Aug. 26, 2006
DeKalb, Ill. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team entered Saturday night's match against Western Illinois with an attitude.
After all, earlier that day, the Huskies were handed a four-game loss at the hands of eventual NIU / Comfort Inn and Suites Invitational Champion, Saint Louis. To top that off, the Westerwinds had swept NIU in three games last season.
That bitter taste was soon wiped clean, as senior middle blocker Kate McCullagh (Woodstock, Ill.) posted a match-high 20 kills to push NIU to the 30-22, 30-26, 30-19 victory over Western Illinois at Victor E. Court in the NIU Convocation Center.
"We had a rough match with Western last year and we wanted to bounce back from that," NIU head coach Ray Gooden said. "We wanted to bounce back from the match we had earlier today (against Saint Louis), we wanted to go into this next tough stretch on a positive note.
"We played a really good team match today."
NIU junior outside hitter Amy Ward (Sycamore, Ill.) and freshman outside hitter Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio) each added 11 kills in the Huskie win.
With the victory, NIU improves to 2-1 on the campaign, while the Westerwinds remain winless at 0-3.
For the match, the Huskies connected at a hitting percentage of .336 (56 kills, 14 errors, 125 attacks).
Western Illinois senior middle hitter Patty Melinauskas led WIU with 12 kills, followed by All-Tournament performer Ashley Baker (10 kills).
NIU will be back in action on Tuesday (August 29), as the Huskies travel to Normal, Ill., to face the Illinois State Redbirds at 7 p.m.
NIU / Comfort Inn and Suites Invitational All-Tournament Team
Meagan Schoenrock, Northern Illinois
Amy Ward, Northern Illinois
Whitney Behrens, Saint Louis
Lauren Christman, Saint Louis
Sally Warning, Saint Louis
Kelly Jennings, Eastern Kentucky
Ashley Baker, Western Illinois