Northern Illinois def. Missouri State, 3-2
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Despite being down 2-1 in the match, the Northern Illinois volleyball team gutted out a five-set win over Missouri State Saturday night at Hammons Student Center to complete a perfect 4-0 weekend and claim MSU’s Dr. Mary Jo Wynn/DoubleTree Hotel Invitational. The 25-16, 20-25, 17-25, 25-19, 15-13 win moves the Huskies to 7-5 on the season, while the Bears fall to 5-6.
“It was one heck of a match,” said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. “It was two teams really battling with great rallies and really good team play. The best thing I can take from this weekend is that every time after every match the comments people said to me about how hard we play and how well we play together. It just shows the work we put in, little by little, is paying off. It’s nice to have a really positive weekend.”
Feeling the momentum of three wins in barely over 24 hours, the Huskies cruised to a first set win behind a 15-11 kills, .256-.095 and 5-1 blocking edges. But the match was far from that easy.
In the second set, the teams were tied at 17 before the Bears erupted for an 8-3 run to close it out and tie the match at the break. Then, MSU rode the momentum to an easy win in the third set to put NIU on its heels.
NIU was up to the task, however. With the score tied at 12 in the fourth set, an MSU attack error and kill from senior outside hitter Meghan Romo (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) kick started a 13-7 run that forced the decisive fifth set.
A back and forth fifth had the match hinging on a 13-13 tie late in the frame. And that’s when sophomore outside hitter MacKenzie Roddy (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) took over, scoring back-to-back kills to win it for NIU.
The most significant factor for NIU in the match was a 15-7 blocking advantage. Senior middle blocker Mary Kurisch (La Crosse, Wis./West Salem) led the way with nine, giving her 19 on the day after she had 10 in a win over UCONN in the afternoon. Fellow senior middle Sam Grams (Forest Park, Ill./Fenwick) erupted for a career-high eight. The big Huskie block also helped force 34 MSU attack errors – NIU had only 22.
“It has been a focus of our team this year,” Gooden said of the blocking. “It’s nice to see us go out there and put solid practice into work during the game. It’s fun to see a lot of folks make contributions, especially Sam Grams tonight.”
Romo and junior middle Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) paced the offense with 15 kills each, while Roddy had 12 and Kurisch added 10. Freshman setter Alexis Gonzalez (Fresno, Calif./Bullard) racked up 46 assists and 13 digs.
In the back row, senior libero Amber Walker (Juneau, Alaska/Juneau Douglas/Western Oregon) tallied a career-high 33 digs and add three aces to boot. Senior defensive specialist Sue Hayes (Evergreen Park, Ill./Mother McAuley) also reached double figures with 10 digs.
For the tournament, three Huskies were named to the All-Invite Team – Angelos, Walker and Romo. Angelos took home MVP after hitting .413 with a 3.00 kills per set average and 12 blocks. Walker netted 5.07 digs per set and had six aces on the weekend. Romo had a team-high 4.07 kills per set average, 27 digs and 11 blocks.
“Sarah and all the girls on our team try to continue to understand their roles and execute it to the best of their ability,” Gooden said. “She’s done a really good job of working on things and putting time in at practice. She’s doing well both offensively and defensively. She’s working well with our setter Pookie (Alexis Gonzalez) and putting herself in position to score on the block.”
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 expedition continues at Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7 PM CT as the Huskies face No. 25 Northern Iowa.
Utah def. Bowling Green, 3-2
Provo, Utah – Paige Penrod had a career-high 30 kills but Utah battled from behind to win the final two sets and defeat the Bowling Green State University volleyball team Saturday night 29-27, 26-28, 21-25, 25-22, 15-11.
Penrod became the first Falcon to post 30 kills in a match since Caty Rommeck had 30 against Maryland on Sept. 1, 2001. Bowling Green’s school record for kills is 35 by Jo Lynn Williamson in 1987.
“Paige had the match of her career,” BGSU head coach Danijela Tomic said. “The numbers she put up in this match were very impressive. We've always believed that she could play at such a high level and it's great to see her playing up to her potential.”
Both teams had multiple opportunities throughout the match, beginning in the first set when the Falcons built a 22-17 lead. Utah stormed back but the Falcons led 24-22 when the Utes scored three in a row for a 25-24 lead. A Leah Shaw kill tied it and a Penrod kill later in the frame tied it again at 27-27. But Utah got a kill and a service ace to pull out the 29-27 win.
