Aug. 25, 2007
DeKalb, Ill. - After Friday's floods washed out the Northern Illinois University Invitational schedule, the Northern Illinois volleyball team finally got their 2007 season underway. The Huskies fell to Indiana (2-0) 25-30, 30-28, 30-22, 20-30, 10-15 in their home-opener. NIU (0-2) dropped the night-cap to Western Kentucky (2-0) 21-30, 23-30, 17-30.
The Huskies were able to grab a 2-1 advantage through three games in their match against Indiana, but were unable to finish the deal. Irene Johnson (Schaumberg, Ill. / Schaumberg) tallied 17 kills to lead the way for NIU. Laura Baetzel (Chicago, Ill. / Burbank Queen of Peace) and Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio / Northview) added 12 kills a piece for the Huskies. Maria Benitez (Lincoln, Ill. / Lincoln) gave Northern Illinois a service ace and seven digs. Leading the way for Indiana was Erica Short, who had 22 kills.
"We had a slow first game," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "We came out and had a good two games. I thought we had some good energy in games two and three, but we weren't able to get it in games four and five. We're trying to find out some things about us right now. I thought we did well and put some pressure on Indiana. Unfortunately, we just couldn't get the win."
Again, Irene Johnson led the Huskies in kills with 12 in NIU's effort against Western Kentucky. WKU's Megan Argabright had a team-high 17 kills for the Lady Toppers.
"Western Kentucky is a really good team," said Gooden. "I know they are always very strong. We knew we were going to have to fight against them right from the get-go, especially with it being the second match of the day. After our long five-game match, they came out and played aggressive against us. We just couldn't answer back the way we needed to."
The Huskies wrap up the NIU Invitational tomorrow against Western Illinois at 12 p.m. on Victor E. Court as they follow up the 10 a.m. match between Western Kentucky and Indiana.