Sept. 25, 2008
WMU 3, NIU 0 Final Box
Kalamazoo, Mich. – Despite a milestone kill by junior Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio/Northview), the Northern Illinois volleyball team dropped its Mid-American Conference opener to Western Michigan, 17-25, 15-25, 21-25, on Thursday night in University Arena.
“Western Michigan came on a mission tonight,” said Huskie head coach Ray Gooden. “They played consistent volleyball and stayed at that level throughout the whole match.”
With the Broncos (10-2, 1-0) ahead, 20-12, in the first set, Schoenrock rose up and hammered down her 1,000th career kill to become the 16th Huskie to reach the 1,000 kill plateau. Schoenrock, who led the team with 10 kills, is the third Huskie to reach the mark in Gooden’s seven years with NIU.
“It’s a great individual accolade for Meagan,” Gooden said. “I can safely say that she would trade that in for a team victory tonight.”
Quick WMU starts and low attack percentage put NIU (8-7, 0-1) in an early hole in both the first and second sets, leaving the Huskies unable to recover. The Huskies fell behind 12-7 in the first set and were down 14-9 in the second. NIU was outhit .309 to .000 in those two sets, leading to 41 WMU points.
“They were pretty charged to play tonight and excited to play their first conference match,” said Gooden. “They did a good job of blocking and frustrating us, which took us out of our rhythm.”
The Huskies started the third set with a 4-3 advantage, but it quickly disappeared after 10-5 Bronco run gave WMU a 13-9 lead. From there, the Broncos kept applying pressure and took the match after a 25-21 win.
Freshman Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) tallied 19 assists for NIU, while sophomore Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) led the team with 14 digs. Freshman Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton) registered 12 digs.
Northern Illinois plays its MAC home opener on Saturday at 7 p.m. CST against Bowling Green (10-4) in Victor E. Court.