The second set was close throughout but with the score tied at 26-26, Penrod had a kill and Kaitlyn Skinner followed with the set-clinching kill for the 28-26 win.
The first half of the third set was nip-and-tuck but the Falcons pulled away with a 6-1 run to take a 19-13 lead. Bowling Green cruised to the 25-21 lead to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set was tied at 18-18 and Utah led by just a 21-20 score but the Utes finished off the set to force a fifth.
In the first fifth-set of the year for the Falcons, Bowling Green got off to a slow start, falling behind 10-2. The team used a 7-2 run to claw back to within three points but Utah had just enough to hold off the charge.
Bowling Green dominated in digs, posting 18 more than Utah but the Utes answered with defense at the net, picking up 18.5 blocks. The Falcons also had 17 more kills than Utah but had 19 more attack errors.
Penrod’s 19 digs led the way, while Libby Dachenhaus and Ashley Dunn had 18 each, and Cassie Berning added a career-best 17. Lindsey Butterfield had a career-best 17 kills, while Danielle Tonyan added 15, Shaw 11, and Skinner nine.
“This was a tough loss because we played so well in so many areas,” Tomic said. “This was one of the best offensive performances that we've had so far this year. Unfortunately, we also had the worst blocking performance this season and that was a deciding factor in the game. Our team played so hard and never gave up. The matches that we had yesterday and today build team character and expedite individual and team growth. At this point in time in our program development, those lessons are more valuable than W’s on our record.”
Utah improved to 7-4 with the win, while BGSU falls to 2-6. The Falcons will compete next in the Purdue Active Ankle Challenge Friday and Saturday, facing Alabama Birmingham Friday at noon and Jacksonville State Friday at 5 p.m. BGSU will then play host Purdue Saturday at 7 p.m.
Miami def. Temple, 3-1
OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University volleyball team captured the Miami Best Western/Sycamore Inn Invitational for the second consecutive season with a 3-1 (27-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18) victory over Temple Saturday evening. The RedHawks have now won six straight matches at their home tournament. Miami improves to 4-6 on the season, while the Owls fall to 6-4.
Sarah Chaney came up big defensively all weekend, especially against Temple where she assisted on five blocks. For her efforts, she was named the Tournament MVP. Joining her on the All-Tournament Team from Miami was Meg Riley, who recorded another double-double with 20 kills, 22 assists and 10 digs, and Madison Hardy, who led the team with 21 digs against the Owls.
Chaney got things started in set one by opening the match with a kill. It went back-and-forth for several points, until the score was tied at nine. Kills from Chaney and Annie Reiswig would help Miami go in front, 12-9, but Temple quickly tied it back up. The Owls would eventually go in front, 18-15. Three kills from Riley were part of a 5-2 run by the ‘Hawks to tie the match at 20. Tied at 23, a service error by Miami would give Temple set point. A kill from Riley off Amy Kendall’s assist would fight it off. After an Owl kill, a block from Kayleigh Cox and Madison Dodd would tie the score at 25. From there an attack error by Temple and a kill from Riley gave the RedHawks a come-from-behind, 27-25, win.
Set two didn’t look like it was going to go Miami’s way as the ‘Hawks fell behind, 10-16. Chelsea Visk would put down a couple of kills, but Temple was able to maintain the six-point advantage until it led 22-16. From there, the RedHawks would make a spirited run. Kills from Riley and Chaney helped Miami pull within two at 20-22. The Owls scored the next two points to create set point at 24-20. The RedHawks fought it off three times with two kills from Christina Menche and a Temple attack error, but the Owls finally put down the final kill to earn a 25-23 win.
Tied at 13 in an extremely competitive set three, a 6-2 run would give Temple a 19-15 lead. A service error and a kill from Riley would pull the RedHawks to within two. After an Owl kill, two kills from Riley and one from Dodd, followed by a setting error would put Miami in front, 21-20. The teams traded side outs for the next four points to make it 23-22. From there, Menche would put down a kill and Dodd would record a service ace to give the RedHawks a 25-22 win.
