Huskies Return Home to Face Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan

GO HUSKIES Mackenzie Roddy and the Huskies battle two MAC West foes at home this weekend
GO HUSKIES
Mackenzie Roddy and the Huskies battle two MAC West foes at home this weekend
GO HUSKIES

Oct. 3, 2013

Match Notes | Twitter Updates (@NIUscores)
EMU: Live Stats | Live Streaming
CMU: Live Stats | Live Streaming
 
DeKALB, Ill. – Following a 1-1 performance in the first weekend of MAC play, the Northern Illinois volleyball team returns to DeKalb this weekend when they host Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan in Victor E. Court.
 
Both matches begin at 7 p.m. Central, as the Huskies look to move up in the MAC West Division standings.
 
“Every team is incredibly competitive and talented,” said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. “With EMU and CMU, we know that everyone is fighting to grab another one or two wins. We’re all 1-1 right now. Eastern Michigan is going to be a real good defensive team. They have a lot of balance. Central Michigan is incredible physical at the net with their swing and with their block. We’re going to have to work hard on being consistent.”
 
NIU began the conference season with a split in the opening weekend. The Huskies started Thursday with a critical 3-2 win at Western Michigan. Trailing 2-1, NIU won the fourth set to force a winner-take-all fifth, then got back-to-back kills from Mary Grace Kelly and Mackenzie Roddy to break away in a tight final stanza. Saturday night in Bowling Green, the Huskies had their four-match winning streak snapped with a 3-0 loss to the Falcons.
 
Meanwhile, this weekend offers an opportunity for the Huskies to move to the top of the MAC West. On Friday night against Eastern Michigan, the Huskies will look to break out of a recent funk against EMU, as the Eagles have taken three of the last four matches between the two schools. The next night, the Huskies will try and knock off Central Michigan, whom they have beaten seven of the last 10 times in the regular season.
 
Scouting Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan heads to DeKalb this weekend with an 11-6 record and 1-1 mark in MAC play. The Eagles opened the conference slate with a 3-0 loss to Ball State before winning at Toledo, 3-1. In non-conference play, EMU and NIU shared two common opponents in Oakland and IPFW, as the Eagles beat both teams in Ypsilanti with 3-0 sweeps. Sophomore Stacey Perinar leads EMU with 2.81 kills/set, while senior Paige Roback averages 2.46 kills/set. On defense, the Eagles feature middle blocker Kelsey Jones - who averages 1.31 blocks/set - and libero Corynne Smith with 4.81 digs/set. NIU leads the all-time series with EMU, 27-20, but the Eagles have taken three of the last four from the Huskies.
 
Scouting Central Michigan
Central Michigan sits at 7-7 on the year and 1-1 within the MAC. In the first weekend of conference play, the Chippewas swept Toledo on the road, 3-0, before getting swept themselves by Ball State the next night, 3-0. Heading into the weekend, CMU only had one common opponent with NIU in Oakland, as the Chippewas lost their season opener to the Golden Grizzlies, 3-1. Kaitlyn McIntyre paces the CMU offense with 3.88 kills/set, while setter Kelly Maxwell holds a 11.50 assists/set average. Defensively, Angie White averages 0.90 blocks/set and Jenna Coates has 5.29 digs/set. Saturday’s contest will mark the 70th meeting all-time between NIU and CMU, with the Huskies holding a 29-20 lead in the series. NIU has won seven of the last 10 regular season meetings against CMU, but also lost the 2011 MAC Championship match to the Chippewas.
 
Killing Them Softly
Last Thursday night against Western Michigan, the Huskies totaled a season-high 74 kills in a 3-2 win against the Broncos in Kalamazoo. Key to that win were Mackenzie Roddy and Mary Grace Kelly, who totaled 24 and 18 kills, respectively. In fact, their numbers combined accounted for nearly 57 percent of the team’s total in kills. Roddy’s and Kelly’s performances also rank first and third for most kills in a single match this season.
 
