NIU Takes Three-Match Winning Streak to Ohio and Kent State



Oct. 17, 2012

DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team wraps up a cross-divisional stretch this weekend against Mid-American Conference East opponents Ohio and Kent State. The Huskies (15-9, 6-2 MAC) will face the Bobcats (12-8, 7-1 MAC) in Athens, Ohio Friday, Oct. 19 at 6 PM CT and then will take on the Golden Flashes (5-15, 2-6 MAC) in Kent, Ohio Saturday, Oct. 20 at 6 PM. NIU is 5-4 on the road this season and 3-0 against the MAC East.

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois3
October 22, 2011
DeKalb, Ill.
NIU Cruises to Seventh Straight Win with Sweep of Ohio
In the first meeting since Northern Illinois lost to Ohio in the 2010 Mid-American Conference championship match, the Huskies avenged the tough loss with a 3-0 sweep Saturday night at Victor E. Court. Capping a 2-0 "Spike Cancer Weekend," presented by Kishwaukee Community Hospital, the Huskies improved to 19-5, 8-2 in league play, while dropping the Bobcats to 15-9, 7-3 in the MAC.

The Last Meeting
Kent State0
Northern Illinois3
October 21, 2011
DeKalb, Ill.
Huskies Win Sixth in a Row, Topple Kent State 3-0
Behind a mostly pink-dressed crowd, the Northern Illinois volleyball team won its sixth straight match with a 3-0 victory over Kent State on Friday night at Victor E. Court during NIU's "Spike Cancer" weekend, presented by Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

How to Follow
Both matches will have live stats and video. The Ohio match will have live stats and video through The Kent State match will have live stats and video through

Notes from NIU's 2-0 Homecoming Weekend
NIU went 2-0 during homecoming weekend with a 3-0 win over Buffalo last Friday and a comeback 3-2 win over Akron last Saturday ... NIU has won 12 of its last 16 matches since Sept. 4 ... NIU has won five of its last six at home and is now 6-3 at Victor E. Court this year ... The Huskies are 3-0 so far against the MAC East Division ... NIU has won 10 straight over Buffalo as solid offense and tough serving led to NIU holding 34-28 kills, .229-.082 hitting and 6-1 aces advantages over the Bulls ... NIU has won nine straight against Akron as the Huskies used slim kills (59-54), digs (85-81) and blocks (13-11) edges to nip the Zips ... NIU is 4-1 in five-set matches ... Emily Paschke came up huge for NIU during the weekend as she led the team with 10 blocks and helped NIU hold opponents to a .122 attack percentage with her blocking presence ... MacKenzie Roddy led the offense with 3.75 kills per set in the two wins.

NIU Stands 114th in Third NCAA RPI Rankings
In the NCAA's second RPI Rankings, the Huskies are 114th out of 330 Division I teams. The highest MAC school is Bowling Green (50) and the lowest is Buffalo (246). Five of the league's teams are ranked in the top 100 - Bowling Green (50), Ohio (78), Western Michigan (79), Central Michigan (89), and Eastern Michigan (92).

Scouting Ohio
Ohio is 12-8, 7-1 in MAC play, and has won seven straight matches since dropping its MAC opener at Bowling Green. The Bobcats are 8-2 at home and have not lost a conference match at home. OU went on the road last weekend at picked up a 3-2 win at Toledo and 3-0 win at Ball State. The Bobcats average 13.46 kills per set and are hitting .229, while netting 15.90 digs and 2.79 blocks per set.

NIU holds a 14-13 edge in the all-time series after sweeping Ohio at Victor E. Court on Oct. 21, 2011.

Scouting Kent State
Kent State is 5-15, 2-6 in MAC play, and has lost 10 of its last 12 matches since Sept. 8. The Golden Flashes are 2-4 at home and are coming off being swept on the road by Ball State and Toledo last weekend. KSU averages 11.28 kills per set and hits .184, while totaling 12.15 digs and 2.01 blocks per set.

The Huskies possess a 25-6 lead in the all-time series over KSU and have won each of the last five meetings, including a 3-0 sweep at Victor E. Court on Oct. 22, 2011.

