Story by Brad Potts, BGSU Student Reporter
TOLEDO, OHIO -- The No. 4 Northern Illinois Huskies head to the 2010 MAC Volleyball Tournament Championship after defeating the No. 8 Toledo Rockets in four sets (25-22, 19-25, 25-18, 25-23).
In the first set of the semifinal match between Toledo and Northern Illinois, The Huskies were able to take a 5-2 advantage with two early kills by Lauren Wicinski. The MAC Player of the Year then served three straight points to extend their lead to 9-3. A kill by Lauren Rafdal cut the lead to 12-8, but Wicinski followed with a kill of her own on the next point for the Huskies. A kill by Sarah Angelos gave NIU a 20-15 late in the set, as they continued to stay in control. The Rockets then came a live cutting the lead all the lead to 20-19. The Huskies prevailed however as they never lost the lead and won 25-22.
The Rockets got off to a 7-3 lead early on in the second set in an attempt to even to match at 1-1. The Rockets were lead in this set by Amber DeWeerdt's play early, as she tallied couple kills, which then lead her to set the Huskies up with perfectly placed tips over the net. DeWeerdt added yet another kill to extend the Rockets lead to 21-14 as they remained in control. Following a timeout, the Huskies started a comeback with a Wicinski kill, as they scored five consecutive points cutting the lead to 19-21. From there the Rockets were able to regained control, winning the set 25-19.
NIU came out with a fast start in the third set scoring the first four points. Sarah Angelos added two kills during the streak. NIU continued roll as they took their lead to 8-1. Toledo began to cut into the Huskies lead, getting it to 13-15 midway through the set. Allison McGlaughlin added a kill to increase the Huskies lead to 21-16, and they didn't look back from there taking the set 25-18.
NIU again got off to a good start taking an early 4-1 lead on three kills from Wicinski and another by Angelos. Toledo was able to tie the set at sevens and again at 9-9, but was not able to gain the lead either time. The Rockets first lead did come shortly after however, as they took an 11-10 advantage. The Huskies quickly took the lead back, but the set remained close, with NIU on top just 18-17 late in the set. With the scored tied at 20-20, Lauren Wicinski added her 28th kill of the match to give the Huskies the lead. NIU extended their lead to 23-20 before the Rockets made one more attempt at keeping the match going by scoring 3 straight to tie it at 23-23. Megan Romo answered for the Huskies with a kill to put them back in the lead 24-23. After a very long and intense volley back and attack error by Toledo ended the set and the match 25-23.
The Huskies will face the winner of Ohio vs. Miami tomorrow at 3:00 pm in the MAC Volleyball Championship game.