Former men's volleyball standout to be inducted into WVC Hall of Fame
Athletics - posted on 4/2/2009
Chris Gornik '05, a Lakeland men's volleyball standout from 2002-05, will be inducted into the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Hall of Fame Class of 2009 at this weekend's WVC Tournament at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Gornik, a middle hitter, was a two-time National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association All-American, a three-time first-team All-WVC performer and twice played on Team WVC, a conference all-star team which competed nationally. In his senior season, Gornik led the league with a staggering .504 hitting percentage.
In 2005, Lakeland finished third in Division I, just one year after placing 21st and two years following a Division II national title match appearance.
Gornik's consistency, competitiveness, leadership and sportsmanship helped the Muskies grow into one of the nation's elite club volleyball programs.
"Chris possesses the rare ability to dominate an opponent and still have the guy shake his hand with a smile after it's over," Lakeland coach Chad Schreiber said. "He worked extremely hard to improve his overall game each and every season to become a complete volleyball player."
A native of the South side of Chicago, Gornik became known for his "slide" attack, a front-row move primarily used in the women's game at that time. While he was ridiculed by some opponents, Gornik continued to employ the attack, putting Lakeland on the national map for bringing the slide to men's volleyball.
"Chris came to Lakeland with an appetite to be good, and ended up great," Lakeland coach Chad Schreiber said. "He became famous for the slide attack and set up the entire Lakeland offense when he was in the front row. The best outside hitters in the conference found themselves helpless trying to slow Chris down."
Gornik also took pride in his defensive work, as he currently ranks second in the program's history in blocks.
Gornik graduated from Lakeland with a bachelor's in criminal justice and a sociology minor. He currently resides in Chicago and is the vice president of operations for National Investigations, Inc., a private investigations firm.
He no longer plays indoor volleyball, but enjoys playing beach volleyball and grass tournaments "when the Chicago weather permits."
Gornik praised Schreiber, Lakeland's 14th-year head coach, for his work with the program.
"I give a lot of credit to Chad for running a great volleyball program," Gornik said. "All the accomplishments that my teams and I have achieved could not have been possible without him doing his job as a coach, organizer and director."
Gornik becomes the second player in Lakeland history to be inducted into the WVC Hall of Fame. Former two-time NIRSA Libero of the Year Rocky Koenig '05 was inducted in 2008.
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