Oct. 4, 2008
EMU 3, NIU 2 Final Box
Ypsilanti, Mich. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team dropped a 18-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-19, 13-15 decision to Eastern Michigan (7-11, 2-2) on Saturday afternoon, dropping the Huskies to 10-8, 2-2 in the Mid-American Conference.
"I give a ton of credit to Eastern Michigan," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "They did what they needed to do and made some good adjustments."
With the score tied, 13-13, in the fifth set, after a solo block from senior Katie Walsh (St. Charles, Ill./North) the Eagles went ahead by a point after an attack error by NIU junior Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio/Northview). EMU then took the match point as a result of an ace by Kim Jarzynka.
"We needed to make two plays there and unfortunately we didn't," Gooden said.
After falling, 18-25, in the first set while being outhit .324 to .132, the Huskies responded by returning the favor in the second set by hitting .312 and holding the Eagles to .214 for a 25-19 win.
In the third set, the Huskies were up 23-19 after a Schoenrock kill, but then gave up a 4-0 run that evened the score. Junior Irene Johnson's (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) kill on the next play gave NIU an opportunity for set-point, but the Eagles rallied off four kills to take the set.
"I think throughout the match we just couldn't make that play that we needed to and are accustomed to," said Gooden. As a result, we played pressed all day."
The Huskies again outhit the Eagles in the fourth set, .302 to .132, en route to a 25-19 win in which NIU ended the set on a 5-0 run.
Overall, NIU outhit EMU .271 to .234, while tallying more kills (73-63) and points (82.5-79.0). Schoenrock led the way with a season-high 26 kills, her 20th consecutive match with 10 or more kills. Johnson set a season-high with 17 kills and a .421 attack percentage. Freshman Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton) registered a double-double with 19 kills and 16 digs. With 66 assists, freshman Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) set a new season and career high.
"I thought Irene did a really good job attacking the ball for us today," said Gooden.
Defensively, sophomore Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) totaled a season-best 27 digs, while senior Maria Benitez (Lincoln, Ill./Lincoln) had seven and an ace.
"I thought Maria did a terrific job today as well," Gooden said.
NIU begins a four-match homestand next Friday, October 10, against Ball State (6-11, 2-1) at 7 p.m. CST on Victor E. Court.