ROCHESTER, MI - Toledo's rally against Iowa fell short on Saturday morning in a 3-1 (18-25, 25-14, 22-25, 23-25) defeat to the Hawkeyes at Oakland's Golden Grizzlies Invitational.
Junior OH Lauren Rafdal and junior RSH Becca Reidy shared team kill honors with 12 terminations apiece. Junior MB Dakota Harkins and junior OH Jordan Kielty also contributed to the Rockets' balanced attack with nine and eight kills, respectively. Junior S Adria Pryor tallied a career-high 41 assists as the quarterback of UT's offense.
Sophomore MB Brooke Frazer spearheaded a tremendous defensive effort at the net with a career-high eight blocks. Four other Rockets also notched three or more blocks as UT registered a season-high 13 rejections. Senior libero McCall Paynter led UT with 15 digs and was joined in double figures by Kielty (12) and Reidy (11).
"We played better today than last night, but we need to find more consistency out on the court," Toledo Head Coach Greg Smith said. "There are a lot of good things that we're doing especially defensively and getting our outside hitters to score more, but not being able to put an entire match together has been an Achilles heel for us."
After falling in Set 1 to the Hawkeyes, UT responded quickly in the second set by surging to a 6-1 lead and never looking back. Rafdal paced the Rockets in the set with four kills, while Frazer tallied four blocks.
UT then allowed the Hawkeyes to control play early in Set 3 and trailed 22-14 before making a valiant comeback attempt. The Rockets strung seven straight points together to climb within 22-21, but Iowa regrouped to secure a 25-22 victory.
Toledo appeared to be ready to extend the match to a fifth set when it took a 16-12 lead in Set 4, but their Big Ten foe evened the score at 18-18 with a 6-2 spurt. The teams then exchanged points until Iowa scored the match's final three points for the win.
Toledo will close out the tournament later today vs. Eastern Illinois at 4:30 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - - The Ball State (3-3) women's volleyball team could not get past a hot North Texas (6-1) squad Saturday morning, suffering a 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-20) setback to the Mean Green to open the second day of the 2012 IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational.
"Our ball control, especially early in the match, took us out of our offense," said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. "As the match went on our ball control got better, but North Texas played tremendous defense and would not let the ball hit the floor. We were not able to match their defensive intensity.
"Every team is going to experience adversity," continued Shondell. "When you get knocked down you have to get back up. Tonight we have a chance to go 2-1 in this tournament and share the title. We are just going to go for it."
Senior transfer middle hitter Lisa Scott (McLean, Va./Langley) led the Ball State attack with a BSU career-high nine kills, while adding a team-best three total blocks (one solo and two assists).
Senior outside hitter Kara Bates (Bradley, Ill./ Bradley Bourbonnais Community/Maryland) and junior opposite hitter Lauren Grant (Eagan, Minn./Eastview/Cincinnati) each added six kills for the Cardinals, with Bates also logging a season-high 11 digs.
Junior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) collected her fifth assist/dig double-double of the season by handing out 26 assists and collecting a team-high 13 digs. Junior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) also collected double-digit digs for BSU with 11.
Courtney Windham led the North Texas attack with 16 kills, while Carnae Dillard added 14. Windham also finished the day with a .556 (16-1-27) attack percentage to help the Mean Green hold a .231 (43-15-121) to .123 (33-19-114) hitting advantage for the match.
Another key to the NT win was its eight service aces, compared to two from BSU. North Texas also held a 52-51 advantage in digs and an 8-2 lead in blocks. NT's Shelby Tamura registered a match-best 20 digs and four aces.
The Mean Green took control early in the opening set as some strong serving from Tamura helped the hosts on the scoreboard pull out to a 6-0 lead. Ball State would battle within four points, at 8-4, but a 5-1 run gave North Texas complete control of the set at 13-5. NT went on to win the frame 25-14.
After falling behind 6-2 in the second set, back-to-back markers from Scott after a BSU timeout helped the Cardinals pull within two at 6-4. Junior middle blocker Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) would help Ball State tie the score at 11 with a pair of kills and a block, while BSU took its first lead of the match on the next play thanks to a NT attack error.