Roddy Earns NIU's First MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week Award for the Fall
On Oct. 4, MacKenzie Roddy was named the MAC's Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week, which marked the first time she earned the honor in her career and the first time that a Huskie won the honor this fall semester. A sophomore accountancy major with a 3.893 GPA, Roddy led NIU to a perfect 2-0 MAC home opening weekend after being at Victor E. Court for the first time since an 8-6 road trip. She helped the Huskies earn their third straight win over Ball State (3-1) on Sept. 28 as she tallied 15 kills, 12 digs, two blocks, and an assist and ace for 17 points, while hitting a respectable .316. In NIU's third straight win over Toledo (3-0) on Sept. 29, and 12th in the last 14 meetings, Roddy totaled 12 kills, eight digs, two blocks, and hit .333. For the weekend, the San Bernardino, Calif. native averaged 4.43 points, 3.86 kills, 0.57 blocks, 0.14 aces, and hit .323.

MAC Leaders
As a team, the Huskies rank third in the MAC in digs (16.39/set), which is also good for 62nd in the nation, third in opponent hitting percentage (.183) and second in aces (1.27/set). Individually, Amber Walker is fifth in digs (4.59/set), Mary Kurisch is seventh in hitting (.291), MacKenzie Roddy is first in aces (0.34/set) and sixth in kills (3.47/set), Alexis Gonzalez is seventh in assists (10.01/set) and sixth in aces (0.31/set), and Meghan Romo is seventh in kills (3.40/set).

Angelos, Walker Sweep MAC West Offensive and Defensive Weekly Honors
On Sept. 11, the Mid-American Conference announced its Players of the Week and the Huskies swept the West Division's honors as Sarah Angelos was named Offensive Player of the Week and Amber Walker was named Defensive Player of the Week. Earning the honor for the first time in her career, Angelos hit .413 with a 3.00 kills per set average and 12 blocks and was named MVP after NIU's 4-0, first-place finish at the Missouri State Invite. Walker, who's earned the honor twice now, was named to Missouri State Invitational All-Tournament Team as well after recording 5.42 digs per game, including a career-high 33-dig effort against MSU.

NIU Season Openers
With a 3-2 win over North Dakota State -- a 2011 NCAA Tournament team - on Aug. 24, NIU improved to 10-1 in season and home openers under Gooden. The Huskies won last year's opener at the NIU Invitational as well, taking down IUPUI in four sets on Aug. 26, 2011.

Kurisch Named to Preseason All-MAC Team
Voted on by the MAC coaches, senior Mary Kurisch was selected to the 2012 Preseason All-MAC Team on Aug. 22. Starting all 35 matches last season, she was a first team All-MAC and honorable mention Academic All-MAC selection as she set career marks for points (378.5), total blocks (109), digs (80), solo blocks (34), and aces (22). She tallied a hitting percentage of .321 to finish second on team and sixth in the MAC, while compiling 20 matches with 10 or more points for the second straight season. Kurisch enters her final season in a Huskie uniform ranking fourth on the all-time NIU career attack percentage list (.303), 14th in total blocks (288), and 17th in blocks per set (0.81). She has 732 career kills (2.05 per set) and has a chance to become NIU's 19th member of the 1,000 Kill Club as she has tallied over 280 kills in each of the last two seasons.

MAC Coaches Pick NIU to Finish 4th in West
Voted on by the MAC coaches, the Huskies were picked to finish fourth in the MAC West Division. NIU was the league's pick to win the regular season and tournament prior to the 2011 season. This year's favorite in the West and overall is Western Michigan.

Gooden Plenty
Entering his 11th season as NIU head coach, 2011 and 2006 MAC Coach of the Year Ray Gooden is coming off his most successful season as he earned his first regular season MAC championship and NCAA appearance at NIU. The program's second all-time wins leader owns a respectable 199-145 record at NIU, including a 119-93 mark in MAC play and an impressive 119-57 tally at home.

Gooden is in the process of leaving an indelible mark on the program as the top three place holders in kills, kills per set, attack attempts and points all played under Gooden, as well as the top two holders in digs and digs per set.

Additionally, Gooden has coached 22 All-MAC, 16 Academic All-MAC, five MAC All-Freshman and five MAC Player of the Year selections, along with the only seven All-American selections in program history. Five players have also reached the 1,000-kill plateau under Gooden.

Social Central
Follow the Huskies all season long on Facebook (Northern Illinois University Volleyball) and Twitter (@NIUVOLLEYBALL | @Raygooden_niu).

On Deck
NIU returns to West Division play next weekend as the Huskies play host to Eastern Michigan Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 PM and Central Michigan Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 PM.