Tied at 11 in set four, Lisa Treadway and Riley put down two kills apiece to help the ‘Hawks gain a 16-12 advantage. In front 18-14, Riley recorded a service ace. That seemed to move the momentum in Miami’s favor as Menche scored a pair of kills, while Chaney and Treadway had one apiece to put the Red and White up, 23-16. Temple recorded the next two points, but Chelsea Visk would finish the match with back-to-back kills to give Miami a 25-18 victory.
Riley hit .471 in recording her fifth triple-double of the season. Menche had 13 kills and zero errors on 26 attempts for a .500 hitting percentage. She also had one solo block and assisted on six others. Dodd had a career-high 16 digs, while Kendall led Miami with 27 assists. The RedHawks recorded 14 blocks as a team, compared to Temple’s six.
Miami returns to action next weekend when it travels to Bloomington, Ind. for the Hoosier Classic. The RedHawks take on Chattanooga on Friday, Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 16, they will face Valparaiso at 10 a.m. and host Indiana at 7 p.m.
Central Michigan def. Western Carolina, 3-1
NC State def. Central Michigan. 3-1
RALEIGH, N.C. - Sophomore Kaitlyn McIntyre recorded 33 kills and junior Jenna Coates dug 44 attacks in two matches as the Chippewas went 1-1 at the Courtyard Midtown Invitational Saturday.
The Chippewas (6-4) opened the day with a 3-1 victory over Western Carolina (2-7) after dropping the first set, butfell, 3-1, to host N.C. State (8-1) later in the evening after taking the first set.
McIntyre and junior Danielle Gotham were named to the all-tournament team for their outstanding performances throughout the weekend. McIntyre recorded 40 kills in total, while Gotham made 29 kills and nine blocks.
The Chippewas finished the weekend tournament, the last of the season, with a 2-1 record overall.
Central Michigan returns to Mount Pleasant to host IPFW Saturday, Sep. 15, at 7 p.m. at McGuirk Arena.
Chippewas Take First Set Against NC State, But Fall 3-1
Central Michigan claimed the first set, 25-20, on a 6-1 closing run, but fell in three successive sets to host N.C,State. Three points or fewer decided the final three sets.
McIntyre, senior Lindsey Dulude and Gotham each recorded double-digit kills - 17, 14 and 12, respectively - and junior Kelly Maxwell assisted on 55 points. Coates led the defensive effort with 25 digs, while freshman Angelique White recorded three solo blocks and two block assists.
Neither side led the closely contested first set by more than four points until the very end. After the Wolfpack scored three consecutive points to even the score, 19-19, and force a CMU timeout, the Chippewas responded with a 6-1 run to close out the set. The Maroon and Gold got a kill from senior Val DeWeerd directly following the timeout, and Dulude and McIntyre recorded back-to-back kills to give the Chippewas a 24-20 set point advantage. The Pack committed an attack error to seal the set, 25-20.
The Chippewas kept the momentum into the second set with an opening 6-0 run, capped by McIntyre’s second kill of the run. N.C. State responded with a run of its own to take a 14-9 lead. The Pack widened the gap to 20-11, but the Chippewas answered back with 10 of the following 12 points to pull within two, 23-21. During that stretch Gotham recorded three kills, and McIntyre two The two side traded points before the Pack earned the set victory, 25-22 on a CMU service error.
The third set started and finished much like the second, but the Chippewas kept the score closer throughout the middle of the set. CMU opened with a 4-1 lead, but the Pack ultimately overcame the Chippewas to again set up a 24-22 set point score in favor of N.C. State. The Pack won the final point, again on a CMU error, this time of the attacking variety, to take a 25-22 set victory.
McIntyre and Dulude each finished the set with five kills apiece.
The Chippewas took a 4-1 lead at thebeginning of the fourth set, and eventually extended the advantage to 15-9 midway through the set on a kill by McIntyre. The Pack fought back to tie the set, 21-21. The two sides traded points back and forth, with the Chippewas earning a set point opportunity at 25-24 on two consecutive kills by Dulude. N.C. State tied it at 25-25, but a Wolfpack service error again gave CMU a chance at set point, 26-25. Again the Pack tied the set, and again the Chippewas earned athird set-point opportunity on a kill by White, 27-26. The Pack scored the final three points to take the set and the match, 29-27
Chippewas Earn 3-1 Victory Over Western Carolina
Central Michigan dropped its first set against Western Carolina, but took the following three to claim a 3-1 victory over Catamounts.
