Wisconsin 3, Northern Illinois 0
DeKALB, Ill. - In front of a jam-packed, raucous standing room only crowd of 954, the Northern Illinois volleyball team had its 11-match winning streak snapped by Wisconsin, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18, on Tuesday night at Victor E. Court. In a tilt between undefeated teams, the Badgers remained so at 10-0, while the Huskies' record took their first blemish of the year, falling to 11-1.
"I would like to personally thank all the supporters tonight that created an incredible environment," said Gooden of the first sellout in Victor E. Court's nine-year history. "It was one of the best experiences that I've been a part of in this gym."
The best start in school history, and longest winning streak since 2001, came to a close at the hands of the man who once owned the mark -- former Huskie head coach (1988-98) and current Badger head coach Pete Waite, who has the most wins in NIU history (266-102) and led the Huskies to six conference championships and four NCAA Tournaments. In his first trip back to DeKalb, Waite's Badgers stifled the Huskies all night long, holding edges in kills (43-34), hitting percentage (.326-.158), aces (6-1), digs (37-33), and blocks (7-6).
"A big credit to Pete's team and their ability to make it difficult for us to score points tonight," said Gooden, who ranks second (140-122) behind Waite on the NIU all-time in wins list. "For every one point we scored, they were able to score two. This was the first time that we have really experienced that all season."
Freshman outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) led the Huskies with 15 kills and a .294 hitting percentage, while junior setter Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) picked up 31 assists and five digs.
With just four lead changes all night, the Huskies played from behind and struggled to keep up with Wisconsin. In the first set, NIU held a 2-1 lead after a bad set by the Badgers, but that was quickly turned around into a 7-4 Badger lead after three Huskie errors helped give Wisconsin momentum. The Huskies closed within one point two times in the middle of the set, but the Badgers had an answer both times.
NIU also took a 2-1 lead in the second set after a Wicinski kill. However, the Badgers once again responded promptly to take a 7-4 lead after an ace, and the Huskies would not get closer than two points for the rest of the set.
In the final stanza, NIU scored the first three points on kills by Wicinski and Kurisch and a Wisconsin error. But the advantage was short lived as the Badgers went on a 10-3 run to force NIU into a timeout. Later, down 19-12, the Huskies called another timeout that led to a 5-2 run. NIU received kills two kills from junior outside hitter Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton), who also teamed with freshman middle blocker Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) for two blocks during the run. An ace from sophomore defensive specialist Sue Hayes (Evergreen Park, Ill./Mother McAuley) pulled NIU within four points, 21-17, and forced Wisconsin to take a timeout. Out of the break in action, Hayes missed on a serve and the Badgers took back momentum to end the match.
"It's a tremendous learning experience for our group," said Gooden, who now owns an 81-49 record at Victor E. Court. "To prepare us for conference, we need to learn to play volleyball at a level similar to the Wisconsins and College of Charlestons of our schedule. The result was not what we were looking for, but it will help us grow."
The Huskies continue their season-long, seven-match home stand this weekend with a 1 p.m. CT contest against Youngstown State on Saturday and 3 p.m. tilt with Iowa on Sunday.
Ball State 3, IPFW 2
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - - The Ball State (8-1) women's volleyball team used a solid team effort to score a thrilling 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-12) victory at IPFW's (5-6) Hilliard Gates Sports Center Tuesday evening in Fort Wayne.
"It was a hard-fought battle, a real grind the whole way through," said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. "I told the girls before we started, this match was going to come down to who wanted it the most. We really wanted this match badly, and IPFW made us work all the way until the end. It is a huge win for us. IPFW is a very good team and I am happy we were able to pull this through heading into a tough tournament at North Carolina this weekend."
In the victory, junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl (Lakeview, Minn./Lakeview North H.S.) paced all players with a career-high tying 20 kills, while adding a .351 (20-7-37) attack percentage.
Also turning in a career-night for the Cardinals was freshman outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North H.S.) who finished the night with her second double-double of the year, logging career-highs of 18 kills and 14 digs.
Fellow freshman outside hitter Whitney Heeres (Flushing, Mich./Flushing Senior H.S.) added 12 kills in the match to go along with a career-best three solo blocks.
In the back row, freshman defensive specialist Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls H.S.) notched a career-best 27 digs, while senior libero Alyssa Rio (Wayne, Ill./St. Francis H.S.) added 26 digs.
Muncie Central graduate Tessa McGill finished the night with an IPFW single-match record 47 digs, breaking the previous school record of 43 set by Jamie Schwartz in a five-set match versus Oakland (Oct. 2, 2009) late in the fourth set.
