Sept. 1, 2006
Columbus, OH - Northern Illinois University head volleyball coach Ray Gooden could barely contain his excitement following his Huskies' 30-19, 30-12, 30-14 victory over Lehigh University at the Buckeye Invitational, hosted by Ohio State, on Friday evening at St. John Arena.
After all, the Huskies not only set a new school record with a team hitting percentage of .505 (58 kills, 7 errors, 101 attacks), they earned the win after finishing a sweep of Iona College just three hours earlier. The previous record of .495 (56 kills, 5 errors, 103 attacks) was set in a three-game victory against the University of Toledo on November 20, 2001 in the Mid-American Conference tournament.
"We're pleased with how we played in the second match of a back-to-back," Gooden said. "We played with a great amount of intensity, scrapped really hard and scored a lot of points.
"I'm just happy how our team played across the board," Gooden continued. "Everyone played for everyone else and that was a lot of fun."
With the victory, NIU improves to 4-2 on the season while Lehigh remains winless at 0-5.
Junior outside hitter Laura Baetzel (Chicago, Ill.) topped the Huskies with a career-high 16 kills and hitting percentage of .593 (16 kills, 0 errors, 27 attacks). Huskie senior middle blocker Kate McCullagh (Woodstock, Ill.) added 13 kills, followed by 12 putaways from sophomore middle blocker Katie Walsh (St. Charles, Ill.) and 10 kills from freshman outside hitter Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio).
Friday's contest marked the first time that the Huskies have had four different players reach double-digit kills since a five-game victory over Akron on November 10, 2005.
Lehigh senior outside hitter Michelle Schwendenmann topped the Mountain Hawks with 16 kills.
NIU will be back in action on Sunday (Sept. 3) afternoon to conclude the tournament against #23 ranked Ohio State for a 1 p.m. first serve.