Nov. 17, 2006
Toledo, Ohio - The Northern Illinois volleyball team spun their wheels out of the gate, regrouped and pushed No. 10 seeded Toledo to the limit, but were unable to overcome an early 2-0 deficit, as the Rockets earned the 30-24, 30-27, 16-30, 23-30, 15-13 upset victory over the No. 2 seeded Huskies in the Mid-American Conference quarterfinals at the SeaGate Centre on Friday morning.
Rockets' senior outside hitter Kate Bean led Toledo with a double-double of 22 kills and 22 digs. Bean's teammates Sarah Kreher and Shannon Strachan each posted 15 kills, while freshman middle blocker Liz Sundburg added 10 kills in the victory.
"We just had a tough road loss against a very inspired Toledo team," NIU head coach Ray Gooden said. "This is about as close of a home match as you're going to get and they came out real fired up."
With the win, Toledo improves to 11-20 and faces the winner of the No. 3 Bowling Green / No. 6 Ball State contest at 4 p.m. (CST) on Saturday afternoon. Northern Illinois finishes its season at 20-9.
NIU freshman outside hitter Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio) topped the Huskies with 20 kills, followed by 18 kills from senior middle blocker Kate McCullagh (Woodstock, Ill.) and 14 putaways from junior outside hitter Laura Baetzel (Chicago, Ill.).
Senior libero Gina Guide (Orland Park, Ill.) compiled 41 digs in her final match in a Huskie uniform, while sophomore setter Mandi Caputo (Chicago, Ill.) collected a double-double of 58 assists and 13 digs.
Game five was a seesaw affair that saw seven ties and four lead changes, as the Huskies took a 13-12 advantage following a Baetzel kill. Strachan answered the Huskie lead with three consecutive kills to give the Rockets the game and the match.
"We just weren't as loose as we needed to be and we regrouped to play two really good games at the end," Gooden said. "In game five, we just couldn't get that momentum that we were looking for."