The lead was short-lived however, as the Mean Green scored six of the next eight points to force Ball State's second timeout at 17-14. The Cardinals battled back to tie the score at 18, only to have North Texas pull back ahead 23-20. A pair of NT miscues and block from Seidel and Scott tied the score at 23, but North Texas posted the final to points to escape with a 25-23 second set victory.
Another early surge allowed the Mean Green to pull out to a 6-3 advantage in the third set. However a kill and ace from Baker and a pair of kills from Marx tied the score at 7. A kill from Bates on the next rally gave BSU its second lead of the morning at 8-7.
Ball State maintained the one-point lead at 11-10, before back-to-back kills from Windham gave North Texas a 12-11 edge. BSU tied the score on the next rally, and the teams played to a 16-16 tie from there. Unfortunately, the Mean Green scored five of the next six points and never looked back winning the frame 25-20.
The Ball State women's volleyball team concludes play in the 2012 IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational later this evening with a 7 p.m. first serve versus the host Jaguars at The Jungle.
Minnesota 3, Miami 0 Final
MINNEAPOLIS - Facing its first ranked opponent of the season, the Miami University volleyball team fell to 16th-ranked Minnesota, 0-3 (10-25, 18-25, 19-25) Saturday morning at the Diet Coke Classic. The RedHawks fall to 1-4 on the season, while the Golden Gophers improve to 4-0.
A slow start in set one would hurt Miami early. Minnesota raced to a 9-1 lead. Kayleigh Cox, Lisa Treadway, Christina Menche and Jenny Ingle would each put down kills as the RedHawks would fight back and get the score back to within seven at 7-14. The Gophers responded however with a 7-1 run that would put the set out of reach as they went on to eventually take a 25-10 victory.
The RedHawks came out with a lot more fight in set two. After dropping the first two points, a kill and a service ace from Sarah Chaney quickly tied things up. That would continue throughout the early portion of the set as Minnesota would build a two-point lead only to see Miami tie it. Down 6-8, a block by Ingle and Menche, followed by a service ace from Amy Kendall tied the score at eight. Down 8-10, a kill from Riley and a service ace by Kendall tied the score at 10. Tied at 11, the Golden Gophers would go on an 8-3 run to take a 19-14 lead. Ingle and Riley would record kills, but Minnesota would go on to take the set by a 25-18 score.
Two service aces by Kendall and a kill from Chaney helped Miami jump to a 4-0 lead in set three. Ingle and Riley each put down kills as Miami kept the advantage at four points at 6-2. Minnesota scored the next three points, but Treadway put down the kill off of Madison Hardy's assist to maintain the RedHawks' lead. Two blocks, one by Chaney and Cox and another from Ingle and Menche would help Miami push the lead back to four at 12-8. At that point, the Golden Gophers would go on a 10-2 run to take an 18-14 advantage. Menche would be record two more kills, but the Red and White would not be able to get any closer as they fell, 19-25.
Menche led Miami with seven kills and a .636 hitting percentage. Kendall had 13 assists, while Hardy had seven digs. The RedHawks could not overcome 16th-ranked Minnesota's .533 hitting percentage for the match.
Miami completes play at the Diet Coke Classic later Saturday when it faces LIU-Brooklyn at 6 p.m. (EDT).
Eastern Michigan 3, UT Arlington 2 Final
CHICAGO, Ill. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team won its second match of the University of Illinois-Chicago Invitational Saturday, Sept. 1. The Eagles defeating the University of Texas-Arlington in five sets, 25-27, 25-19, 23-25, 25-17 and 15-9.
The Green and White improved its record to 5-2 on the season, while Texas-Arlington fell to 3-3.
Rachel Iaquaniello (Plymouth, Mich.-Dearborn Divine Child) led the offensive show for EMU. The senior outside hitter notched 22 kills, 21 digs and four block assists. Eastern had three other athletes in double-figure kills. Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) and Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) each posted 15 kills, while Kristen Baker (Mentor, Ohio-Mentor) contributed 14 of her own. Alyssa Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Plainwell) setup the EMU offense with 62 assists.
