Sept. 14, 2009
DeKALB, Ill. - After seven straight road matches over a span of 17 days, the Northern Illinois volleyball team will return to Victor E. Court for a 7 p.m. CT home match against Milwaukee (2-8) on Tuesday night.
"It's great to be back in familiar surroundings," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "It's always great to be home because of the atmosphere at Victor E. Court, especially with the presence of the band.
"It was nice for us to come back home with a win in our last match. It's been a tough stretch for us, but it has also been an educational stretch as we know the level that we need to reach in order to be successful in our conference."
The Huskies (5-6) will look to add to their impressive record at home tomorrow as they are 3-1 in DeKalb this year and 71-43 since 2002. At Victor E. Court this season, NIU has out-killed its opponents 231 to 195 and has tallied 21 aces compared to allowing only 11.
Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton) leads the Huskies with 126 kills (3.50/set) and ranks second on the team with 84 digs (2.33/set), while Cassie Yates (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) owns NIU's highest hitting percentage (.353) with 99 kills (2.75/set). Amanda Tadla (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn) heads the offense with 297 assists (10.24/set) and Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) leads the defense with 161 digs (4.47/set).
Milwaukee comes into the match after a tough weekend as the Panthers hosted an invitational and came away with one win against some very good competition. The Panthers opened the weekend with a sweep of South Dakota, but then lost a pair of close matches in four sets to Western Michigan and Marquette before getting swept by Ohio State in the last contest of the tournament.
"This is another match where the records mean absolutely nothing," said Gooden. "Milwaukee still aims to be the top team in their conference. Their style of play will be another challenge for us."
The Panthers lost just one starter from last year's first-place team in the Horizon League and beat the Huskies 3-1 in Milwaukee last season. However, NIU possesses the advantage in the all-time series 13-6-1.
Jena Berg heads the Milwaukee offense with 114 kills (3.00/set) and ranks second on the squad with 108 digs (2.84/set), while Maddie Sueppel has a team second-best total of 97 kills (2.69/set) and leads the Panthers with 46 blocks (1.28/set). Samantha Trawitzke runs the offense with an assist total of 300 (7.89/set) and Lauren Felsing captains the defense with 139 digs (3.66/set).
Fans who attend the match can take advantage of the "Two For Tuesdays" promotion as a free ticket will be awarded with the purchase of one adult ticket. The match can also be followed live through GameTracker on niuhuskies.com.