Sept. 1, 2006
Columbus, OH - Northern Illinois University volleyball player Kate McCullagh (Woodstock, Ill.) broke a school-record that she shared with two former Huskies, as the Woodstock, Ill., native totaled 26 kills in a three-game, 30-23, 30-11, 35-33 sweep of Iona in the opening round of the Buckeye Invitational, hosted by Ohio State, at St. John Arena on Friday afternoon.
McCullagh held the previous record of 25 kills in a three-game match along with Wendy Mason (1992) and Mandy Swick (1998).
"We had a lot of kill points today and we had no less than 15 in each game," NIU head coach Ray Gooden said. "We were scoring a lot of points with our kill, which was good."
McCullagh was not the only Huskie on fire, as sophomore outside hitter Irene Johnson (Schaumburg, Ill.) torched the Gaels for 10 kills and an astounding hitting percentage of .769 (10 kills, 0 errors, 13 attacks). That mark is the third-highest in Huskie history for a three-game match and the fourth highest overall in school-history. NIU libero Gina Guide (Orland Park, Ill.) collected 24 digs, good for the second-most in Huskie history for a three-game match.
With the victory, Northern Illinois improves to 3-2 on the season while the Gaels fall to 1-3.
For the match, the Huskies had a hitting percentage of .350 (58 kills, 17 errors, 117 attacks), marking the second time in five outings this season that NIU has hit over .300. For the entire 2005 campaign, the Huskies hit over .300 twice.
Iona's Megan Dailey topped the Gaels with 11 kills.
Gooden believes that the win will provide some momentum for his squad heading into this afternoon's showdown with Lehigh at 4 p.m. (CST).
"This will be our first time playing back-to-back in a long time," Gooden said. "We're going to try and get ourselves recovered and play a good match against Lehigh tonight."