Orion High School graduate Susan (Boehm) Randazzo was inducted into North Central College’s Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 12, in Naperville.
The College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin chose Boehm as the first-ever volleyball player from NCC to make one of its All-Conference team.
Before she graduated in 1990, Boehm went on to become NCC’s only four-time All-Conference honoree.
She was a cornerstone of the Cardinals’ efforts to establish themselves as contenders in the early days of CCIW competition.
North Central’s head coach at the time, Marcy Thurwachter, took a recruiting trip to Orion to speak to the player who would wind up as one of the program’s key components during the following four years.
“Being from a small town, I didn't want to go to a big city,” Boehm recalled. “I knew North Central was not too far away from home. Marcy assured me I would get playing time, and that was important to me.
“The campus was nice and small, and the thought of coming in during the preseason and getting to know the campus before anyone else was appealing,” Boehm said. “I didn't know anyone, and the volleyball team became my family.”
In her first year, Boehm was a second-team All-CCIW selection in volleyball. She and earned NCAA Division III All-America honors as a member of the track and field team, running on a 4x400-meter relay squad that finished third at the Indoor National Championships. She then elected to focus solely on volleyball.
The 1987 season saw Boehm collect second-team All-CCIW honors for a second straight season, all the while relishing the opportunity to learn more about the sport and establishing herself as a dependable outside hitter.
“I wanted my teammates and coaches to know I would work hard and dedicate myself to be at the top of my game,” she said. “I wanted to play, but I also wanted to fit in and learn new things.
“When I came to North Central, it was nice to become more involved in some advanced aspects of the game,” Boehm said. “I wanted my teammates to know they could count on me and I would deliver.”
In 1988, the Cardinals established what was, at the time, a school record for single-season wins with a 24-20 record. They won the CCIW regular-season championship after ending Elmhurst College's 64-match winning streak. Boehm was a first-team All-CCIW and All-CCIW Tournament selection.
“We didn't have a lot of tall players on that team, so some people may have counted us out of that match,” Boehm said. “After we beat Elmhurst, Marcy drove the van up and down the campus and we were yelling out the window that we had beaten the No. 1 team in the country.”
Page 2 of 2 - As a senior, Boehm once again earned first-team All-CCIW and All-Tournament honors as the Cardinals set another school record with 29 victories.
“As a veteran player, I put more pressure on myself to set a good example for the younger players, showing them what can happen when you dedicate yourself and work hard,” she said.
“I just had a wonderful experience,” she continued. “I loved every minute of it, and to this day, I still remember all the fun moments we had. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”