Sept. 1, 2007
Indianapolis, Ind. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team continued its recent tournament success by adding a second-place finish at the Butler Invitational. NIU (3-4) was able to knock-off Tennessee Tech University (2-4), 30-20, 32-30, 30-24 in their afternoon match and the Huskies then defeated Butler University (2-5), 30-22, 30-25, 28-30, 30-24 in the final match of the tournament.
The Huskies were just getting warmed-up in their first match of the day, a 3-0 victory over TTU. With 19 kills, sophomore Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio / Northview) led the NIU offensive attack. Junior Mandi Caputo (Chicago, Ill. / Immaculate Heart of Mary / DePaul) notched her second straight match with a double-double by totaling 44 assists and 14 digs.
"We came out with a lot of energy and stayed very consistent throughout the match," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden.
Leah Meffert highlighted TTU's effort with 17 kills and 11 digs.
After a decisive win over TTU, Northern Illinois put together an even better performance against Butler. The Huskie offense was rolling with four players having double digit kills. Schoenrock and senior Laura Baetzel (Chicago, Ill. / Burbank Queen of Peace) led the NIU charge with 20 kills each. Junior Irene Johnson (Schaumburg, Ill. / Schaumburg) added 12 kills. Sophomore Cassie Yates (LaPorte, Ind. / LaPorte) had a career-high 10 kills. Caputo also posted her third straight double-double with 62 assists and 15 digs.
NIU was also solid defensively against the Bulldogs, totaling four players with double-digit digs. Freshman Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill. / North) led the Huskies with a career-high 26 digs. Completing Northern's dig frenzy was junior Jody Hardwick (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Crystal Lake South / St. Louis) and junior Maria Benitez (Lincoln, Ill. / Lincoln) with 23 and 14 digs, respectively.
"I think this was our best team effort of the year," said Gooden. "We were able to do things positively on the offensive side with four people having double-digit kills. That is the kind of balance that we are looking for. On the defense side, having four people with 14 or more digs allowed us to do some positive things tonight in our first true away match."
Representing the Huskies on the Butler Invitational All-Tournament Team with their performances over the weekend were Baetzel and Schoenrock. Baetzel's weekend totals consisted of 40 kills and 25 digs. Schoenrock put together 54 kills throughout the tournament.
"Baetzel and Schoenrock did a real good job, especially in the last two matches," Gooden said. "They helped carry us defensively. They really stepped up and were deserving of their honors."
Leading the way for Butler were Michelle DeGeeter and Porshia Allen, who each had a double-double. DeGeeter totaled 15 kills and 16 digs, while Allen had 15 kills and 13 digs.
Next up for the Huskies is a home match against DePaul on Wednesday, September 5 at 7 p.m. on Victor E. Court.
Jessica Endres, UVU (MVP)
Meagan Schoenrock, NIU
Camie Manwill, UVU
Laura Baetzel, NIU
Porshia Allen, BU
Michelle DeGeeter, BU