Senior spotlight: Neubeck, Tkachuk a dynamic duo on court for Huskies

Senior spotlight: Neubeck, Tkachuk a dynamic duo on court for Huskies

Senior libero and defensive specialist Leah Neubeck finished her career with 1,758 digs, the second-most in Northeastern history.
By: Nathan Vaughan, News Staff

The volleyball team is saying goodbye to two important seniors this year: Co-captains Leah Neubeck and Jessica Tkachuk both have used their four years of eligibility.

Neubeck, a libero and defensive specialist, still has one year left at Northeastern. She will be completing her degree in architecture. As of right now, she plans to take time off from competitive sports to focus on her studies. Neubeck said she hopes to follow a career path that involves the design side of architecture, since that is what most intrigues her.

“I really enjoyed my time here as an athlete,” said Neubeck. “I’m glad I picked this school. It with a good mix of athletics, school and life. We had throughout the four years immense chemistry change, but each new year was a great experience.”

Setter and opposite hitter Tkachuk is in a similar situation as Neubeck. As a physical therapy major she still has two years left before graduation. In that time she has one year left of classes before her clinicals start. As a result, she said she plans to focus on her classes. Tkachuk hopes to take a job as the undergraduate assistant volleyball coach.

As far as her fondest memories on the court, Tkachuk said she loved the thrill of coming back to win games from behind.

“Everytime we uspet a team like we did my freshman year when we were down one game or down a couple games and we would come back to win in five,” said Tkachuk. “I loved that I lived for that. As a team we went through a lot in my four years.”

During their careers, both of these seniors have set milestones and left their marks in the Huskies’ history. Neubeck ends her career with the second most digs in Northeastern history with 1,758. While Tkachuk finished sixth all-time in assists with 2,234. Both of them played every set of their senior year.

In her senior year, Tkachuk was tied as the national leader in triple-doubles with 12. She was named to the CAA All-Tournament team as well.

“My favorite game was probably the Hofstra game, the first game of the [CAA] tournament,” Neubeck said of the Huskies’ 3-0 win over the Pride Nov. 23, 2008 at Solomon Court. “When we destroyed them, we had never been able to do that before.”

Both of them listed the CAA Championship match last season as a highlight of their careers. They particularly enjoyed being able to play in front of a large crowd that was supporting them. Each of them said they really don’t have any regrets about their careers here, with the possible exception of not making the NCAA tournament at least once. They enjoyed beating Hofstra for the first time in their careers breaking a long Northeastern losing streak to Hofstra. They have the most wins against Hofstra on any players from Northeastern, with three.

Head Coach Ken Nichols said he will miss these two leaders but feels confident in the team’s ability to restock with current roster members and future recruits.

“I am going to miss their work ethic and fiercely competitive natures and their commitment,” Nichols said.

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