Oct. 5, 2006
DeKalb, Ill. - Northern Illinois head volleyball coach Ray Gooden will not allow his team's past to dictate their future, as the Huskies prepare for a two-match home weekend against both Central Michigan (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Eastern Michigan (Saturday, 7 p.m.) at Victor E. Court.
Two weeks ago, the Huskies (10-6, 3-1) earned victories over both the Chippewas and Eagles on their home courts. Should NIU defeat both teams, it will be the first time since 1999, that the Huskies have swept the season series against CMU and EMU.
"It's another challenging weekend," Gooden said. "Playing against two teams that we have fresh in our minds and they have in theirs. It's good to be at home, but in the same sense it's going to be two challenging matches against two very good teams.
"We're both very familiar with each other, but in the same sense, you can't really base your past on what's going on in your present."
NIU senior middle blocker Kate McCullagh (Woodstock, Ill.), who is fourth in the country with 5.59 kills per-game, paces the Huskie offensive attack. Sophomore setter Mandi Caputo (Chicago, Ill.) has dished out a team-best 677 assists, while teammate Gina Guide (Orland Park, Ill.) is tops defensively with 350 digs.
Friday's battle against Central Michigan (11-4, 2-2 MAC) is a crucial one NIU, as the Huskies could take a two-game lead over the Chippewas with a victory. Entering Friday's match-ups, Eastern Michigan (5-9, 0-4) is still seeking its first MAC win of the season.