The Chippewas limited Western Carolina to no more than a .056 hitting percentage in the final three sets, including a -.136 mark in the third set. In the third set, the Maroon and Gold allowed the Catamounts, who committed more errors than kills, 7-4, just eight points.
Four Chippewas recorded double-digitkills, led by McIntyre with 16. DeWeerd slammed home 13, while Gotham and Dulude each recorded 11. Maxwell finished with 46 assists.
Defensively, four players dug 10 or more attacks, led by Coates with 19. Dulude recorded 18, while McIntyre and senior Samantha Brawley each had 11. White made four block assists, while Maxwell, Dulude and sophomore Hallie Enderle recorded three block assists.
Neither side took more than a three point lead throughout the first set. The Chippewas fought off a 23-24 set point deficit with a Dulude kill, but the catamounts took the final two points for a 26-24 set victory.
The Catamounts took their momentum into the second set, jumping out to a 7-1 lead. Western Carolina led for most of the early portion of the set until the Chippewas rallied back with 19 of 23 points to take a 24-16 set point advantage. Gotham and DeWeerd each recorded threekills during that stretch. WCU claimed three straight points to pull within 5, but an attack error by the Catamounts ended the set, 25-19.
Central Michigan jumped out to a 6-1lead in the third set and never looked back. McIntyre slammed home six kills and the Catamounts committed 12 errors, including one to close the set, 25-8. The Chippewas recorded a .409 hitting percentage, and only committed attacking errors in the set.
The Maroon and Gold jumped out to a 19-10 lead in the fourth set, and the Catamounts never got closer than 20-16 for the remainder of the set, which CMU claimed, 25-18, to earn a match victory. Gotham recorded four kills in the set, while DeWeerd and Dulude made three apiece.
Toledo def. FGU, 3-1
TOLEDO, OH - Junior RSH Becca Reidy tallied a season-high 16 kills and registered a team-high four blocks on Saturday night to lead Toledo (4-5) to a 3-1 (26-24, 19-25, 25-10, 26-24) triumph over Florida Gulf Coast (4-6) in its final match of the Rocket Classic.
Reidy was joined in double figures by senior OH Sondra Parys (13) and junior OH Lauren Rafdal (11). Junior S Adria Pryor quarterback the Rocket attack with 51 assists to go along with 10 digs for her third double-double of the season.
Senior libero McCall Paynter led UT defensively with a season-high tying 20 digs to earn a spot on the all-tournament team along with Parys.
Sophomore OH Jill Hopper registered a double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs to lead the Eagles.
UT posted a .229 team attack percentage for the match and limited FGCU to a .142 mark.
The opening set was even throughout as it featured 11 ties and five lead changes. UT rallied late in the frame from a 23-21 deficit thanks to kills from freshman MB Daiva Wise, Reidy, Parys and a pair of service aces from junior OH Jordan Kielty.
After falling by a 25-19 margin in Set 2, the Rockets thoroughly dominated the third set, 25-10, tallying a .435 attack percentage and stifling FGCU's offense to the tune of a -.115 ATK%.
Toledo then nearly let a 23-19 advantage lead slip away in Set 4 as the Eagles strung together five straight points to take a one-point lead. The Rockets responded though with three straight kills, two from Reidy and one from Rafdal, to earn the win.
The Rockets are back in action next weekend with a trip to Winston-Salem, NC for Wake Forest's Black & Gold Challenge.
Tulsa def. Ball State, 3-1
GREELEY, Colo. - - Despite another third set rally, the Ball State (4-6) women’s volleyball team concluded play in the Northern Colorado Classic with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 27-25) loss to Tulsa (7-4) Saturday evening at UNC’s Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.
Once again, senior outside hitter Kara Bates (Bradley, Ill./ Bradley Bourbonnais Community/Maryland) led the Ball State offense, finishing tied for match-high honors with 19 kills, while posting a .366 (19-4-41) attack percentage. She also tallied eight more digs and a block assist.
Junior middle hitter Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) also turned in a strong showing for the Cardinals, tying her season-high with 11 kills while pacing all players with six total blocks. Thanks to Marx’s play at the net, the Cardinals held a 10-6 edge in blocks for the match.
Ball State junior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) paced all players with a season-high 30 digs, one shy of her career high of 31 set twice last season. Freshman defensive specialist Taylor Richardson (Selma, Ind./Wapahani) added 10 digs in the contest.