Maya Steenhuysen led the Mastodons with 16 kills, while Stephanie Lamberti added nine kills and 24 digs to fall just shy of a double-double.
In all, there were 209 total digs in the contest, with IPFW edging out Ball State 108 to 101. The BSU defense was able to limit the Mastodons to a .115 (50-28-191) rate of success on offense, while posting a .164 (67-32-214) mark of their own.
Despite two kills and an ace from Brandl, the Cardinals were forced to call an early timeout in the opening set after four straight Mastodon points broke a 6-6 tie and gave the hosts a 10-6 edge. After BSU's Baker and IPFW's Haley Emenhiser traded kills on the next four rallies, a pair of IPFW errors followed by a kill and solo block from Heeres, tied the score at 12.
From there, the teams played to a 21-21 stalemate, with neither leading by more than one point during the stretch. Another Heeres kill broke the tie, while two IPFW attack errors, surrounding a Mastodons' timeout, gave the Cardinals set point. Heeres followed with her second solo block of the set, giving Ball State the 25-21 opening-frame victory.
Three kills from Brandl and a pair each from Baker and Heeres helped Ball State establish a 10-8 lead in the second game, only to see the Mastodons post four-straight points after a timeout to take a 12-10 advantage. Ball State tied the score two points later and battled IPFW to an 18-18 tie.
A solo block from the Mastodons' Ali Hook and a BSU attack error gave the hosts a two-point edge at 20-18 and led to a Ball State break. A kill from IPFW's Stephanie Lamberti upped the lead to three at 21-18. Kills from Boyd and Heeres forced an IPFW timeout two points later, but the teams traded the final seven points allowing the Mastodons to escape with a 25-23 second-set victory. Ball State's final three points of the frame came off the arm of Brandl.
The Cardinals found themselves in an early 5-2 hole in the third frame, and continued to trail by three at 8-5. However, a kill from Jennifer Boyd (Evans City, Pa./Seneca Valley H.S.) and three Ball State blocks - including solo stuffs from Brandl and freshman setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East H.S.) - helped the Cardinals rally back and take a 12-9 lead.
A kill from Seidel several rallies later helped the visitors from Muncie extend the advantage to four points at 15-11. This time it was IPFW's turn to rally, as they posted the next four points tying the set at 15. A Charde' Phillips (Elyria, Ohio/Elyria H.S.) kill shifted the momentum back to the Cardinals, as they rattled off seven of the next eight points to take control of the game at 22-16. BSU went on to win the set 25-20 on a Mastodons' attack error.
IPFW scored the first four points of the fourth set, causing an early Ball State timeout. The Cardinals were forced to use their second timeout several rallies later, after IPFW took a 12-7 lead. Ball State came out of the break on fire, however, as two kills from Baker helped Ball State pull within one at 12-11.
Heeres' third solo block of the night would tie the set at 12 on the next rally, but the hosts went on to score 10 of the next 13 points (22-15) and reach set point at 24-18. The Cardinals scored three straight to cut the advantage to 24-21 and force an IPFW timeout. During the 24-21 rally, the Mastodons' McGill collected her 44th dig of the night to become the program's single-match digs leader, breaking the previous record of 43 set by Jamie Schwartz in a five-set match versus Oakland Oct. 2, 2009.
Ball State's Baker brought the Cardinals one point closer after the timeout with a service ace, but a kill from IPFW's Lamberti ended the game at 25-22 and force a deciding fifth frame.
A block assist from Seidel and Brandl followed by a Heeres kill gave the Cardinals a brief 2-0 lead in the fifth set. IPFW battle back to tie the set at three, and the score remained tied at 5-5. However, kills from Phillips and Seidel sparked a 5-1 run from the guests, leading to an IPFW timeout at 10-6.
The Mastodons scored the next two points, before being forced to use their second timeout trailing 12-9 after a Brandl smash to the hardwood. The hosts scored the next two points, leading to Ball State's first timeout at 12-11. Brandl broke IPFW's momentum with a soft kill off the block at 13-11, while Phillips provided the match-winner at 15-12.
The Ball State women's volleyball team returns to action Friday, when it travels to Chapel Hill, N.C. for the Tar Heel Classic hosted by North Carolina. The Cardinals open the tournament with a 7:30 p.m. showdown with the host Tar Heels.
Wright State 3, Bowling Green 1
Bowling Green, Ohio - Bowling Green and Wright State battled through four sets of volleyball Tuesday night in Anderson Arena and the Raiders edged out a victory over a youthful Falcon squad 25-17, 22-25, 32-30, 25-21. It was the first time in 10 matches this year that Bowling Green played more than three sets.
