DeKalb, Ill. -
All the hard work from the beginning of August has led to this upcoming weekend for the Northern Illinois volleyball squad, as the Huskies open Mid-American Conference play and travel to Michigan to square off against both Eastern Michigan (Friday) and Central Michigan (Saturday).
"We're excited to play and get started on the MAC schedule," NIU Head Volleyball Coach Ray Gooden said. "It's going to be very challenging because every single match is going to be tough."
Eastern Michigan (5-5) is a familiar foe for the Huskies in a MAC season-opener, as the Huskies and Eagles have begun the conference slate each of the last two seasons. Central Michigan (9-2) is off to one of its best starts in school-history after going 3-24 in 2005. Last season, the Huskies emerged victorious over the Chippewas in two hard-fought five-game battles.
NIU enters the weekend with a record of 7-5, and are led offensively by senior middle blocker Kate McCullagh (Woodstock, Ill.). McCullagh, who currently sits in second-place in school history with 1,525 career kills, is averaging 5.53 kills-per-game for a team-best 221 putaways.
Sophomore setter Mandi Caputo (Chicago, Ill.) tops the Huskies with 472 assists, while teammate Gina Guide (Orland Park, Ill.) paces the NIU defensive with 251 digs.