Spikers swept in ‘89 season finale

By Steve Dennis

There was another Wisconsin victory over an Illinois team Tuesday night, but this one wasn’t as renowned as the Packers’ win over the Bears on Sunday.

The Marquette Warriors (11-18) swept the NIU volleyball team in Milwaukee to end the Huskie regular season on a sour note. NIU finished the regular season with a 7-18 overall mark and a 2-4 North Star Conference ledger.

The match only went three games, but it was considerably longer than that. Game one was the reason. The Warriors outscored the Huskies 24-22. After that high scoring affair, the intensity of the Huskies collapsed.

“It was quite a first game,” NIU coach Pete Waite said. “A game that goes that far into overtime, anything can happen.”

This time it happened for the Warriors. Marquette used the first-game victory to its advantage and jumped on NIU early in the second game. The Huskies managed to put on a little comeback, but it was “too little, too late” as Waite said. The Warriors won game two, 15-12, and went on to a 15-7 victory in the last game.

The Huskies did have a good offensive showing as junior Julie Kreiling led the team with a .533 attack percentage. Kreiling had 18 kills with only two errors. Jamie Steenblock and Wendy Mason added 17 and 16 kills, respectively. As a team, NIU hit a 409 attack percentage in the first game but dropped to a .077 percentage in its last loss. Waite called the intensity drop the difference in the game.

“We had good offensive attacking,” Waite said. “After the first game, we lost our intensity and concentration—an overall letdown.”

Waite and his team are going back to the basics for the next 10 days as they prepare to defend their North Star Conference Championship in the NSC Tournament at Valparaiso (Nov. 18-19). As of right now, the Huskies are unsure of their first-round opponent in the tournament, but Waite isn’t concerned about the other team at this point.

“We need to work on everything,” Waite said, “which isn’t easy. If we want to win games and matches, we have to execute at a high level for an entire game. We are going to try to get things on track, and hopefully we can pull things together before the tournament.”