Oct. 31, 2009
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's volleyball team was swept by Ball State on Saturday night at Victor E. Court, 25-22, 29-27, 25-19, as the Cardinals spoiled the Huskies' "Senior/Alumni Night" by out-hitting NIU .265 to .174 and out-blocking the Huskies 10-2 to earn the Mid-American Conference match win.
"Ball State went to the net tonight," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "That's their strength. They are a really good blocking team. All the credit goes to them for forcing us to make better plays."
The Cardinals (11-14, 4-8 MAC) never really let NIU (13-12, 7-5 MAC) get going at any point in the match. After dropping a close first set, the Huskies came up just short again in the second set. With a 24-23 lead after a kill from sophomore Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton), NIU could not close the set as BSU's Brittany McGinnis tallied a kill to knot the score. Following another McGlaughlin kill, BSU's Alyssa Rio made a diving dig on McGlaughlin's serve to avoid losing the set and then the Cardinals turned that into a point after Julie Breivogel notched a kill to end the sequence. The teams then exchanged points before another Breivogel kill gave BSU an opportunity for set-point and the Cardinals cashed in on an attack error by senior Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio/Northview).
"I think that the most critical play in that sequence was their reception of Allison's serve," Gooden said. "They had to make a great play to keep the ball alive. They won that hustle play. That was a big part in the match."
Then in the third set with the score in favor of Ball State, 10-9, the Cardinals went on an 11-6 run to open up a 21-15 lead that helped them finish off the Huskies in three sets at home for only the second time this season.
McGlaughlin led the way for NIU with 14 digs and 12 kills for her 11th double-double of the year. Schoenrock also reached double-figures with 11 kills. Additionally, sophomore Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) totaled 23 assists and junior Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) had 12 digs.
Next up for the Huskies is the beginning of their season ending four-game road trip, starting with a 6 p.m. (CDT) Thursday night contest against Western Michigan.