Aug. 27, 2010
CSU-NIU Final Stats
NIU-CSU Final Box
NIU-OU Final Box
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team began its 2010 campaign with two stellar wins Friday at home on Victor E. Court in Day One of the NIU Invitational. The Huskies (2-0) took down Chicago State (0-2) in three sets to begin the day and ended it with a four-set victory over Oakland (0-2).
The win over CSU improved Ray Gooden to 8-1 in season and home openers as head coach of the Huskies.
"It was great to get off on a very positive note with a good team win against Chicago state," said Gooden. "Usually in your first match of the season your biggest opponent is yourself. So we did our best to take care of our side of the ball."
In the match against the Cougars, NIU got off to a hot start in all three sets, opening an 11-3 lead in Set One, 11-4 lead in Set Two, and 11-3 lead in Set Three that was capped by four straight aces from Lauren Wicinski. With winning scores of 25-10, 25-13, 25-14, the Huskies featured a balanced attack as five players tallied five or more kills. Mary Kurisch and Wicinski led the way with nine each. Sarah Angelos notched seven, while Allison McGlaughlin added six and Sam Grams had five. NIU even distributed fairly as Kristin Hoffman notched 21 assists and Kayla Zeno racked up 15.
"We've been working really hard for balance," Gooden said. "It was great to get contributions from all parts of the court today."
In the night-cap, the Huskies once again set the tone early. In the first set, back-to-back kills by McGlaughlin helped open up an early one-point lead to 18-13 en route to a 25-18 tally.
An ace from Hoffman gave NIU a 14-8 advantage in the second set. An Oakland error later, McGlaughlin blasted a back row attack off the Grizzlie defense to cap a 9-0 run as the Huskies cruised to a 25-15 decision.
The only set NIU lost on the day was in its first attempt to close out Oakland. The Huskies got off to a slow start in the third set, trailing 13-10 following a long attack from McGlaughlin. A few minutes later, NIU closed the gap, though. A rocket off the hand of Wicinski capped a 3-0 spurt to bring the Huskies within a point. But the Grizzlies regrouped to end on a 7-3 run for a 25-20 win.
In the fourth set, the Huskies got back on track, getting off to another quick start. Capping a 7-1 run to begin the set, Kurisch bounced a ball over an OU block attempt. From that point on, NIU didn't let up and claimed the match with a 25-20 win.
"The keyword for that match was energy," Gooden said. "We had positive energy, we did some really good things."
"I want to give credit to a very hard-fighting and well-coached Oakland team. We expected that every match would be a dog fight, and tonight held true form."
In only her second collegiate match, the former high school All-American Wicinski notched a double-double versus the Grizzlies, tallying a team-high 17 kills and 14 digs.
"I thought Lauren did a good job of playing well in the different phases of volleyball," said Gooden. "She passed well at times, attacked well at times, blocked and served well at times. I'm excited to see her as she continues to develop."
With 44 assists and 14 digs, Hoffman registered a double-double as well, while McGlaughlin also reached double-digits in kills with 15.
Additionally, Maddie Hughes led the defense with 24 digs.
The Huskies return to action tomorrow in the final day of the NIU Invitational with matches against South Dakota (1-1) at 2 p.m. CT and College of Charleston (2-0) at 7 p.m.