Oct. 30, 2009
DeKALB, Ill. - After losing to Toledo in five sets on the road on Sept. 26, the Northern Illinois volleyball team returned the favor at Victor E. Court on Friday night by sweeping the Rockets, 25-18, 25-22, 25-18, as the Huskies out-killed the Rockets 49-36 and out-hit them .306 to .226 to earn their second straight three-set win at home in a Mid-American Conference match.
"It was nice for us to play a better match against a solid Toledo team the second time around," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden.
NIU (13-11, 7-4 MAC) led Toledo (14-9, 5-6 MAC) for the entire first two sets and held the momentum for nearly the whole match. The only times that the Rockets had leads were early in the third set when they led 1-0, 5-4, and 6-5, but the Huskies kept attacking and went on a 10-3 run to open a 15-9 lead that helped ensure their seventh victory in their last eight matches.
"We're continuing to work on taking advantage of our opportunities," Gooden said. "In the first two sets, we were fortunate that Toledo had a few serving errors. In the third set, we thought we did a really nice job of turning points."
Senior Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio/Northview) led NIU with 14 kills, but it was freshman Mary Kurisch (LaCrosse, Wis./West Salem) who was most efficient as she had nine kills on 11 swings with no errors for an astounding season-best .818 attack percentage.
"I really like what the four seniors did for us tonight," said Gooden. "I thought Monica Lang did a solid job in the back row. Meagan was solid in the front row and also scored points with her serve. Cassie Yates helped us push through at the end by getting the final three kills. Amanda Tadla did a nice job in her role as a serving specialist tonight."
Sophomores Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) and Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton) also had solid performances in NIU's ninth home win in 13 tries. Hoffman tallied 40 assists, five digs and three kills, while McGlaughlin had 12 digs and nine kills.
Junior Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) led the defense with 15 digs for her 17th straight match with double-figure digs.
The Huskies conclude their regular season home schedule tomorrow night at 7 p.m. (CDT) with a MAC match against Ball State on "Senior/Alumni Night." Live stats will be available on GameTracker through niuhuskies.com