.
Palash was a First-Team All-Mid Continent Conference performer in 2005, leading the Crusaders to the Mid-Con title and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Palash had 15 double-doubles and ranked fourth in the conference with a team-leading 3.46 kills per game. Palash was named to the 2004 Mid-Con All-Freshman Team and has been named both the conference's Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week.
Palash was named a Prep Volleyball All-American as a senior at St. Francis, where she helped the Spartans to back-to-back IHSA Class A state titles in 2002 and 2003. She was the two-time Suburban Catholic Conference Player of the Year and a three-time All-SCC All-Conference performer. Palash also played on three-straight conference championship teams.
Palash was named to the All-State Team by the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, and Champaign News-Gazette in 2003 after earning Second Team All-State accolades in 2002. She was also named to the IHSA All-State Tournament Team and honored as All-Area Player of the Year by the Leader/Press/Post/News.
A-two sport athlete, Palash also excelled on the basketball court, where she claimed All-SCC, All-Area and team MVP honors. Her well-rounded talent helped earn Palash the 2003-2004 SFHS Female Athlete of the Year award.
An Illinois State Scholar, Palash plans to major in math with aspirations to teach math and coach.
"Amy is a tremendous all-around player with excellent athletic ability," said Illinois Head Coach Don Hardin. "Her style of play, her energy, and her work ethic made her a great fit for our program. We also like the fact that she is from Illinois and from a school in St. Francis with a rich volleyball tradition."
Palash joins 6-1 outside hitter Stefanie Alde (Northwestern) and 5-4 defensive specialist Kristine Anderson (Parkland College) as transfers into the Illinois program this year. This helps fill the void left by some unexpected injury-related vacancies on the roster.