Tulsa’s Tyler Henderson tied Bates for match-high honors with 19 kills, while Carly Boatwright added 14 and Kellie Culbertson posted 11. Culbertson and Jessica Adams tied for team-high honors with 16 digs apiece.
Ball State was able to hold a .148 (50-26-162) to .138 (58-33-181) hitting edge in the match, thanks in part to its advantage in blocks. The Hurricane out-dug BSU 69-66 and recorded a 6-1 lead in aces.
After falling behind 10-6 in the opening set, two kills and an ace from junior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) helped the Cardinals rattle off the next four points and tie the score at 10. Unfortunately, three kills from Tulsa’s Henderson helped the Hurricane pull ahead 16-12. Tulsa would reach set point, at 24-20, and despite two errors and a BSU block, hold on to win 25-23.
Ball State found itself in a 5-1 hole to start the second stanza, only to battle back within one, at 11-10, thanks in part to three kills from Bates. However, Tulsa would respond with a 4-1 run and take control of the set. BSU would get no closer than three points the rest of the frame, as the Hurricane won the set 25-19.
Trailing 7-2 to open the third set, the Cardinals answered with six of the next seven points to tie the score at 8-8. With the score tied at 18, a Tulsa attack error and a block from Bates and senior transfer middle hitter Lisa Scott (McLean, Va./Langley/Maryland) gave BSU its first lead of the set at 20-18.
After a Hurricane’s timeout and a kill from Henderson, three consecutive Tulsa hitting errors and a kill from Baker gave BSU set point at 24-20. Two rallies later Marx planted the ball between the Tulsa defense to end the set at 25-21 and force a fourth game.
The teams battled to a 9-9 stalemate in the fourth set, before a kill and block from Tulsa led to Ball State’s first timeout at 11-9. However, three Hurricane errors and a kill from Marx allowed the Cardinals to take a 13-11 advantage. Unfortunately, five BSU errors over the next six rallies flipped the lead back to Tulsa at 16-14.
A kill and solo block from Marx, surrounding a Bates kill, helped Ball State battle back and regain the lead at 17-16. The back-and-forth battle continued with Tulsa pulling ahead 22-21. However, freshman frontcourt specialist Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) and Scott combined for one block, while Marx followed with a solo stuff and a kill to give BSU set point at 24-22.
The Cardinals were not able to capitalize, however, as Tulsa grinded out five on the next seven points to escape with a 27-25 set victory and win the match 3-1.
The Ball State women’s volleyball team returns to action Friday, when it opens play in the Ball State Tournament with a 7 p.m. first serve versus Pittsburgh. Prior to BSU’s match, Wyoming and Wright State will square off at 4:30 p.m.
Oakland def. Buffalo, 3-0
Eastern Kentucky def. Buffalo, 3-2
CLEVELAND, OH – The University at Buffalo volleyball team lost its two matches on Saturday afternoon at the Cleveland State Invite, dropping its record to 3-6 on the season.
The Bulls dropped the morning contest to Oakland 25-15, 25-23, 25-21 as they were unable to overcome a big Golden Grizzly run in the first set. Oakland hit .243 for the contest, while the Bulls were only able to hit .157. Despite the big run from Oakland in the opening set, Buffalo was still within striking distance in the second and third, but could not close out their opposition.
Sophomore Liz Scott had eight kills for Buffalo in the loss, while freshman Tahleia Bishop added seven kills. Megan Lipski and Carissa McKenna each finished with five kills. Junior Dana Musil finished with 10 digs defensively, while Kelly Svoboda added nine.
In the nightcap, Buffalo nearly overcame a 2-0 deficit, but fell in the fifth set to Eastern Kentucky. The Bulls dropped the contest, 25-23, 25-18, 25-27, 18-25, 15-12, despite outhitting their opponent. The downfall for UB was 18 service errors in the match.
Junior Christine Fritsche finished with a season-high 15 kills, while Scott added 12 against Eastern Kentucky. Defensively, three Bulls finished in double figures in digs led by 17 from Svoboda. Musil finished with 14 digs, while Scott had 10. Junior Dani Reinert finished with 47 assists.
The Bulls will return home next weekend when they host the Blue and White Classic. UB opens play against Dartmouth on Friday night at 7:00 pm.