Sierra Reed (Parker City, Ind.-Wapahani), Iaquaniello, Roback, Short and Davis were each in double figures for digs, while Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) posted eight block assists. As a team the Eagles had 11 total blocks.
In the opening frame, Crawshaw was a force defensively coming up with four blocks, along with her three kills. Iaquaniello notched four kills and a pair of blocks, while Davis was able to post 13 assists in the first set of the match. EMU dropped the opening set 27-25, hitting just .167 (16-8-48).
Eastern improved its attack percentage in the second set, hitting .267 (17-5-45). Davis notched 14 assists en route to the Eagles' 25-19 win in the second frame. Iaquaniello added five more kills to her total, along with a block and an assist in the set.
Roback was the offensive threat in the third set with five kills and an ace. She also notched one block, while Davis posted 13 assists in the 25-23 third set loss.
Eastern used a .293 attack percentage (16-4-41) to even up the match at two sets apiece. That .293 included a perfect four-of-four from Short and four kills from Iaquaniello. Baker and Roback added three kills apiece, while Davis added 15 assists to her total in the 25-17 set win.
The Eagles cruised in the final set, taking it by a 15-9 margin. Iaquaniello added five of EMU's 11 kills in the final frame.
The Eagles close out their portion of the 2012 UIC Invitational Saturday evening when they take on host Illinois-Chicago at 7 p.m. (CST).
Ohio 3, Western Carolina 0 Final
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball earned its first win of 2012, sweeping the Western Carolina Catamounts 25-23, 25-15, 25-12. Lexie Hartnett notched a team-high nine kills and five blocks while Kelly Lamberti had an all-around performance of seven kills, seven digs and five blocks.
"I really liked how we were able to have long point-runs at the end of games two and three," Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "We have had a knack for shooting ourselves in the foot instead of keeping the pressure on people. Hopefully today was a breakthrough."
Serena Warner (.727) and Faith Robins (.438) each had eight kills while Leah Petrovich has a season-best 22 assists. Freshman Meredith Ashy led the Green & White with 20 digs. Ohio's offensive attack got progressively better throughout the match, improving from .196 to .286 and finishing at .357
The first set was tied 7-7 before a three-point WCU run. Still trailing by three at 16-13, Abby Gilleland produced a kill before Ashy served an ace. A kill by Warner knotted the score 16-16. After the Catamounts went back ahead by three, Ohio fought back once more and tied the score on a kill by Robins.
Ohio dropped two points in a row but a kill by Hartnett cut the deficit to 23-22. Gilleland and Hartnett would then combine on a block to tie the score before a kill from Lamberti gave the Bobcats an edge. Gilleland would close things out with a quick attack for a 25-23 win.
Western Carolina led the second set, 10-6 but the Green & White would outscore the Catamounts 19-5 the rest of way for an easy 25-15 win. Hartnett had three kills and three blocks while Lamberti finished with three kills, two aces and two blocks.
A dominant performance in the third set would help the Bobcats get the set and match. The Green & White didn't look back after taking an 8-6 lead off a Hartnett kill. Warner would notch five of her eight kills in the set, Robins added three kills and Petrovich would notch 13 of her assists in an easy 25-12 win.
"Our defensive specialists did a nice job of keeping us in system and from there Leah did well to distribute to our middles," Theis added. "It's nice to get a 'W' and hopefully we can carry this momentum forward."
Ohio will face off tomorrow morning against the No. 17 Oregon Ducks at 11 a.m. to conclude the Baymont Invitational. The Ducks will be the fifth team ranked in the AVCA Top 20 that the 'Cats have faced this season.
Bowling Green 3, Indiana 1 Final
Bloomington, Ind. – The Bowling Green State University volleyball team handed Indiana its first loss of the year, defeating the Hoosiers 22-25, 25-18, 27-25, 25-20 Saturday on day two of the Indiana Invitational.
Paige Penrod had a career-high 26 kills as the Falcons defeated a Big Ten opponent in four sets for the second consecutive year. Last year, BGSU beat Michigan State in the opening match of the Stroh Center.