Home, Sweet Home
Victor E. Court has been a rather friendly place for the Huskies in the past and this year is no different. With a 7-4 mark on their home floor this year, NIU has improved to 41-14 - a .745 winning percentage - in DeKalb since the start of the 2010 season. The Huskies have not lost at home to a team ranked outside of the RPI Top 100 since Oct. 26, 2012, when they lost a 3-1 decision to Eastern Michigan.
 
A Big Win In Kalamazoo
Thursday night’s 3-2 win against Western Michigan was a big one in more ways that one. First, it is a critical win in the MAC West standings that currently gives the Huskies the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Broncos. Another way that it was big, though, was that Kalamazoo has not been friendly to NIU in the past. Including the most recent win, the Huskies are only 5-15 all-time in the “The Zoo” and 2-8 during the Ray Gooden era.
 
Marathon Match Masters
The Huskies have become quite adept at winning marathon matches this season, as they are currently 4-1 this year in five-set matches. In the five matches, NIU has defeated Green Bay (Aug. 30), Western Illinois (Sept. 4), Southern Utah (Sept. 13) and Western Michigan (Sept. 26), while only losing to then-#23 Ohio State (Aug. 31). In those final sets, the Huskies have outscored the opposition, 72-64, and has outhit the opposition by a sizeable .364-.181, in the four victories.
 
Double-Double Dip
Junior Mackenzie Roddy has been quite a prominent figure on the scoresheet this year, as she now has eight double-doubles in 16 matches in 2013. By comparison, the San Bernardino, Calif., native had 13 all of last season. In addition to her 24 kills and 13 digs at Western Michigan, Roddy’s other standout performance of the year came in the season opener against Green Bay, when she had 21 kills and 21 digs in a 3-2 win.
 
Staying Home
With 11 home matches so far in 2013, Northern Illinois is tied for the national lead with Hawaii for the most home matches this season. The Huskies will take over sole possession of the national lead after hosting Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan this weekend.
 
Gooden Plenty
In his 12th season as NIU head coach, Ray Gooden is now the longest-tenured coach in NIU Volleyball history. A three-time MAC Coach of the Year, Gooden has led the Huskies to three consecutive 20-win seasons and has guided the team to the last three MAC Tournament title matches. The program’s second all-time wins leader owns a 214-158 record at NIU, including a 103-78 mark in MAC play and an impressive 128-62 tally at home. Additionally, Gooden has coached 25 All-MAC, 19 Academic All-MAC, six MAC All-Freshman and five MAC Player of the Year selections, along with the only seven All-American selections in program history. Six players have also reached the 1,000-kill plateau under Gooden.
 
Up Next...
Northern Illinois goes back on the road next week to complete their first swing through the MAC West. The Huskies face the Toledo Rockets on Friday at 6 p.m., then head to Ball State to battle the Cardinals Saturday evening.

The Last Meeting
Eastern Michigan3
Northern Illinois1
October 26, 2012
DeKalb, Ill.
NIU Drops 3-1 Decision to Eastern Michigan
For the second time this season in Mid-American Conference play, the Northern Illinois volleyball team was taken down by Eastern Michigan - first in three sets and now in four (18-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-15). Despite the Huskies (15-12, 6-5 MAC) owning 69-47 kills, .257-.245 hitting and 81-65 digs advantages, the Eagles (15-12, 5-6 MAC) scored at the right times and only had 12 hitting errors to NIU's 25 on Friday night at Victor E. Court.

The Last Meeting
Central Michigan0
Northern Illinois3
October 27, 2012
DeKalb, Ill.
Huskies Sweep Central Michigan for Gooden's 200th Career Win
After falling to Central Michigan in last year's Mid-American Conference tournament championship match, the Northern Illinois volleyball team completed a clean sweep in the 2012 season series by cruising to a 25-14, 25-21, 25-21 win over the Chippewas (12-11, 6-6 MAC) Saturday night at Victor E. Court. The win for the Huskies (16-12, 7-5 MAC) ended a three-match skid and extended the Chippewas losing streak to four, while also giving NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden his 200th career win.


 

 

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