Sept. 26, 2009
TOLEDO, Ohio - After winning the fourth set to force a fifth, the Northern Illinois volleyball team fell behind 8-6 at the turn, and then with Toledo leading 11-10, the Rockets ran off three straight points to give themselves an opportunity for match point behind a kill by Amber DeWeerdt and a pair of Huskie attack errors.
The Huskies fought off the first point with a kill by sophomore Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton) and avoided the second on an attack error by Katie Westerfeld. But DeWeerdt ended the match, 15-12, with a kill on the next sequence.
The Huskies (6-9, 0-2 Mid-American Conference) opened the match with a decisive 25-15 win in the first set, but Toledo (10-3, 1-1 MAC) returned the favor in the second with a 25-16 decision. The Rockets then squeaked out a close third set, 25-23, but NIU edged out the fourth set, 25-22, to force the decisive fifth set that gave the Rockets the win at Savage Arena on Saturday night.
"The story of this match was about making adjustments," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "We did a good job in the first set of playing hard and being aggressive. In the second set, we didn't make the adjustments that we needed to make, then lost a real tough third set, but we still fought hard. We were then able to win the fourth set without ever really trailing. Then in the fifth set, we just couldn't get that one play to turn us around.
"I have to credit Toledo. They played hard tonight and defended their homecourt."
McGlaughlin led the Huskies her sixth double-double of the season as she tallied 24 kills and a career-high tying 19 digs along with a .327 attack percentage. She has now totaled 20 or more digs in four matches this year.
Senior Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio/Northview) also eclipsed the 20-kill mark with a season -high 23 kills and five blocks. Additionally, senior Amanda Tadla (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn) set a new career-high with 56 assists and junior Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) registered her fifth 20-dig match of the season with an even 20 digs.
The Huskies return to DeKalb, Ill. next week for a four-match homestand starting with a Thursday MAC contest against Western Michigan at 7 p.m. CT.