"This is a very special win for all of us for a few different reasons," BGSU head coach Danijela Tomic said. "First of all, it was a total team effort and everyone on the team contributed in some way. Second of all, our team removed an invisible mental obstacle that was holding us back in the previous matches. Third of all, my coaching staff and I just earned our first win at BGSU, hopefully one of many to come."
The Falcons hit .237 for the match and held Indiana to a .178 clip. Bowling Green hit at least .300 in both the second and fourth sets to overcome a loss in the opening stanza. Penrod’s 26 kills were one more than her previous career-high, a 25-kill effort against Buffalo on Oct. 29, 2010. Lindsey Butterfield tied her career-high with 13 kills.
Ironically, the Falcons pulled off the upset despite Danielle Tonyan, a preseason All-MAC selection, having her smallest output of the year. She had only eight kills, but added four digs, a block, and an ace. Indiana entered the match at 4-0 on the season, while Bowling Green was 0-3 after playing BCS opponents in all of its first four matches.
Indiana led wire-to-wire in the first set but the Falcons bounced back in the second by serve receiving well (Indiana had no aces) and hitting .300. Bowling Green never trailed or saw Indiana tie the score as the Falcons built the lead throughout the frame. Penrod had six kills during the set and the Falcons had three aces.
BGSU was unable to rely on its hitting as much in the third, posting 10 attack errors, but the Falcons served up three more aces and outdug the Hoosiers 16-14. Penrod added six more kills and six digs in the set. BGSU led 24-21 but a service error and two attack errors tied the score. Still tied at 25-25, Butterfield posted a kill and then Leah Shaw and Laura Avila teamed up for a block to get the 27-25 win.
In the fourth, the Falcons’ consistent offense game returned as BGSU hit .312. Kaitlyn Skinner had three blocks on the defensive side and Ashley Dunn had six of the team’s 12 digs. BGSU never trailed in the fourth set as Penrod started with back-to-back kills. With the Falcons leading 19-16, Penrod had three more kills in a 4-1 run that put the match away.
Indiana falls to 4-1 with the loss and Bowling Green improves to 1-3 with the win. The Falcons will play again this evening against Cleveland State at 5 p.m.
North Carolina State 3, Kent State 0 Final
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Kent State volleyball team fell in a 3-0 sweep to host North Carolina State (25-12, 25-22, 25-17), Saturday (Sep. 1) afternoon in its second match of The Courtyard Midtown Classic at Reynolds Coliseum.
As she has done in every match of the season to-date, freshman outside hitter Kelly Hutchison (Columbus, Ohio) totaled 10 kills to lead the Golden Flashes (1-4). Sophomore outside hitter Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola (Ellicott City, Md.) added six kills and recorded a team-high 11 digs. Junior setter Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) led the way with 23 assists.
Kent State was not sharp in the opening set, as three attack errors and a receiving error contributed to an early 6-2 deficit. Trailing 8-4, the Golden Flashes allowed an 8-2 run, giving the Wolfpack a commanding 16-6 advantage. A kill from senior middle blocker Kathy Krupa (Burbank, Ill.) made it 16-7, but the Flashes lost the next four points and trailed 20-7. They split the final 10 points of the set, falling 25-12.
"I think our team was overhyped for this match," said first-year head coach Don Gromala. "Last weekend, we lost our match on Friday and came out strong the next morning. After losing yesterday, I think we wanted to take care of N.C. State on their home court and were just too overhyped early."
The Golden Flashes gained their composure between sets and found themselves tied at 11-11. Following an attack error, ballhandling error, and service error on three of the next four points, Kent State trailed 14-12. After trading 4-1 runs later in the set, the Flashes trailed 21-19 and forced their foes to call timeout. Two straight points out of the timeout put the Wolfpack ahead 23-19. Kent State looked like it might have one more spurt remaining after a kill by Hutchison and a service ace by junior defensive specialist/libero Hannah Herc (Eden, N.Y.) pulled them within two points, but they lost two of the next three points.
"We definitely settled down after that first set," Gromala said. "We were able to get more into our system and played more disciplined defensively the rest of the way."
