UIC def. Northern Illinois, 3-1
Xavier def. Miami, 3-2
Central Michigan def. Oakland, 3-1
UIC def. Northern Illinois, 3-1
CHICAGO – With both teams coming off tough weekends, the Northern Illinois volleyball team was edged by Illinois Chicago in four sets at Flames Athletic Center Tuesday night. The Flames (3-4) were able to take advantage of a 34-22 hitting error edge over NIU (3-5) for a 26-24, 25-13, 20-25, 25-20 win.
“Any time we place somebody from The City or a local school, it’s always a big rivalry,” said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. “A lot of the players know each other. Both teams came out with a determination to get back on track. They had home court and played some pretty good volleyball – kept us on our heels.”
Had the first set been different, the outcome could have changed as the Huskies had set point, 24-23, following a solo block by senior middle Mary Kurisch (La Crosse, Wis./West Salem). However, an attack error by sophomore middle Emily Paschke (Winfield, Ill./West Chicago Community) tied the score on the next rally. Then, UIC’s Kelsey Safranek took over with back-to-back kills to win the set.
Seizing the momentum, the Flames jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the second set and cruised for a 2-0 lead at the break.
NIU regrouped in the third, though. After an attack error by senior outside hitter Meghan Romo (Valpariaso, Ind./Valparaiso), the veteran fired right back with two kills, sandwiched between a UIC kill, to put the Huskies up 23-20. Then a combo-block by Kurisch and senior middle Sam Grams (Forest Park, Ill./Fenwick) and a Flames attack error forced the fourth set.
Up 17-16 after two straight Romo aces, the Huskies looked poised to force a fifth set. But a long attack error by junior outside hitter Tori Halbur (Omaha, Neb./Millard West) and two Safranek aces gave UIC a 19-17 lead. A Huskie timeout did nothing to stop the Flames as Molly McCoy scored out of the break to help UIC end the match on an 8-3 run.
“We fought back a bit towards the end but it was a bit too late,” Gooden said. “We have to keep working on fighting. We are going to do it and get better at it – it’s just a little painful right now. We are going to get better at this and make a turn here hopefully before next week.”
Romo led the way for NIU with career highs in kills (20) and aces (3), Sophomore outside hitter MacKenzie Roddy (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) also reached double figures in kills with 12. Freshman setter Alexis Gonzalez (Fresno, Calif./Bullard) dished out 40 assists, while adding seven digs and three blocks.
In the back row, senior libero Amber Walker (Juneau, Alaska/Juneau Douglas/Western Oregon) notched a season- and game-high 27 digs. Junior defensive specialst Justine Schepler (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) tallied double figure digs as well with 10.
Entering the match, the Huskies led the all-time series over UIC 40-25 and had won seven of the last eight matches since 2003. Prior to this evening, the last Flames win over NIU came in Chicago on Sept. 11, 2007, in three sets.
The Huskies are in the middle of a 14-match road trip over a span of only 23 days. Accounting for 42 percent of the schedule, the journey resumes this weekend in Springfield, Mo., at the Missouri State Invitational. NIU will face Nebraska-Omaha at 10 AM CT and New Orleans at 5 PM Friday. The Huskies will close the event against Connecticut at 2:30 PM and Missouri State at 7:30 PM Saturday.
Xavier def. Miami, 3-2
The Miami University Women’s Volleyball team kicked off the home portion of its schedule Tuesday night at Millett Hall with a tough five-set loss to the Xavier Musketeers (30-28, 22-25, 25-21, 19-25, 11-15). The RedHawks fall to 1-6 on the season, while the Musketeers improve to 5-3 overall.
Notable performances for the RedHawks included a career-high 32 digs from Madison Hardy and an impressive showing by Meg Riley who recorded her fourth triple-double of the season with 14 kills, 25 assists and 13 digs.
Xavier jumped out to a 5-1 lead to start the match. The RedHawks won a long rally to tie the set for the first time at 10 points total. From there the two teams traded points before Miami gained their first lead of the night on a Musketeer error that made the score 12-11. Over the next several points Miami had three kills from Lisa Treadway including one that gave the Red and White a 20-18 lead. Tied at 25 apiece, the match continued to go back and forth without either squad gaining the two-point lead needed to win the set. Finally, Treadway came through with a kill to give the RedHawks their 30th point and put the Musketeers away in the lengthy first set.
