Volleyball set to host Western Michigan in last home game

By Kyle Mathas

DeKALB — The volleyball team will host the Western Michigan University Broncos in its last home match of the season Thursday.

Heading into the matchup, the Huskies have a chance at leveling their home record this season. NIU is currently 5-6 at Victor E. Court, and a win against the Broncos will snap a two-season home losing streak in MAC play.

The Huskies are 8-20 on the season after dropping their last two games Friday and Saturday to the University of Toledo and Ball State University at home.

Brinley Milbrath, redshirt senior middle blocker, played a big role for the Huskies against Toledo and Ball State, leading the team with 14 kills against the Rockets and 15 against the Cardinals.

Even though they are twelve games away from 500, the Huskies have been very competitive this season with 36 of 102 sets decided by two points or less. 

The Huskies won their last match Oct. 10 against Western Michigan 3-2 when the teams faced off in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

The Huskies hit .304% in the deciding set with Peyton Tilly, first-year outside hitter, having 14 kills, and Milbrath with 13.

Western Michigan enters the game 13-13 on the season with a 4-10 record in MAC play.

Rachel Bontrager, WMU junior outside hitter, leads the MAC with 3.76 kills per set. 

The Huskies and Broncos will fight for a share of the fourth-place position in the MAC West division.

NIU currently sits in fourth, but the Broncos are only one win away from tying the Huskies.

“We’re going to try our best in order to compete at our best against [Western Michigan],” Head Coach Ray Gooden said.

First serve is set for 6 p.m. on Victor E. Court at the Convocation Center.