Flames took a break from practice last week for new pictures
Flames took a break from practice Tuesday for new pictures
The Flames will face TCU in a single match, followed by the two-day UIC Invitational.
Fourth-year mentor led Flames to Horizon League Championship match last November
The four-team field features UIC, Oregon State, DePaul and Penn State.
Ellen Yopchick concluded her sixth season with the UIC volleyball program in 2014, where she serves as the top assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator. In 2012, Yopchick was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association's (AVCA) "Thirty Under 30" recipient.
In 2013, Yopchick helped guide Sara Sternard (329 kills and 80 total blocks) to the All-Horizon League Team. Additionally, MaryKate Imrie (1,084 assists in 2013) finished her UIC career with 3,634 assists, which ranks third all-time in program history.
Yopchick assisted in leading the 2012 team to the Horizon League Championship match, in addition to guiding five UIC members to all-Horizon League accolades. The team earned a No. 9 AVCA Midwest Region ranking.
Following the 2011 season, Yopchick was named one of just 30 recipients in the country for the American Volleyball Coaches Association's (AVCA) "Thirty Under 30" Award. She was one of only 11 assistant coaches in the nation selected to the honor. She received the honor for her commitment to UIC, the sport of volleyball and the development of young women across the country.
In year two, the Flames captured the Best Western Invitational championship in Jacksonville, Fla. It was the first non-conference tournament victory away from Chicago for the Flames in over 15 years. UIC also took second at the Chicagoland Challenge, falling to eventual NCAA Tournament team, Northwestern.
In her inaugural season with the Flames, Yopchick was instrumental in helping the team achieve a three-win improvement in Horizon League play. UIC notched key regular season victories over Loyola, Milwaukee and Cleveland State, who would go on to capture the Horizon League Championship. Also in the Chicago native's first season with the Flames, the squad made it to the Horizon League Tournament semifinals in November, a round that they had not reached since 2006.
Yopchick, who played on the prep level at local powerhouse Mother McAuley and in the collegiate ranks at DePaul, came to UIC after two years as an assistant coach at Marshall. Yopchick served as an assistant to head coach Mitch Jacobs at Marshall for the 2007 and 2008 campaigns. While there she helped the Thundering Herd win the 2007 Conference USA regular season title.
The Evergreen Park, Ill., native was a decorated four-year letterwinner as a libero for the Blue Demons from 2002-2006, serving as DePaul's team captain from 2004-06. Yopchick earned All-Conference USA Third Team accolades in 2004, when she set the school's fifth all-time best mark in single-season digs with 510 and established the McGrath Arena record for digs in a single match (34) against Tulane that October.
Off the court Yopchick was a BIG EAST Academic All-Star, a C-USA Academic Honor Roll student-athlete and a constant on the DePaul Athletic Director's Honor Roll. She was an active member of DePaul's Student-Athlete Captain's Council, serving as the organization's vice president in 2006-07, and earned both the DePaul University Outstanding Senior Award and the DePaul Senior Leadership Award for Athletics.
As a prep star at Mother McAuley on Chicago's South Side, Yopchick was a key component for the Mighty Macs during their IHSA volleyball championship run in 2000. She has served as a counselor at the Mother McAuley High School Volleyball Camps since 1999 and as a coach and camp counselor for the Elite Volleyball School in Chicago since 2003.
Yopchick graduated from DePaul with a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education with a concentration in English in March of 2007. She received her Master of Arts degree in secondary education from Marshall in May of 2009. Yopchick and her husband Dan reside in Chicago.