The third set saw the Golden Flashes lead momentarily at 10-9. The two squads would then be knotted up at 10, 11, 12, and 13. The turning point of the set came when N.C. State used a pair of 3-0 runs to take six of the next seven points, a 19-13 lead, and control of the set.
Kent State will closes out its second weekend of competition at 5 p.m. against South Florida in its final match of the The Courtyard Midtown Classic.
Montana State 3, Akron 1 Final
AKRON, Ohio – Akron put together a momentous comeback that just ran out of steam Saturday afternoon, falling short in a 3-1 loss to Montana State in the final match of the Akron Invitational (25-16, 25-18, 14-25, 26-24).
UA started the night off slow, and despite fielding three players with double digit figures on both the offensive and defensive ends, the Zips were unable to make it all the way out of the 0-2 hole that was dug after the first two sets.
The action really picked up in the third set, and it did not take long to see that Akron was not going to bow out of its own tournament quietly.
The Zips traded points with Bobcats, tying the score six times before Akron broke through a 7-all score with a burst of offensive energy led by Alex Wiederholt. The outside hitter supplied a ferocious solo block followed immediately by a powerful kill that instigated five unanswered points for Akron and forced Montana State to call a timeout and adjust.
UA maintained the lead and the momentum for the remainder of the set, playing tight on the front line and forcing MSU to commit eight attack errors in that period. With a 19-14 advantage, Tina Dimitrijevs served it home and Akron scored six straight points this time to lock up the set and extend the match.
The fourth set, one that featured 11 tie scores and seven lead changes, could only be described as a battle. Montana State forged ahead early on a few Akron miscues, but the Zips found their footing again around the halfway point.
With the score at 15-10 in MSU's favor, Wiederholt issued one of her five kills in that stanza on a broken play to set another Akron run in motion. As Janine Lawler served, the Zips' defense helped force the Bobcats into five consecutive errors, picking up a 16-15 lead.
The score went back and forth after a Montana State timeout when Dimitrijevs threw down a kill to knot the teams at 19 apiece. Akron strung together four more consecutive points, complete with a huge service ace from Chelsea Harvey to go up 23-19. Montana State was quick to answer with four straight points of its own though, and the score evened out again at 23-23.
Coming out of a timeout, the Zips found themselves at set point and one step closer to completing the comeback after a Dimitrijevs kill, but the Bobcats had different plans. MSU found a way to string together the three points it needed to put the match away and win the tournament overall.
Wiederholt, along with Paiton Twitty paced the Akron offense with 12 and 10 kills, respectively, and were named to the All-Tournament Team for their efforts. Harvey ended with 10 kills as well, to go along with a match-high 18 digs to put another double-double in the books. Setter Morgan Kuhn joined Harvey in that club, tallying 35 assists and 10 digs on the night.
Akron (2-4) will stay put for the time being, as it hosts the Zips Invitational next weekend. The Zips will play the first match of a doubleheader on Friday, Sept. 7, against SIU Edwardsville at 1:00 p.m. ET, followed by the nightcap versus Binghamton at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 Akron will play a single match with Youngstown State at 2:00 p.m.
Arkansas 3, Central Michigan 0 Final
Central Michigan 3, UMBC 0 Final
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Central Michigan earned its second sweep of the season Saturday afternoon, taking down UMBC in dominating fashion.
The Chippewas (3-3) were able to earn their first win of the adidas/Michigan Challenge by beating the Retrievers (2-6), 25-19, 25-12 and 25-22.
Double-digit kill efforts by sophomore Kaitlyn McIntyre and freshman Angelique White were key en route to the Chippewas taking down the Retrievers. The two players combined for eights kills in the first set, nine in the second and four in the third.
The Chippewas held a slim one-point advantage in the first set, 18-17, but were able to score seven of the next nine points to take the early one-set lead.
The second set was all CMU, as the Maroon and Gold jumped out to an early 6-2 lead to force UMBC into a timeout. Following the timeout, the UMBC recorded three-straight attacking errors and were forced into their second and final timeout of the set down 9-2. CMU continued to dominate, extending its lead to 12 on a kill by White, 21-9, and closing the match on yet another UMBC attacking error.