After dropping the opening set 25-17, Bowling Green battled back behind a strong second set from Paige Penrod and Kari Galen. Penrod had seven kills and Galen had a pair of kills and three blocks in the stanza.
The second set was tied at 21-21 when Penrod and Galen had back-to-back kills to make it 23-21. After a Wright State timeout, Galen and Laura Avila combined on a block to make it 24-21 before a ball handling error brought the Raiders back to within two. Wright State then had an attack error that gave the Falcons a 25-22 win to even the match.
With the match tied again, the third set became pivotal. Wright State jumped out to an 8-3 lead but Bowling Green went on a 12-3 run, sparked by a pair of Ashley Dunn aces, to give the Falcons a 15-11 lead. The Raiders edged back into the set and eventually tied it at 23-23. Noelle Spitler followed with a kill to give Bowling Green a set point opportunity but the frame teetered back-and-forth. The Falcons had three more chances to serve for the set but could not put it away. Lindsey Butterfield's kill tied the score at 30-30 but Wright State came back with a pair of kills to get the win.
After that tough loss, Bowling Green could have wilted but the Falcons continued to battle in the fourth. It was close throughout and the Falcons took a 19-18 lead on a ball handling error. Following a Wright State timeout, the Raiders picked up a kill, followed by an attack error and three straight blocks that put the match on ice.
Penrod and Galen each ended with career nights. Penrod had a career best 17 kills and added 10 digs. Galen had career highs with 10 kills and six blocks. Bowling Green had seven more kills and 11 more digs than Wright State for the match but the Falcons had 15 more attack errors and were outblocked 14.0-7.0.
Wright State improves to 5-6 with the win and Bowling Green falls to 2-8. The Falcons will play at the University of Pittsburgh Invitational Tournament Friday and Saturday for four matches.
Kent State 3, Youngstown State 1
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- The Kent State volleyball team rallied for a 3-1 (18-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-19) victory at Youngstown State in a non-conference match Tuesday (Sept. 14) at the Beeghly Center.
A trio of Flashes (6-6) hit double figures in kills to pace the offensive effort. Junior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.) led the way with 15 kills while junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) and sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) chipped in 14 and 10, respectively. Senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) set a new career match high with 43 set assists and achieved a double-double with 16 digs. Brivule also earned a double-double with 11 digs, and senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) led the team with 17 digs.
YSU was in control throughout the first set, turning a 6-all tie into a 12-8 advantage and forcing Kent State to take a timeout. The Flashes pulled to within three points at 16-13 with a kill by Paskert. That's as close as KSU got, though, as the Penguins wrapped the set up on a 9-3 run.
Kent State answered with a nine-point win in the second set to even the match. The Flashes opened the scoring with a kill by senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) followed by a service ace by Jones and never relinquished the lead. The Penguins cut the KSU advantage to 9-7, but the Golden Flashes put together a 5-2 run that was highlighted by kills by Sabo, Paskert and Larsen. A service error by Kent State, back-to-back kills and a KSU attack error allowed the Penguins to pull to within two at 15-13. KSU did not back down, though, stringing together two kills by Sabo and one by Larsen and taking advantage of three straight errors by Youngstown State to go up 21-14. KSU finished YSU off by capitalizing on two errors by the Penguins and receiving two kills by Brivule.
The Penguins made the Flashes fight for the win in the third set, but Kent State grabbed the match advantage away with a come-from-behind triumph. In a set that featured five lead changes and 14 ties, it was Kent State that found a way to outlast Youngstown State. With the score tied at 15-all, YSU rattled off a 6-1 run thanks to two kills, a service ace and two attack errors by Kent State. The Flashes took a timeout to regroup and came out of the huddle swinging. Two kills by Larsen, one by Paskert and a YSU attack error evened the score at 22-all. Youngstown State committed a ball handling error and an attack error to put the Flashes on the brink of the set win. The Penguins pulled to within one with a kill but followed it up with a service error to complete KSU's comeback.
The fourth set began with KSU holding an 11-9 edge. The Penguins tied things up with a kill and a Kent State attack error, then forced the Flashes to call timeout after taking a 14-12 advantage courtesy of a kill and a service ace. KSU countered with a kill by redshirt freshman Jessica Ronyak (Burton, Ohio) and another by Larsen, then regained the lead for good with three straight attack errors and back-to-back kills by Larsen. Kent State sealed the deal with a 12-5 scoring run to clinch the match.
The Flashes wrap up non-conference action this weekend (Sept. 17-18) by playing host to the third annual Kent State/Mizuno Open at the M.A.C. Center.