Long Shudlick reign at the U is coming to an end

Barbara and Harold Shudlick joined their daughters Linda and Susan on the volleyball court of the Sports Pavilion following Minnesota’s win over Ohio State on Nov. 20.
Singing “Hail Minnesota” after a volleyball match has become a family affair for the Shudlicks, but that night had a different feel.
It was the last time Mrs. and Mr. Shudlick saw their daughters at home as members of the Gophers volleyball team.
After it was learned Sunday night that Minnesota will not host any NCAA tournament matches, the fact that Susan and Linda’s play at home is over has slowly sunk in.
“It’s disappointing not to play in front of the home crowd for one final time,” Linda said.
Despite not having a final send off, Linda and Susan will go out on top. This weekend they enter their final runs in the Gophers’ uniforms when they head to Los Angeles for the NCAA tournament.
But the Shudlick legacy starts far before Susan, Linda, and even volleyball.
Almost a decade ago, in 1990, their sister Carol Ann began her career on the Gophers basketball team.
Carol Ann holds eight school records, including 44 points in a game. She is Minnesota’s all-time leading scorer with 2,097 points, and she won the Wade Trophy as the nation’s top senior in 1994.
Carol Ann was followed to Minnesota by her sister Nancy. Nancy had large shoes to fill, but went on to have a solid basketball career at Minnesota.
In 1996, Susan continued in her sisters’ footsteps and came to Minnesota. But unlike her sisters, Susan broke from tradition and played volleyball.
At the same time Susan was starting her college life in Minneapolis, Linda was playing volleyball at UCLA. Linda started with the Bruins in 1995, but after only two years in Los Angeles, she transferred to Minnesota to fill in the final piece of the Shudlick puzzle.
Now, almost 10 years after the first Shudlick took the court for Minnesota, the final two will stroll off of it.
“It’s funny how throughout my career I have heard ‘Oh, another Shudlick is coming to Minnesota. Do you ever end?'” Susan said. “Now it’s, ‘There are no more of you?'”
Minnesota will definitely miss the Shudlicks, but maybe not as much as the Shudlicks will miss the University.
It has been an amazing run for one family.
“It’s a rarity that all four siblings are interested in one thing: athletics,” Linda said. “But the fact we are accomplished and have excelled out of sports as well is a great feeling too.”
Linda and Susan both credit their older sisters Carol Ann and Nancy for leading the way.
“I became the person I am today because of my sisters,” Linda said.
While all four sisters have led different lives off the floor, they all shared the same desire on it.
“They all have different personalities, but they all like to compete,” the Shudlicks’ father, Harold, said. “They are team players.”
There’s some proof to back up dad’s description: Coach Mike Hebert recognized Linda and Susan for leading the 1999 Gophers on and off the court.
Hebert said the entire athletics department at the University will miss the Shudlicks’ presence.
“They are an unusually gifted family,” Hebert said. “Our gym will be a different place without the Shudlicks around, that is for sure.”
But what about their parents, who have given their lives to their daughters’ athletic dreams?
Driving up to campus for a basketball game or volleyball match had become a routine for Barbara and Harold.
“Our car knows where to go,” Barbara said. “The car will probably miss the trip (up to campus) more than I will.”
Now, with the highway from Apple Valley to a sporting event at the University becoming a less-traveled road, Mr. and Mrs. Shudlick will have some extra time on their hands.
“We’re going to do something for ourselves,” Barbara said.
“We’ll be coming back, we will always say ‘Go Gophers!,’ press on and see you at the game,” Harold said.

John R. Carter covers volleyball and welcomes comments at [email protected]