Nov. 10, 2007
DeKalb, Ill. - A season-high 16 blocks, including a career-high-tying seven from junior Irene Johnson (Schaumburg, Ill. / Schaumburg), pushed the Northern Illinois volleyball team past Toledo 30-22, 30-16, 30-25. The Huskies finish the regular season with a 13-17, 7-9 record in Mid-American Conference action, while the Rockets end their season with a 4-23, 1-15 mark.
Similar to last night's win over Ball State, the Huskies jumped out to quick leads early on to help put away the Rockets. NIU started game one with an 11-4 run and started game two with a 12-4 run.
The Huskies also played well at the net as NIU totaled 16 blocks. Along with Johnson's seven blocks, sophomore Jessica Schultz (Beaver Dam, Wis. / Beaver Dam / Kishwaukee C.C.) added six and sophomore Cassie Yates (LaPorte, Ind. / LaPorte) added five.
"The blocks were due to a great amount of focus," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "We talked about what we wanted to do with our blocking and our group went out there and did it, starting with our middle blockers. They did a great job against Toledo's middle blockers and our outside hitters joined in as well, especially Irene. She did a great job."
Johnson led NIU with 12 kills and freshman Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill. / North) registered a team-high 14 digs.
Seniors Laura Baetzel (Chicago, Ill. / Burbank Queen of Peace) and Mandi Caputo (Chicago, Ill. / Immaculate Heart of Mary / DePaul) both played well in their last regular season match as Huskies. Baetzel tallied 11 kills and Caputo notched 30 assists along with nine digs.
"It was nice for Laura and Mandi," said Gooden. "They really played solid matches and the team did a good job to help them have a positive experience on senior night."
For the Rockets, TaNeisha Winters totaled seven kills and nine digs. Lori Ruth added a team-high 14 digs and Mallory Ladd tallied a team-best 22 assists.
The Huskies are back in action at home on Tuesday, November 13 against Ball State for a MAC Tournament First Round match at 7 p.m. at Victor E. Court.