March 14, 2006
Buffalo, NY - Rather than wait until Saturday evening to find out whether or not they would play at home or on the road in the Mid-American Conference tournament, the Northern Illinois University volleyball squad left no doubt as to where they would go, earning the 30-18, 30-18, 28-30, 30-20 MAC victory over Buffalo at Alumni Arena on Friday night.
With the victory, NIU (15-16, 7-9 MAC) will host a first-round match-up in the MAC Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday, November 15th. Time has yet to be determined. Buffalo falls to 11-18 on the campaign and 3-12 in MAC action.
"It's great for us," NIU head coach Ray Gooden said of his team's home tournament match. "We're really excited about that.
"We controlled our own destiny," Gooden continued. "To do what we were able to do on the road is great.
"We're just happy to be playing at home in that Tuesday match."
For the second straight match, senior middle hitter Corinne Walsh (Evergreen Park) totaled a match-high 20 kills and finished with a hitting percentage of .515 (20 kills, 3 errors, 33 attacks), while fellow middle hitter Kate McCullagh (Woodstock) tallied 18 kills.
"We were able to play some pretty good volleyball tonight," Gooden said. "We got out to some pretty good leads and we maintained it."
The Huskies have come on as of late, as NIU has posted their three-highest hitting percentages of the season in their last three matches. On Friday night, NIU finished with a hitting percentage of .270 (61 kills, 21 errors, 148 attacks), while Buffalo garnered a hitting percentage of .094 (50 kills, 36 errors, 149 attacks).
"We've been able to string along some pretty good volleyball games," Gooden said. "Our team has been working on some things, passing the ball better, (freshman setter) Jenny (Dziubla) has done a good job setting, and our hitters have been able to terminate the ball.
"It's been a real good team effort."
Buffalo's Katie Weekly posted a team-high 18 kills, followed by a double-double of 12 kills and 10 digs from Nikke Morzenti.
(For further information, please contact Matt Brendich) - NIU -