Photos By Hillary Ehlen & NDSU Athletics
When you go through the North Dakota State volleyball record books, one name seems to be on repeat: Carrie Jacobson. Her stellar career was recognized as she was inducted into the school’s hall of fame on Sept. 29. Bison Illustrated caught up with the former standout middle hitter the morning of the ceremony.
Carrie (Jacobson) Motschenbacher had a tough decision to make as her college athletic career was nearing. Did she want to play basketball for North Dakota State? Or did she want to play volleyball?
One thing was for certain.
“I knew I wanted to be a Bison,” the Willmar, Minnesota, native said. “I almost chose basketball, but then at the last minute I chose to play volleyball.”
Turns out it was a pretty solid choice. Motschenbacher was a standout middle hitter at NDSU from 1996-99. She squeezed award after award, including three All-American seasons as the Bison reached the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in 1998 and 1999. Her name can be found 19 times in the match record books, 20 times in the single-season record books and 12 times in the career record books.
She still holds the career record in block assists (578), total blocks (707) and blocks per set (1.50). Motschenbacher is also in the top three for block solos (129) and points per set (4.39) and top five in kills per set (3.35).
She even got a half season of basketball in her senior year after the volleyball team came back from the Elite Eight.
But it’s her lasting impact on Bison volleyball that was honored Sept. 29 when Motschenbacher was inducted into the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame.
“Everything about NDSU, and now coming back here, is awesome,” she said a couple hours before the induction ceremony at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex. “The comradery, the Bison family, is really amazing.”
As inductees filtered into the SHAC’s south entrance with their families, hugs and handshakes were given out as familiar faces reunited. Motschenbacher had plenty of hellos to get to, and as she said, “Coming here with the whole Bison family is such an awesome thing.”
Motschenbacher now lives in Bloomington, Minnesota, and was set to see the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse after the ceremony for just the second time since her playing days. She mentioned she’s noticed the changes and the upgrades to the facility for the volleyball team.
But just because she hasn’t made it to the BBF often doesn’t mean she doesn’t reunite with her former teammates.
“We have a Bison weekend every year and get together and still stay in touch,” Motschenbacher said. “We pick up where we left off. Most of us are married and have kids and we’re keeping that bond going. It’s really awesome.”
Motschenbacher has a family of her own and is a stay-at-home mom. She has a 4-month-old baby along with 4-year-old twins, one of which has medically-complex issues. Caring for her children has kept her busy enough, she said.
The Twin Cities have been home for Motschenbacher for a majority of the time since her graduation. She worked as a manager at a fitness center her first year out of college before going overseas to play volleyball in France. But a stress fracture in her foot cut her journey short.
She returned to Minnesota and worked in Plymouth for nine years before becoming a stay-at-home mom when the twins were born. During that time, Motschenbacher played beach volleyball and competed in tournaments in the cities, Chicago, Milwaukee and Colorado.
Her success in volleyball goes back to high school but continued when she made the decision to continue playing the sport for the Bison. Now, Motschenbacher can call herself a hall of famer.
“It’s such a huge honor,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my teammates. They really helped me out.”
CARRIE (JACOBSON) MOTSCHENBACHER
- Volleyball (1996-99)
- Bison Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2017
- Three-Time All-American
- Two-Time Ncaa Regional All-Tournament Team
- Three-Time Avca All-Region Team
- Four-Time All-North Central Conference Team
- 1996 North Central Conference Freshman Of The Year
- Two-Time North Central Conference Champion
- 1998 & 1999 NCAA Division II Elite Eight Appearance
NDSU Career Records
- No. 1: Block assists (578)
- No. 1: Total blocks (707)
- No. 1: Blocks per set (1.50)