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November 3, 2004

WOMEN'S COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL--- Northern Illinois University vs. Ohio University / at DeKalb, IL / Victor E. Court / Mid-American Conference match / Wednesday / November 3, 2004

FINAL SCORE: OHIO defeats NORTHERN ILLINOIS 3-0 (30-25, 30-24, 30-16)

Box Score

Lobdell's 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 so good."

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 looked back.

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 volleyball team."

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).




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