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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Huskies head east for Buckeye State battles

Volleyball to face Ohio, Kent State
Courtesy of NIU Athletics
From left: Junior outside hitter Nikolette Nedic, sophomore middle blocker Savanah Brandt and graduate right side hitter Isabelle Percoco react at the end of a rally during the Huskies’ season-opener versus the Chicago State University Cougars. The Huskies are set to play two matches in Ohio to continue MAC play. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

Complacency is defined by Merriam-Webster as a “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”

Complacency is the dangerous attitude the NIU volleyball team aims to keep at bay ahead of its upcoming road trip to the Buckeye State this weekend.

“(We’re) just continuing to stay steady in those areas we have improved,” said NIU volleyball head coach Sondra Parys after Tuesday’s practice. “Not getting complacent with our growth, and, until it truly becomes a habit, we got to keep perfecting the process of what got us there in the first place.”

The Huskies, winners of their past three matches, will visit Ohio University (8-9, 3-2 MAC) and Kent State University (4-12, 0-5 MAC) after earning a sweep over Miami University (4-12, 0-4 MAC) at Victor E. Court this past weekend.

NIU sits at fourth in the MAC in hitting percentage at .217. The team’s frontcourt, fresh off back-to-back matches with double-figure team blocks, is averaging 2.05 blocks per set to place fifth in the MAC.

Junior middle blocker Charli Atiemo ranks top-10 individually in the MAC in both categories, hitting .317 (seventh) and averaging 0.98 blocks per set (third). Junior libero Crew Hoffmeier’s 4.85 digs per set rank second in the league individually.


NIU opens its road stretch looking to exact vengeance against an Ohio squad that has taken the past five matches in the all-time series, which Ohio leads 23-20. The streak includes a 3-0 sweep by Ohio that eliminated NIU from the 2021 MAC Tournament.

Ohio will play host after splitting a road series with the University at Buffalo Bulls (13-3, 3-1 MAC). The Bobcats are 3-3 when defending home court this season.

The Bobcats rank second in the conference in kills, averaging 13.25 per set. Graduate middle blocker Caitlin O’Farrell is seventh in the MAC individually, logging 3.40 per set. Senior defensive specialist/libero Sam Steele is averaging a team-best 4.47 digs per set, good for fourth in the conference.

Thursday’s contest will begin at 6 p.m. CT Thursday in the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio. The match will be streamed on ESPN+. Live statistics will be shown on StatBroadcast.


The Golden Flashes begin the upcoming stretch as losers of their past six matches and also winless in league play (0-5) and home matches (0-3).

Sophomore outside hitter Mackenzie McGuire tops the team and the conference with 4.00 kills per set. Outside of McGuire, no regular starter on KSU’s lineup is averaging more than 2.00 kills per set. Senior defensive specialist/libero Bryn Roberts has averaged 4.12 digs per set to lead the Golden Flashes.

Before welcoming NIU to town Friday, Kent State will first face Western Michigan University (14-2, 4-0 MAC) at 5 p.m. CT Thursday.

Friday’s match is scheduled to play at 5 p.m. CT Saturday in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in Kent, Ohio. A stream of the match will be carried on ESPN+. Live statistics will be available by SIDEARM Sports.

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