Tuesday's Volleyball Results

Updated 9/1/2010
Tuesday's Volleyball Results
Western Michigan 3, IPFW 0
Kent State 3, Pittsburgh 1
Northern Illinois 3, Bradley 0

Western Michigan 3, IPFW 0
KALAMAZOO -- Junior middle blocker Ashley Turnage tied her season-high with 11 kills and added a season-high four blocks, while freshman outside hitter Ali Gossen set career highs of 10 kills, five digs and two blocks to lead Western Michigan past IPFW, 3-0 (25-13, 25-12, 25-23), in front of 946 fans in the Broncos' home opener at University Arena on Tuesday night.

The Broncos (3-1) needed just 69 minutes to win their second match in a row and vanquish the 2009 Summit League NCAA Tournament representative Mastodons (2-2).

Senior outside hitter Allyson Doyle added nine kills, 16 digs, five assists and five blocks, while setter Sam Viox had 34 assists and 12 digs for her seventh career double-double and first of the season. Freshman libero Lena Oliver led the Broncos with 18 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Jessica Brown tied Doyle for match-high honors with five blocks.

The Broncos had a season-high nine blocks and added 67 digs in just three sets to hold IPFW to .025 attacking. The Broncos stifled IPFW's top hitter Maya Schlindwein to a .-048 attack percentage with only five kills. She was averaging 4.13 kills per set and 16.7 kills per match entering the evening.

The Broncos hit .252 with 43 kills, 19 more than the Mastodons.

"We came away from last weekend with a list of things to work on and the team was very receptive in practice on Monday and took it to heart," head coach Colleen Munson said. "Tonight, we were more comfortable in serve receive and understood our system better. The players felt they were communicating better and it's good to see that on the court and hear that they recognize how much of a difference better communication makes."

The Broncos trailed by two, 5-3, to begin the match, but came back with a block by Gossen and Brown to ignite a 5-0 run and take the lead for good, 8-5, after Gossen and Turnage teamed on a block. IPFW trimmed the margin as close as two, but a blast from freshman outside hitter Gillian Asque put WMU up four, 13-9, and forced IPFW to call timeout. The Mastodons stayed within four, 17-13, but a kill by Doyle and block by Doyle and Turnage forced IPFW into its final timeout, 19-13. That didn't work as Goosen's serving powered the 8-0 run to close the set, 25-13.

WMU hit .414 with 16 kills, six by Turnage and five by Goosen, while holding IPFW to six kills and six errors to hit .000.

Western Michigan never let IPFW breath in the second set by scoring the first four points and eventually building a nine-point cushion, 15-6, after an Asque kill. The Mastodons never seriously threatened and Doyle ended the set for WMU, 25-12, with a kill off an overpass.

WMU's defense continued to baffle IPFW as the Mastodons had only three kills and nine errors to hit -.188. The Broncos hit .357 with 14 kills, including three each by Doyle, Brown and Asque.

The third set proved to be the closest of the match with 16 ties and three lead changes. The Broncos scored three points in a row midway through the set to build the largest lead for either team, 15-12, but it was short-lived. The Mastodons came back and went up two, 21-19, before WMU called timeout. The Broncos responded with kills by fresmen Asque and Gossen to tie the score.

IPFW called timeout and blocked the Broncos to regain the lead, but then missed their next attack. The Mastodons scored again to regain the lead, 23-22, but it was their final point. Viox and Turnage combined on a block to tie the score, followed by kills from Doyle and Turnage to end the match, 25-23.

With several long rallies and strong defense on both sides of the net, WMU had 58 attempts in the third set, after compiling 57 attempts in the first two sets combined. The Broncos still tallied 13 kills and hit .121, while IPFW woke up to hit 16 15 kills and attack at .158 clip. Doyle hit .444 in the set with four kills in nine attempts and added 10 digs.

The Broncos move on to Indianapolis, Ind., this weekend against host IUPUI, Wright State and DePaul in the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.

Kent State 3, Pittsburgh 1
Kent, Ohio - The Kent State volleyball team put on a show in front of a spirited M.A.C. Center crowd and ran its winning streak to three matches with a 3-1 (19-25, 25-13, 25-14, 25-18) victory over Pittsburgh Tuesday (Aug. 31) in its home opener.

"It means a heck of a lot," said fourth-year head coach Glen Conley. "To do this in front of our home crowd early in the season, it can set us up well."

The win gave the Golden Flashes (4-1) their fourth home opening victory under Conley and improved the squad's overall record in home openers to 23-13. KSU captured its second triumph over the Panthers in 13 tries, marking the first time the Flashes downed Pitt since 1997.

Sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) led KSU with 13 kills while junior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.) recorded a double-double with 11 kills and a team-high 13 digs. Senior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) also posted double digits in kills with 11 and leads the team with 50 on the season. Sophomore Zuzana Markova (Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic) handed out a team season-best 42 assists, and senior captain Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) tallied 11 digs to join Larsen in double figures.

The first set was a back-and-forth affair until three attack errors and a service error put away the Flashes.

KSU answered with vigor in the second stanza, rolling to a 12-point win that was punctuated by a service ace from senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.). The Kent State attack was evenly distributed in the set victory as five Flashes totaled two kills apiece.

The Golden Flashes continued to bring the heat in the third set as Paskert, Larsen and Brivule combined for nine kills. KSU hit .455 in the third after posting an attack percentage of .171 in the first.

After two kills by Larsen and one each from Jones and senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) put the Flashes up 23-14 in the fourth set, the Panthers cut the lead down to five with four straight points. Kent State refused to be denied, though, putting Pitt away after a kill by redshirt freshman Jessica Ronyak (Burton, Ohio) and an attack error by Pitt. Brivule and Larsen both totaled four kills while Paskert added three in the clincher.

The Flashes hit the road for another tournament this weekend, opening September with the Bearcat Invitational in Cincinnati. KSU battles host Cincinnati 7:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 3), then takes on Murray State at 10 a.m. and James Madison at 5 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 4).

Northern Illinois 3, Bradley 0
DeKALB, Ill. - Sophomore middle blocker Mary Kurisch paced a well-rounded attack as the undefeated Northern Illinois volleyball team swept Bradley, 3-0, at Victor E. Court Tuesday night. The 25-14, 25-17, 25-15 win improved NIU to 5-0, marking its best start since 1998, as the Huskies wrapped up a perfect five-match home stand to begin the 2010 campaign.

"The best thing about our group is that we are working hard to get better in every opportunity that we get," said ninth-year head coach Ray Gooden, the second all-time wins leader at NIU (134-121). "I was really proud of the group on how we approached this match tonight. I feel like the work that we've been putting in has shown in our results."

Kurisch's standout performance included 14 kills and a career-best seven blocks for a career-high 18 points. She also hit .591, committing just one attack error on 22 swings.

"It's fun to watch Mary continue to develop and improve," Gooden said. "Each match gives her a little bit more experience, and with that, a little more confidence. She's developing into a solid middle blocker and attacker."

Kurisch was not the only Huskie to reach double figures in kills. Freshman Lauren Wicinski registered 12, while hitting .333, and junior Allison McGlaughlin notched 10 and a .316 attack percentage.

Junior setter Kristin Hoffman totaled 36 assists in distributing NIU's 44 kills, compared to Bradley's 21.

A pair of defensive specialists were also factors. Senior Maddie Hughes led the back row with 18 digs, while freshman Justine Schepler served up a season-high four aces.

As a team, the Huskies hit .318, holding the Braves to .077, which is the fourth match this season that the Huskies have held a team under a .150 attack percentage. NIU also had eight aces and no reception errors, marking the third time this season that the Huskies have been perfect in receiving serves.

Northern Illinois set the tone early after Kurisch bounced a ball to give the Huskies a 15-9 advantage in the first set, forcing the Braves to call a timeout. A few moments later, McGlaughlin hammered one down the pipe for a 22-14 lead, and followed it up with an ace. Wicinski then thumped an overpass and teamed with fellow freshman Sarah Angelos on a block to end the set.

The Huskies kept the momentum rolling in the second stanza with a 10-5 lead following an ace from Schepler that forced BU to take a timeout. The break only heated up Schepler, as she aced the Braves three more times in a row, causing another Bradley timeout. The Huskies cruised from there as Wicinski once again helped end a set. The reigning Mid-American Conference West Division Offensive Player of the Week gave NIU its 24th point by bouncing a ball from the left pin and ended it by destroying another overpass.

In the final set, Kurisch capped a 7-1 start with a solo block. Then sophomore Meghan Romo tallied a solo block of her own to put NIU up 12-3, forcing the Braves to call a timeout. Later, Kurisch teamed with Hoffman on another block to put the Huskies up 20-8, and fittingly, Kurisch ended the match with a solo block.

"We had a very positive performance," said Gooden. "I thought we did a lot of things to not only establish tempo, but to control tempo."

With the win, the Huskies improved on several records. NIU is now 12-3 all-time against Bradley and 28-14 against Illinois opponents since Gooden took over in 2002. The Huskies also moved to 81-48 at home under Gooden.

On deck for the Huskies is a weekend trip to Chicago for the UIC Invitational. NIU will face Kennesaw State on Friday at 5 p.m. CT. The Huskies will then play two matches on Saturday, starting with a noon contest against Memphis and ending with a 7 p.m. matchup against host Illinois Chicago.