Nov. 8, 2008
CMU 3, NIU 0 Final Box
DeKalb, Ill. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team fell to Central Michigan in three sets on "Senior Night" at Victor E. Court Saturday night, 29-31, 13-25, 22-25. With the win, the Chippewas improve to 18-9, 11-3 in the Mid-American Conference, while the Huskies drop to 15-13, 7-7.
The Huskies played well in the first set as they hit .282 and set up game-point after a kill by junior Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio/Northview) and an attack error by Whitney Evers gave NIU a 24-23 lead. But CMU knotted the score after a block by Evers and Kaitlyn Hurt.
The Chippewas then had a chance for set point after an attack error by Schoenrock, but Evers' serve was too long on the next play. A bad set by Stephanie Budde then gave the Huskies another chance to take the match, but Hurt notched a kill to tie it again and then Hurt missed on her serve to give NIU yet another chance to end it. This time Krupsky tied the score for CMU with a kill and Kaitlyn Schultz followed with a kill of her own to give the Chippewas an opportunity to take the set. Junior Cassie Yates (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) then tallied a kill to keep NIU alive, 28-28. CMU's Sarah Warner added a kill, but Yates again saved the Huskies with a block. Finally, the Chippewas ended the set, 31-29, with back-to-back kills form Schultz and Hurt.
"We were doing some really good things there in the first set," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "Unfortunately, we couldn't get the critical points when we needed them at the end.
"Central then was able to ride that momentum pretty much throughout the rest of the match."
The first set was the turning point in the match as CMU hit .571 in the second set and held the lead for a majority of the final two sets, while the Huskies hit below .150. The Chippewas jumped out to an 11-6 lead in set-two and rode the momentum to a 25-13 win. Then in set-three, CMU erased an early 5-2 NIU advantage with an 8-0 run to go up, 10-5. From there, CMU never looked back and was able to hold the lead until the end.
Schoenrock led the Huskies with 13 kills, while Yates had eight kills and a team-high .471 attack percentage. Sophomore Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) led the NIU defense with 14 digs.
"I thought Cassie had a strong finish in our match tonight," Gooden said of Yates, who had four kills in the third set.
The Huskies finish the regular season on the road next weekend with a match against Toledo (13-14, 5-9) at 6:30 p.m CST on Friday and a match against Ball State (11-17, 6-7) at 6 p.m. on Saturday.