Spikers snap 3-game skid

By Kari Brackett

NIU’s volleyball team ended a three-game losing streak Wednesday night by defeating Bradley 15-12, 15-7, 15-3 at Chick Evans Field House.

Besides halting their losing streak, the Huskies brought their record back to the .500 mark at 12-12. Bradley dropped to 5-19.

“It was a great match,” NIU setter Beth Glisk said. “It was exactly what we needed.”

Each game’s score speaks for itself. While the Huskies were ready to play in the first game, they had trouble adjusting to the Braves’ style. NIU has competed against faster teams and was not expecting a slower pace. However, they eventually did adjust and won each game more convincingly.

By the time the third game came around, NIU was dominating the court. Captain Anne Polaski served 10 straight points before Bradley hit the scoreboard.

“We tried to play too fast (in the first game),” NIU coach Herb Summers said. “Bradley is a slower team, and it took us a while to gear down.”

The NIU starting lineup saw a change as freshman Kari Niesen playing the left outside hitting position. Niesen had been mainly a spot player the whole season. Summers said he made the change for two reasons. One, because the squad was not being consistent on offense, and secondly because he wanted better back-row play.

“Kari as a left hitter is unemotional and doesn’t force things,” Summers said. “Kari did a good job starting tonight. She gave us consistency.”

Middle hitter Cathy Holmes led all NIU hitters in attacks with a .542 kill percentage. Amy Garrett followed with a percentage of .500.

“We had 25 kills out of the middle, which makes life a whole lot easier,” Summers said. “We also had 40 percent of our sets, which is a good number.”

Summers said he was pleased with his team’s overall performance. He said the squad put together the skills it has been working on in practices.

While Summers was happy with the win, he was worried about Glisk. His sole setter broke her toe before the match, and although she played Wednesday night, Summers is afraid she might not be able to play this weekend.