Although Miami gained the momentum after their hard fought first set, the RedHawks trailed early (4-11) in the second set. Miami answered with five consecutive points featuring kills from Kayleigh Cox and Riley, bringing the score to 9-11. Miami received kills from Madison Dodd and Christina Menche over the next several points before Sarah Chaney and Cox teamed up for a pivotal block to bring the score to 17-19. From there, the Muskies took a 23-19 lead. Miami answered with two kills from Riley and one from Dodd, bringing the RedHawks within two points before Xavier won the next serve to clinch the second set.
The night’s third set began with another early Xavier lead (5-2). From there, the RedHawks had runs of 7-2 and 4-0, pulling them ahead to a 20-18 lead. Up to that point, Miami had received five kills from Cox and two from Riley in the second set. Dodd finished out the third set with consecutive kills to give the RedHawks a fairly smooth 25-21 third set victory.
Miami did not let the Musketeers take the lead at the start in the fourth set as the Red and White went up 8-3. Xavier then went on a 5-0 run which Miami immediately answered with a 4-0 run, bringing the score to 12-8. The teams bounced back and forth before arriving at a 17-17 tie. However, Xavier then went on a dominating 8-2 run to capture the fourth set. At that point in the match, Meg Riley had already secured her triple-double with 12 kills, 24 assists and 12 digs through the fourth set.
Once again, early deficits were the story of the night for Miami as they fell behind in the fifth set by scores of 3-9 and 6-12. They came back slightly after that with a 4-0 run featuring kills from Dodd and Annie Reiswig. The rally did not hold however as the Red and White fell by a score of 11-15 in the fifth and final set.
Dodd led the RedHawks with 15 kills on a .367 hitting percentage. Amy Kendall had a double-double with 21 assists and 10 digs. Chaney had a career-high 11 digs.
Miami continues its home stand this weekend with the start of the Miami Best Western/Sycamore Inn Invitational Friday night at 7 pm against Indiana State. The tournament continues Saturday when Miami faces off against Chicago State at 10:30 am and Temple at 7 pm.
Central Michigan def. Oakland, 3-1
MOUNT PLEASANT - Four players recorded double-digit kills and Central Michigan finished with a season-high .364 hitting percentage to defeat Oakland, 3-1, in Tuesday night's home opener inside McGuirk Arena.
Sophomore Kaitlyn McIntyre led the way with 18 kills, while senior Lindsey Dulude finished the night with 14 and freshman Angelique White and senior Val DeWeerd had 10 kills apiece.
The Chippewas (4-3) came out swinging in the first set, going on a 5-0 run, capped on a kill by White, to grab a 10-5 lead. After the Grizzlies battled back to tie the match, 18-18, junior libero Jenna Coates served seven-straight points to give CMU a 25-18 victory.
McIntyre, who recorded seven kills in the first set alone, recorded back-to-back kills to secure the first set victory.
Another big run by the Chippewas was key in set two, as a kill by junior Kelly Maxwell put the home team in front, 20-16, and prompted Oakland to take a timeout. The Grizzlies attempted a comeback, but after a service ace by Ciara Schultz brought them within a point, 24-23, Dulude slammed home a kill on an assist from Maxwell to give CMU a 25-23 second-set victory.
Looking for their second-straight sweep, the Chippewas were unable to finish the job in set three as they gave away a lead and ultimately the set. With Coates serving for match point, the Grizzlies were able to keep the match alive on a kill by Meghan Bray and an attacking error by CMU senior Jocelyn VerVelde. The two teams continued to battle, exchanging the lead six times before four hits by the Chippewas on set point ultimately gave OU a 32-30 victory.
The Chippewas dominated the final set of the match to put the Grizzlies away, converting 12-of-13 sideouts and finishing the final set with a hitting percentage of .500. Just as impressively, the CMU defense held OU to a .000 hitting percentage in the final set to secure 25-12 victory and give the Chippewas their fourth win of the season.
Coates and senior Samantha Brawley led the defense with 14 and 12 digs, respectively, while Maxwell dished out 49 assists as the leader of a spectacular offensive attack.
The Chippewas continue tournament play this weekend when they travel to Raleigh, N.C., for matches against Campbell, Western Carolina and host N.C. State.