Sept. 5, 2007
DeKalb, Ill. - The Northern Illinois (3-5, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) volleyball team came up on the short end of a see-saw match against in-state rival DePaul (1-5, 0-0 Big East), losing 30-28, 26-30, 34-32, 22-30, 15-9.
After being down 2-1 in the match, NIU was able to force a fifth game with a win in game-four behind six of freshman Dani D'Ambrose's (Addison, Ill. / Addison Trail) season-high 21 kills. But in the fifth game the Huskies were unable to keep the momentum as DePaul rallied to a 15-9 win, giving the Blue Demons their first victory of the season.
"I think DePaul was better in the middle," Northern Illinois head coach Ray Gooden said. "At times, we did some pretty good things, but their middle attack was the difference against us tonight."
With a career-high 26 kills, senior Laura Baetzel (Chicago, Ill. / Burbank Queen of Peace) led the Huskie offense. Junior Mandi Caputo (Chicago, Ill. / Immaculate Heart of Mary / DePaul) posted her third straight double-double, adding 65 assists and 23 digs. Junior Irene Johnson (Schaumburg, Ill. / Schaumburg) totaled her first career double-double with 15 kills and a career-high 18 digs.
Charla Drabant headed the DePaul offense with 28 kills. Christy Landschoot added 68 assists and 13 digs. Defensively, the Blue Demons were led by Sarah Cullen, who notched 16 digs to go with 18 kills.
Northern Illinois' next match is at the Texas A & M Corpus Christi Invitational where the Huskies face Texas-Pan American on Friday, September 7 at 4 p.m. in Corpus Christi, Texas.