Oct. 24, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. -
Senior outside hitter Meagan Schoenrock dished out 18 kills on a .484 hitting effort and the Huskies out-dug visiting Kent State 47-37, leading to the Northern Illinois volleyball team's convincing three-set sweep (25-22, 25-12 and 30-28) over the Golden Flashes in front of a school-record 731 fans at Victor E. Court Saturday night.
"Tonight was a great win," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "I thought we matched the electricity of the crowd, it was an awesome atmosphere here at home. We've got two matches left on our home stand, and it's important for us to continue to defend our home court down the stretch of the season."
"We played well offensively, and had a lot of fun out there. I can't say enough about our crowd, and the people that came out to support us this weekend. It made for a great home court advantage, and was a special atmosphere."
The Huskies (12-11, 6-4 MAC) led by as many as five points in the opening set, and took charge of the frame after breaking an 18-18 tie with a 7-4, set-winning run. Schoenrock had three kills in the stretch, and ended the set with nine kills on just 12 swings (.667 hitting percentage), as the Huskies closed out the frame with a .407 hitting effort. Kristin Hoffman recorded 12 set assists to set the tone for NIU offensively.
NIU never trailed in the second set, jumping out of the gate with a 7-2 lead that forced Kent State (11-13, 4-6 MAC) into an early timeout. The Golden Flashes drew no closer than three points the rest of the way, and Northern Illinois ended the frame on a 9-3 run after KSU trimmed the lead to 16-9. The Huskies recorded a balanced offensive attack in the set, with four players dishing out at least three kills. Schoenrock's five kills led the way, and Meghan Romo had an efficient performance with three kills on just four swings.
The decisive third set was a see-saw affair that featured 10 ties, including six in the final 13 points. Allison McGlaughlin
and Romo posted back-to-back kills that broke a 28-28 tie, and clinched the sweep for the Huskies, their sixth three-set win of the season. Schoenrock, McGlaughlin and Romo combined for 12 kills in the frame.
In honor of October's National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Huskies encouraged fans to "dig the pink" out of their closets. By wearing pink to the match, fans were granted $1 admission and received a free pink NIU volleyball t-shirt. All proceeds went directly to the local division of the American Cancer Society.
The Huskies will wrap up their four-match home stand and the home portion of their 2009 schedule next weekend, beginning with Friday's 7 p.m. contest against MAC-West rival Toledo at Victor E. Court.