A grind-it-out affair ensued for the Maroon and Gold in the third and final set as the Retrievers refused to go down without a fight. UMBC took the lead early, 9-5, and held a 16-15 advantage before senior Val DeWeerd tied the match with a kill. The Retrievers took a one-point lead, 22-21, on an attacking error by McIntyre, but the sophomore redeemed herself on the next point with her 10th and final kill of the night.
The Chippewas were able to seal the match on two attacking errors from the Retrievers and a kill from junior Danielle Gotham.
Junior Kelly Maxwell dished out 31 assists to lead the match, while DeWeerd and freshman Kalle Mulford each racked up three blocks in the match.
CMU's defense continued to display its strong play, limiting UMBC to a .041 hitting percentage. The Chippewas have held their opponents to a combined .074 hitting percentage in their three wins this season.
Match 1: Chippewas Suffers Second-Straight Sweep, falling to Arkansas, 3-0
CMU opened the day by suffering its second-straight sweep, falling to Arkansas in straight sets.
Similar to Friday night's contest versus No. 22 Michigan, the Chippewas battled with the Razorbacks for the first set and despite falling behind early, 9-3, came back to pull within three, 17-14, on a kill by Maxwell.
The Chippewas were unable to get any closer however and the Razorbacks were able to take the first set, 25-21, on a kill by Liz Fortado.
The back and forth play continued between the two squads continued into the second set until the Razorbacks were able to use a big run to pull away. With the match tied, 8-8, Arkansas went on a 7-0 run and eventually pushed its lead to double digits, 24-14, before winning the set, 25-16.
The trend continued in the third match as CMU trailed by just one, 9-8, after a kill from junior Danielle Gotham, but the Razorbacks used another run to build an advantage the Chippewas could not make up. Arkansas scored 10 of the next 13 points to push their lead to 19-11 and closed the match on a setting error by CMU freshman Jordan Timmer to claim a 25-15 victory.
White led the Chippewas with 10 kills in the match versus AU, while Maxwell dished out 18 assists and Coates finished with 11 digs.
Toledo 3, E. Illinois 2 Final
ROCHESTER, MI - Toledo utilized a balanced attack on Saturday afternoon to conclude the Golden Grizzlies Invitational with a 3-2 (25-16, 25-21, 21-25, 24-26, 15-10) triumph over Eastern Illinois. Both teams wrapped up the weekend with 2-4 win-loss marks.
"Even though we didn't come away with two victories today, I thought we made a lot of progress," said Toledo Head Coach Greg Smith whose team dropped a 3-1 decision to Iowa this morning. "We're starting to connect with our outsides as well as blocking the ball lot better. We can definitely build on this as we begin to prepare for next weekend's Rocket Classic."
Four different Rockets registered double-digit kill totals with juniors Jordan Kielty, Lauren Rafdal and Becca Reidy each tallying a team-high 15 terminations. Junior MB Dakota Harkins also was in double figures with 13 in addition to a team-high .409 attack percentage and four blocks.
Harkins' and Rafdal's play this weekend earned the duo a spot on the all-tournament team.
Sophomore MB Brooke Frazer excelled at the net defensively for a second-straight match, contributing seven blocks after tying her career high with eight rejections against the Hawkeyes this morning.
Toledo outhit the Panthers, .211-.157, and also held a slim advantage in digs, 74-72. Freshman Celina Diaz played a key role in that defensive showing with 10 digs after senior libero McCall Paynter was forced to the sideline due to injury following the second set.
"Celina came in off the bench when we needed her to and did a great job," Smith said. "McCall's back was hurting, and it was good to see Celina come in off the bench and contribute. It takes an entire team to win, and that's what we had today."
The Rockets were able to take control of the fifth set with a 5-1 spurt to take an 11-8 advantage forcing EIU to burn both of its timeouts. The closest the Panthers came the rest of the way was three points.
