Sept. 5, 2009
MTSU - NIU Final Box
GT - NIU Final Box
Murfreesboro, Tenn. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team was swept in both its matches on Saturday at the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raider Bash as the Huskies fell to 4-4 on the year after losing to MTSU (5-1) in the afternoon and Georgia Tech (4-2) in the evening.
Against MTSU, the Huskies dropped the first set, 25-18, after the Blue Raiders opened up an early 12-6 lead as they hit .448 as a team with 17 kills, while the Huskies hit .226 with 13 kills. The Blue Raiders put even more pressure on NIU in the second set by grabbing a 14-5 lead en route to a 25-10 win as MTSU hit .636 with 14 kills and held the Huskies to a -.048 attack percentage with seven kills.
"We didn't come out and play as strong as we needed to in the first two sets," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "We competed in the third set until the score was tied, 14-14, and just didn't maintain."
In the third set, the Huskies responded after the break by holding five leads with the largest being a 12-10 advantage after an attack error by MTSU's Janay Yancey. However, MTSU rallied back with kills from Ashley Mead and Yancey, along with an ace from Mead to take a 13-12 advantage. Both teams then exchanged kills and the game was tied once again after an attack error by MTSU's Brandi Waller, but then the Blue Raiders took the lead for good after Stacy Oladinni's kill gave them a 15-14 lead as they ended the match with a 25-20 win.
Overall, the Blue Raiders out-hit NIU .468 to .154, out-killed the Huskies 47 to 30, and out-blocked NIU seven to one.
Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio/Northview) and Meghan Romo (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) each had nine kills for the Huskies, while Amanda Tadla (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn) had 23 assists.
In the first set against Georgia Tech, the Huskies jumped out to an early 4-1 lead after a kill by Cassie Yates (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) and maintained that lead throughout most of the set. However, with the Huskies up 22-20 after a Schoenrock tip, the Yellow Jackets scored four straight points to take a 24-22 lead as Chrissy DeMichelis notched a pair of kills and assisted, along with Brittany Roderick, on a block to force an NIU timeout. Out of the timeout, Georgia Tech got a point on an attack error by Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton), but failed to capitalize on the first match point as Monique Mead's attack hit the net. On the next play though, DeMichelis put down a kill to take the set, 25-23.
"In the first set, we played well enough to win, but we just didn't make winning plays at the end," Gooden said.
NIU held several small leads in the beginning of the second set as well, but with the score knotted, 10-10, the Yellow Jackets went on a 10-2 run to take a 20-12 lead. The Huskies fought back to get within three points, 21-18, after an attack error by Bailey Hunter, but Georgia Tech was still able to win the set, 25-20.
"In that third set, we just couldn't score that point to give us the advantage," Gooden said.
In the third set, the Huskies stayed close to Georgia Tech and tied the score at 21-21 after a kill by McGlaughlin. The Yellow Jackets responded with a kill by DeMichelis and then an attack error by McGlaughlin gave them a 23-21 lead and forced NIU to take a timeout. Mary Kurisch (LaCrosse, Wis./West Salem) notched a kill on the next play out of the timeout to cut the NIU deficit to one point, but then Georgia Tech ended the match, 25-22, after a dump by Mary Ashley Tippens and a block by Asia Stawicka and Hunter.
Schoenrock led the Huskies with 12 kills, while Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) had 35 assists. Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) led the defense with 13 digs and McGlaughin added 10.
"Our mission is to play volleyball at this level," said Gooden. "We will continue to challenge ourselves to do so. Hopefully, we will take the end of our last match and use that as the base for next weekend."
The Huskies will have no midweek matches next week as they prepare for the Lady Topper Volleyball Invitational in Bowling Green, Ky. next weekend. On Friday, NIU will face Memphis (0-5) at 11:30 a.m. CT and Western Kentucky (2-2) at 7 p.m. On Saturday, they will take on Tennessee State (1-4) at 11 a.m.