LSU def. Western Michigan, 3-1
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Western Michigan volleyball team started out hot, but they were unable to overcome an athletic LSU squad as the Broncos fell to the Tigers 3-1 (22-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-15) in their final match at the Carolina Volleyball Classic on Saturday. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 5-4 on the season.
The Broncos won an impressive first set against the Tigers, hitting .441 and keeping their SEC opponents at bay with a variety of offensive shots. However, the Tigers righted the ship and asserted control in the second set, and the Broncos couldn't quite keep the pace for the remainder.
Carlee Berland tied a career-high with 14 kills and hit .423, committing just three errors on 26 swings. Terin Norris recorded 41 assists, including 17 in the Broncos' first set win, and Lena Oliver tied the match-high with 16 digs against the Tigers.
WMU started out the match with a near-coast to coast first set victory, baffling the Tigers by spreading the ball around and using different shots to keep them off balance. After taking the first poin on an LSU attack error, Ali Gossen notched the first kill of the match with a cross court shot to the back corner. The Broncos would be the first to five points when Jessica Brown notched a solo block to make it 5-4, and they would break double-digits first when Stephenee Yancy ran a slide right for a kill to make it 10-7.
LSU would storm back to take the lead, and eventually led by as many as four points when Desiree Elliott's kill made it 20-16. The Broncos wouldn't be deterred, however, and tied the set at 21-21 on a kill by Brown. Norris and Brown would combine for a block to give the Broncos a 23-21 lead and force an LSU timeout, and Norris would score a dump kill to clinch the set at 25-22 for the Broncos.
However, the Broncos would struggle with the length and athleticism of the Tigers for the remainder of the match. LSU would lead by as many as 10 points in the second set in taking the second stanza 25-15, but the Broncos would respond with a spirited effort in the third. The Broncos came back from a 16-14 deficit to tie the set at 17-17, but LSU rebounded to score the final eight points of the set and clinch the 2-1 edge. WMU would keep it close early in the fourth set, but the Tigers took control for the win.
The Broncos will next compete next weekend, when they travel to Northwestern to be part of the Wildcat Classic.
Northern Illinois def. UConn, 3-1
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Northern Illinois volleyball team improved to 3-0 at Missouri State’s Dr. Mary Jo Wynn/DoubleTree Hotel Invitational Saturday afternoon after taking down Connecticut in four sets at Hammons Student Center. The 25-17, 24-26, 25-20, 25-23 win moved NIU to 6-5 on the year and dropped UCONN to 6-5.
“I’m really happy about the positive play we’ve had over the past couple of matches,” said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. “We keep getting a little more experience for conference play. We had to play hard against a very solid team from the Big East.”
In a battle of the Huskies, it was Northern Illinois who reigned supreme, holding key advantages in kills (65-54), hitting percentage (.298-.171), digs (89-78) and blocks (13.5-7).
“We want to continue to do a good job with serve and pass,” Gooden said. “We also want to do a really good job with our offense. By getting a lot of digs we did that today. Amber [Walker] and our bumpers did a good job of playing defense.”
For the second straight match, junior middle blocker Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) was errorless as she taliled 15 kills and hit .517, while continuing to develop a better feel for freshman setter Alexis Gonzalez (Fresno, Calif./Bullard).
“It’s great that Sarah and Pookie [Alexis Gonzalez] continue to work through their relationship,” Gooden said. “Sarah has learned a lot about herself, as have all of our hitters. We are starting to get a little more rhythm, which is a nice positive.”
Angelos was not alone in having a solid performance against UCONN as senior outside Meghan Romo (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), senior middle Mary Kurisch (La Crosse, Wis./West Salem) and sophomore outside MacKenzie Roddy (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) all turned in helpful efforts. Romo notched 13 kills, 12 digs and four blocks. Kurisch went off for a career-best 10 blocks while also hitting .323 with 15 kills. Roddy hit .318 with 16 kills and four blocks.
Running the offense, Gonzalez served up a season-high 55 assists, adding 16 digs, two kills and two blocks.
In the back row, senior libero Amber Walker (Juneau, Alaska/Juneau Douglas/Western Oregon) dug up 28 balls. Senior defensive speciaist Sue Hayes (Evergreen Park, Ill./Mother McAuley) had 12 digs and junior defensive specialist Justine Schepler (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) had 11.
