USA versus Japan match to spotlight NIU spikers as well

By Jennifer Hutchins

When the USA and Japan women’s volleyball teams battle it out Sunday at Chick Evans Field House, expect some of the spotlight to land on the NIU team.

“The match will be seen by people from all over,” NIU head volleyball coach Pete Waite said. “Fans can catch on to how exciting volleyball can be and we might be seeing more of those people coming out to our own games.”

Although the Huskies are not playing an active role in the USA versus Japan match, the NIU team members will be helping out on court during warm-ups, according to Waite.

“It will mostly be entertainment,” Waite said. “Besides helping out with the pre-game warm-ups the girls are going to be there as spectators like anyone else.”

NIU’s Shelby Snyder sees the international match as a learning tool for the Huskies as well.

“It will be inspiring for our team to see how high a level volleyball can be played,” Snyder said. “It’ll be good for enthusiasm too, to see how much dedication goes into teams that practice hours and hours everyday.”

The match is the second stop in a five-match tour of the Midwest for two of the top teams in the world. The Japan team has already qualified for the 1992 Olympics while the USA team is still seeking a bid. Waite believes the Huskies will benefit from watching such high-level squads compete.

“For the (NIU) players it’s going to be exciting to watch,” Waite said. “These are some of the best volleyball players in the world and we’re going to see just how much work goes into it.”

Tickets for the USA vs. Japan match are still available and can be bought at the door. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. Sunday at Chick Evans Field House.