Former NCAA Division II National Player of the Year already recruiting for fall 2011 inaugural season
Kari Peterson, the former interim head women’s volleyball coach for the University of North Dakota, has been named head coach of the new women’s volleyball team at Dakota County Technical College. Blue Knights volleyball will compete as an independent at the NJCAA Division II level starting fall 2011.
“Starting a program is a lot like taking over a program like I’ve done in the past at UND and Valley City,” Peterson said. “At UND, we took a program that was zero and twelve in conference play and, by my third year with the team, we had set a season record for wins and won our first NCAA Division I tournament.”
Peterson is focusing on bringing in recruits that will succeed both athletically and academically—and she already has a couple lined up from volleyball camps she teaches. Scheduling games will be a big part of launching the team and Peterson plans to have the Knights compete in a number of tournaments against Division II competition in Iowa, North Dakota and Illinois. “We will also be scheduling matches against Division III teams in Minnesota,” she said.
DCTC Athletics Coordinator Cam Stoltz is glad to welcome Peterson to the Blue Knights coaching family. “Kari has an amazing resume both as a coach and as a player,” Stoltz said. “She’s the perfect choice to start a new program and is used to competing at a very high level.”
“At UND, we took a program that was zero and twelve in conference play and, by my third year with the team, we had set a season record for wins and won our first NCAA Division I tournament.”
Peterson brings plenty of coaching experience to her new position. She served as an assistant coach for the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons in 2002, the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas in 2003 and the University of North Alabama Lions in 2004. She helped the UNA Lions, one of the top collegiate volleyball programs in the U.S. and the 2003 NCAA Division II national champion, post a 24–7 overall record and win the Gulf South Conference title.
In 2005, Peterson took over as head coach of the Valley City State University Vikings. She led her team to a 10–15 season with a 7–7 record in the Dakota Athletic Conference, winning more conference games than in the four previous seasons combined.
Peterson arrived at UND in 2006, serving as assistant coach to Head Coach Katy Peterson, her twin sister, for two seasons before taking over as interim head coach in 2008. As head coach, she took her team, which was entering its second season at the NCAA Division I level, to an impressive 24–8 overall record, going 7–1 at home, 10–3 away, and 7–4 on neutral ground.
As a player, Peterson was a star setter at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. She played for the Vikings from 1997–2001, earning AVCA Division II National Player of the Year honors in 2000, the same year her team finished as runner-up in the NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball National Championship. She was also named Lutheran Brotherhood Player of the Year in 2000.
Kari Peterson’s accomplishments during her four-year career as a Viking
- Two-time AVCA Division II All-American
- Two-time Daktronics Division II All-American
- Played on three North Central Conference championship teams (1997, 1999, 2000)
- Played on three NCAA Division II Regional playoff teams (1997, 1999, 2000)
- Earned NCC Freshman of the Year honors in 1998
- First-team All-NCC honors in both 2000 and 2001
- All-time leader in digs with 1,563
- Second all-time in set assists with 5,797
Peterson and her sister Katy are co-directors of Midwest Elite Volleyball, which provides camps and clinics for youths interested in improving their volleyball skills. She also plans to conduct volleyball camps through DCTC and the Blue Knights.
A native of Moorhead, Minn., Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Augustana College with minors in fitness management and psychology. She is currently working on her master’s in kinesiology.