VOLLEYBALL--- Northern Illinois University vs. Ohio University /
at DeKalb, IL / Victor E. Court / Mid-American Conference match
/ Wednesday / November 3, 2004
OHIO defeats NORTHERN ILLINOIS 3-0 (30-25, 30-24, 30-16)
22 kills not enough to keep NIU Volleyball from dropping three games
to MAC East leader Ohio
DeKALB, IL-Senior Tera Lobdell collected 22 kills in just
three games while hitting .321 (22-5-53) for the night, but it wasn't
enough as the Northern Illinois University women's volleyball team
dropped each of those games in a 3-0 (30-25, 30-24, 30-16) loss
to Ohio University Wednesday (Nov. 3).
It's not like the Huskies are the only team to travel down this
road. OU has not lost a game since Sept. 25, posting 11 consecutive
3-0 shutouts since that date, improving to 21-2 with Wednesday's
(Nov. 3) victory. The Bobcats also clinched the Mid-American Conference
East Division title with the win and improve to 13-0. NIU, on the
other hand, falls back into a two-way tie with Toledo for fifth
in the West at 4-8 while carrying a 9-18 overall record.
Lobdell (Plymouth, MN / Robbinsdale Armstrong) did everything she
could to keep the Huskies in game one, racking up 11 kills at a
.381 clip in a 30-25 loss. Her ninth kill of the contest actually
tied the game at 22-22 before OU ran off four straight points to
finally establish an insurmountable cushion. Another Lobdell put-away
got the Huskies back to 28-25, but back-to-back NIU errors sealed
the Bobcat win.
The story was pretty much the same in game two as a Kate McCullagh
(Woodstock) kill kept the hosts within two at 24-22. In the end,
however, Ohio's .442 team hitting percentage for the game eventually
put the Bobcats over the top. An NIU attack error joined consecutive
Ohio kills to push the lead back to 27-22. OU outside hitter Holly
Schetszle scored two of the game's last three points with successful
swings to finish off a 30-24 triumph.
"Games one and two, we were playing alright," NIU head
coach Ray Gooden noted. "But then we gave up a point
here, a point there, and they went on their little mini-run. The
fact that they are able to do that consistently is what makes them
Game three saw Ohio keep its pace up, blasting its way to 18 kills
while hitting a gaudy .552 as a team. The Huskies, on the other
hand, couldn't quite keep up, collecting just 10 put-aways while
posting an .026 hitting percentage in a 30-16 loss. NIU actually
grabbed an early lead at 2-1 on a kill by freshman Amy Ward
(Sycamore), but that was the last advantage the Cardinal and Black
would see. Ohio scored the next seven points to go up 8-2 and never
Ward ended up hitting .400 (3-1-5) for the night to lead all Huskies.
Marie Zidek (Evergreen Park / Chicago Heights Marian Catholic)
and Gina Guide (Orland Park / Sandburg) chipped in with eight
digs apiece to spearhead the defensive effort. Lobdell also added
seven "ups" to her 22 successful swings, but OU posted
a .473 team attack percentage behind a pair of players hitting .667
or better and held the potent Huskie blockers to just 4.5 stuffs.
"They made some adjustments towards Tera (Lobdell)," Gooden
added. "So we countered by trying to put ourselves in places
where we could score some points out there. But they are a smart,
championship team, and they were able to adjust to that as well.
They work really hard. Just another thing that makes them a good
Northern Illinois is at the beginning of a five-match homestand
that will close out its 2004 regular season. The Huskies play two
more contests at Victor E. Court this weekend when they welcome
West Division foes Central Michigan and Ball State to town for 7:00
p.m. (CST) matches Friday (Nov. 6) and Saturday (Nov. 7).