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Longtime BSU volleyball coach to enter NSIC Hall of Fame

BURNSVILLE -- A former longtime Bemidji State volleyball head coach will enter the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Hall of Fame this summer.

Donna Palivec was one of seven individuals who will be inducted into the hall of fame this July, the NSIC announced Thursday.

Donna Palivec

Palivec took over the Beaver volleyball program in 1994, and by the end of her second season, the team recorded more wins than it had in six years, finishing 19-17. The Beavers built from that in 1997 by going 21-12, and their 25-7 record in 1999 was the most wins for BSU since a 28-17 season in 1989.

In total, Palivec coached the Beavers for eight seasons from 1994-2001, and ranks second on BSU's all-time coaching wins list. She led the Beavers to 119 total victories, including four seasons of at least 18 wins and two second-place NSIC finishes, and was NSIC Volleyball Coach of the Year in 1995. Including her previous years coaching at North Dakota State and Montana State, she finished her career among the top 15 active NCAA volleyball coaches, with 484 victories.

During her tenure at Bemidji State, Palivec coached 13 All-NSIC student-athletes and 17 All-Academic team members.

Palivec lettered in five sports at Indiana University where she earned her bachelor’s degree with a major in physical education. She played on the IU women's basketball team that made an AIAW Final Four appearance in 1973. In addition to coaching, Palivec was actively involved in training coaches and athletes through the MSHSL and USA Volleyball. She is a hall of fame inductee at both NDSU and BSU and with the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association. She also earned the Leanne Grotke Award from Indiana University in 2017 and the Special Merit Award at the Minnesota National Girls & Women in Sports Day Celebration in 2018.

Palivec continues to volunteer within the Bemidji community after working as a professor at the university for 22 years.

The other class of 2018 inductees include: James McNear III, Concordia-St. Paul; Nate Hendrickson, Minnesota State Moorhead; Ryan Miller, Northern State; Andrea (Schreier) Sawatzky, Southwest Minnesota State; Emily (Schroeder) Jones, Wayne State; and Cyndy (Schubbe) Jones, Winona State.

The induction ceremony will take place Tuesday, July 10, at the Best Western Premier in Burnsville at the NSIC's 19th annual Summer Kickoff event.

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