Sept. 20, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois volleyball team started the Huskie Invitational right Friday afternoon in Victor E. Court with a solid 3-0 win over the George Washington Colonials.
The win boosts the Huskies’ record to 6-6, while GW falls to 5-7. The key to the Huskie win came in the front line, as NIU outhit the Colonials, .295-.167, and outblocked GW, 7-4, in the three-set sweep.
“I thought we had a really good team effort this afternoon,” said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. “We were able to do some of the things that we take a lot of pride in, especially from the serving line and how we defend. It was nice to have a positive start against a team that won earlier in the day.”
The Huskies staked out a quick 3-0 lead in the opening set, only to have the Colonials respond with five-straight of their own to make it a 5-3 NIU deficit. Northern equalized the match again at 5-5, leading to an exchange of points all the way to 15-15, when two GW errors and a Sarah Angelos kill set NIU up with an 18-15 lead. After a Colonial kill, the Huskies scored four more points – highlighted by kills from Alexis Gonzalez and Mackenzie Roddy – to extend the advantage to 23-16 and coast to a 25-18 set one win.
NIU once again came out fast in the second set with another 3-0 lead. However, this time the Huskies staved off the Colonial comeback and gradually extended the lead up to 13-7 behind hot hitting from the front line. However, GW chipped away at the lead and got within one point at 16-15. NIU extended their lead back up to 20-16 with two kills from Jenna Radtke. Yet, the Colonials battled back again and took a 24-23 lead and had set point with the serve. However, Angelos’ back-to-back kills and an Angelos-Gonzalez block swung to set to a 26-24 Huskie win.
Out of halftime, the Huskies came firing and got a fast 5-1 lead on GW. Though the Colonials snuck back to within two at 6-4, NIU’s offense was unrelenting in a 7-4 run. GW moved back to within 13-10, but the Huskies closed out the Colonials in the third set with a convincing 25-18 win. In the final set alone, NIU outhit GW, .375-.171 and scored three blocks to the Colonials’ zero, while limiting themselves to only three attack errors.
Roddy headlined the NIU offense with 16 kills and a season-best .394 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, Angelos compiled six blocks and Justine Schepler totaled 14 digs in the win.
The Huskies take on the IPFW Mastodons in their second match of the day, which is scheduled for a 7.p.m. start inside Victor E. Court.