PAIR OF HUSKIES
TAKE HOME POSTSEASON ALL-CONFERENCE ACCOLADES, LOBDELL EARNS THIRD
CLEVELAND, OH---For the third straight season, Northern Illinois
University outside hitter Tera Lobdell (Plymouth, MN / Robbinsadle
Armstrong) will get to tack "All-Mid-American Conference performer"
onto her name as the junior was one of two Huskies to take home
postseason MAC honors as announced by league commissioner Rick
Chryst Wednesday (Nov. 19).
Lobdell was appointed to the Honorable Mention All-MAC squad for
the second consecutive year after averaging 4.32 kills per game
throughout the regular season. The Plymouth, MN, native---who also
earned a Second-Team nomination at the conclusion of her freshman
season---stood second on the Huskies with 2.94 digs per contest
and racked up 64 total blocks including 14 solos. In total, Lobdell
scored 547 total points for the Huskies, averaging out to 5.11 per
"Tera has matured a great deal from her sophomore to her junior
year," NIU head coach Ray Gooden commented. "She
has made really good strides in all areas of her game, because one
of her goals is to be a complete volleyball player, and she has
worked very hard to be just that."
A consistent force on the outside, Lobdell has notched at least
10 kills in 27 of her 29 matches this season while eclipsing the
20-kill barrier eight times. She also put up a career-best 32 successful
swings during NIU's 3-2 victory over Valparaiso University in the
championship match of the Comfort Inn and Suites DeKalb Invitational.
Just one week earlier, with the Best Western DeKalb Inn and Suites
title on the line against Big XII representative University of Kansas,
Lobdell excelled again, posting 22 kills, 19 digs, and a career-high
seven blocks in a 3-1 Huskie victory.
The intense push for a higher seed in the MAC Tournament and the
pressure that comes with it has also brought out the best in Lobdell's
game. Over the final three regular-season matches of the season,
the junior racked up three of her team-leading 19 double-doubles
including a 22-kill, 13-dig, six-block performance at Eastern Michigan
University back on Nov. 8. She followed that up with 12 kills and
12 digs in Northern Illinois' 3-0 victory over the University at
Buffalo in the first round of the MAC Tournament Tuesday (Nov. 18).
Joining Lobdell as one of four Huskies to rack up ten kills or more
against UB was Kate McCullagh (Woodstock)---NIU's second
postseason honoree as the Woodstock native was named to the league's
All-Freshman squad. Since her second start of the season against
Ball State University on Oct. 24, McCullagh has notched 10 kills
or more in nine of ten matches and become the Huskies' anchor in
Defensively, McCullagh has quite simply been a force, posting six
matches of seven total blocks or more including a pair of 12-block
performances exactly one week apart (versus Buffalo on Nov. 1 and
Eastern Michigan on Nov. 8). For the season, McCullagh is third
on the team hitting chart at a rate of .215 while averaging 1.54
kills per game. Her 1.03 blocks per contest ranked 12th in the MAC
as she became the third Huskie middle blocker to grace the league's
"Kate has just taken advantage of her situation and her opportunities,"
Gooden noted. "She is a contributing member of our team, and
her role is beginning to expand with each match because her performance
is paying great dividends."
Ohio University and Central Michigan University---the top two seeds
in this year's conference tournament---dominated the all-conference
listing, combining for seven nominations to the 18-member squad
with all of those citations coming on either the First or Second
Team. Each school also has one played tabbed as an All-Freshman
With the All-Freshman Team included, 20 of the 24 honorees are still
alive in the MAC Tournament as the eight remaining teams meet at
Ball State's Worthen Arena for action this weekend. Northern Illinois
takes on Akron at 3:00 p.m. (EST) in the second quarterfinal match
Friday (Nov. 21). Central Michigan meets Marshall at 1:00 p.m. to
kick off the day while Ohio battles Western Michigan at 5:00 p.m.
and the host Cardinals take on Eastern Michigan in the 7:00 p.m.
by Brian Kedzior