Tied at 14 in the first set, a UCONN attack error and Roddy-Kurisch combo block fueled NIU to a 11-3 run to end the frame with a win. In the second set, UCONN had set point, up 24-23, but an attack error kept NIU alive and Kurisch knotted it with a kill on the next play. However, a UCONN kill and NIU handling error gave the set to UCONN to leave the match tied at the break.
In the important swing set, the senior duo of Romo and Kurisch took over at the end of the third. Tied at 20, Romo notched a kill to break it and then Kurisch followed with two straight putaways. Then the two teamed up for a block before Kurisch ended the set with another kill.
In the fourth set, NIU held a narrow, late 23-21 lead as Roddy put pressure on UCONN with a kill to give NIU match point. After a UCONN kill and Roddy attack error, UCONN failed to take advantage as another attack error ended the match in NIU’s favor.
Northern Colorado def. Ball State, 3-1
GREELEY, Colo. - - Despite a career-high 24 kills from senior outside hitter Kara Bates (Bradley, Ill./ Bradley Bourbonnais Community/Maryland), the Ball State (4-5) women’s volleyball team could not rally past tournament host Northern Colorado (7-1), suffering a 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22) loss to the Bears in its second match of the Northern Colorado Classic Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinals conclude play in the Northern Colorado Classic later this evening with a 5 p.m. MT first serve against Tulsa.
Of Bates match-high and career-best 24 kills, nine came in the final set as she tried to carry the Cardinals’ rally. Bates also finished the match with eight digs and a pair of solo blocks, while hitting .291 (24-8-55).
Senior transfer middle hitter Lisa Scott (McLean, Va./Langley/Maryland) also had a strong match, tying her Ball State career-high with nine kills while hitting for a .364 (9-1-22) rate of success. She also tallied four total blocks (one solo and three assists).
Junior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) paced the Ball State backcourt with 18 digs, while junior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) logged her sixth double-double of the season with 44 assists and 10 digs.
Andrea Spaustat led the Northern Colorado attack with 21 kills and a .429 (21-6-35) attack percentage, while Tambre Haddock added 15 kills. Merideth Johnson led the Bears with 26 kills.
Overall, the offenses were pretty evenly matched with UNC holding a slim .245 (60-22-155) to .240 (57-21-150) hitting edge. Both teams collected nine total blocks, while the Bears held a 61-53 advantage in team digs.
An early four-point run helped the Bears pull out to a 7-2 lead in the opening set. The Cardinals would battle back and eventually tie the score at 13 on a kill from junior middle hitter Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven). The score remained even at the 16-16 mark, but an 8-1 UNC run gave the hosts set point. Ball State would score the next three points, before dropping the set 25-20.
With the Cardinals trailing 15-12 in the second set, three consecutive UNC errors and back-to-back BSU blocks gave the guests a 17-15 edge. Ball State used another Bears’ miscue to extend its lead to three at 18-15. Unfortunately, the hosts battled back to tie the score at 19. From there, the teams battled to a 23-23 stalemate before back-to-back Ball State hitting errors ended the set at 25-23 in favor of UNC.
The teams battled to a 7-7 stalemate to open the third set before a 5-1 run, including a pair of kills from Marx, gave Ball State a 12-8 edge and forced an UNC timeout. The Bears would rally within one, at 16-15, only to have BSU answer with the next two points. A huge solo block from Scott several rallies later forced Northern Colorado’ s second timeout at 22-19.
The teams traded service errors following the timeout, while a kill from UNC’s Spaustat pushed the score to 23-21. Ball State would not be denied the set, however, as back-to-back kills from junior opposite attacker Lauren Grant (Eagan, Minn./Eastview/Cincinnati) and redshirt freshman outside hitter Marquita Marshall (Muncie, Ind./Central) ended the set at 25-21 and forced a fourth game.
Four quick kills from Bates helped the Cardinals pull out to a 5-2 edge in the fourth set, while a Fredrich overpass found the floor between three UNC defenders to move the score to 6-2. Ball State maintained a five-point lead at the 16-11 mark following another Bates kill, only to see the Bears claw within two at 19-17.
A Seidel solo block on the next play moved the advantage back to three, at 20-17, and led to a UNC timeout. Unfortunately, Northern Colorado would continue its rally by scoring eight of the final 10 points to win the frame 25-22 and the match 3-1.