UT returns to action next weekend when it hosts its 11th-annual Rocket Classic on Sept. 7-8. Toledo will host Memphis on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Illinois State and Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday at Noon and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
Western Michigan 3, Bradley 0 Final
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The Western Michigan volleyball team completed play at the Panther Invitational with a convincing victory, as the Broncos defeated the Bradley Braves 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-22) to complete an undefeated weekend at the tournament. With the win, the Broncos extend their win streak to four matches and improve to 4-2 on the season.
In recognition of the Broncos' tournament victory, it was announced after that match that Lena Oliver was named Tournament MVP, while Jessica Brown and Ali Gossen were named to the All-Tournament team. Oliver finished the match against Bradley with a match-high 19 digs, while Brown had 12 kills and hit .476. Gossen recorded nine kills.
The Broncos were in near-complete control of the first two sets, holding the Braves to 16 and 12 points, respectively, in the opening sets. The Broncos took the lead for good in the first set when Brown recorded a kill to give WMU a 4-3 lead, the start of a 6-3 run that was capped when Carlee Berland and Terin Norris recorded blocks on back-to-back plays to make it 10-6. Gossen and Richelle Ranney would combine for a block at 16-8 to give the Broncos what was then their largest lead of the set, a lead they would match when a string of Bradley attack errors gave WMU a 22-14 lead.
The Braves called timeout to stem the Broncos' momentum, but Brown pounded a kill to make it 23-14, and the senior would record the set-winning kill three points later to make it 25-16.
The Broncos were even more dominant in the second set. Gillian Asque would spark an 8-3 run with a kill to open the scoring for the Broncos, and Gossen would cap the run with a back row attack to make it 8-4. The Broncos would hit .412 as a team in the second set as WMU built their lead to double-digit figures. Gossen would notch a kill to make it 21-11 and would cap a 5-0 run for the Broncos at 23-11. Stephenee Yancy would slide right for a kill to set up set point, and the freshman would team with Norris to finish the set with a block.
The Braves would hold their own more in the third set, erasing a 15-10 deficit with a 6-1 run to tie the set at 16-16. Brown would break the stalemate with a kill to make it 17-16, and a pair of Bradley attack errors would put the Broncos back in the driver's seat. Berland would extend the lead to four points with a cross-court kill, and Asque would put the Broncos at match point with a kill of her own. The Braves would pull to within two points, but would notch an attack error to close the match in favor of the Broncos.
Portland State 3, Northern Illinois 0 Final
Pacific 3, Northern Illinois 0 Final
Huskies Swept Twice in California, Take Third Place at Community Bankers Classic
Angelos earns all-tournament nod
Stockton, Calif. – The Northern Illinois volleyball team wrapped up the Community Bankers Classic with a third-place finish after falling 3-0 to both Portland State (2-3) and Pacific (6-0) Saturday at Alex G Spanos Center.
The Huskies (3-4) started out the day with a 25-13, 25-19, 25-11 loss to Portland State. The Vikings posted a 51-29 kills advantage and hit .325, while holding NIU down to a .113 rate. The Viking defense was stout as well with a 65-53 digs advantage and 6-2 blocks edge.
Senior outside hitter Meghan Romo (Valparaiso, Ind./Valaparaiso) led NIU with nine kills, while freshman setter Alexis Gonzalez posted a double-double with 19 assists and 10 digs.
In the night cap and tourney finale, Pacific played similarly to PSU for a 25-15, 25-9, 25-21 win. The Tigers racked up a 39-25 kills and .239 to .017 hitting advantages. They also served up six aces and were not aced at all by NIU. Just like the Vikings, Pacific held a 6-2 blocks advantage.
Romo again led the Huskies with nine kills.
Overall for the tournament, the Huskies took third as host Pacific won the classic, PSU took second and Nevada fourth. In a rare occurrence, the tournament saw 3-0 sweeps in all matches for the first time since 1999 and fourth time in the 34 year history of the event.
With a 2.44 kills per set average, .267 hitting percentage, five blocks, and 25.0 points for the weekend, junior middle blocker Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) earned an all-tournament selection.
NIU is in the midst of a 14-match road trip over a span of just 23 days. Representing 42 percent of the schedule, the excursion continues Tuesday, Sept. 4, in Chicago as the Huskies will face Illinois Chicago at 7 PM CT.