Consecutive wins: 13

By Danielle Brown

Volleyball sustains its historical play

DeKALB | The women’s volleyball team looks to extend its 13-match win streak this weekend when it travels to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Oxford, Ohio, to continue its Mid-American Conference matches.

The Huskies (18-4, 10-0 MAC) begin their weekend Thursday in Kalamazoo against Western Michigan University (8-15, 3-7 MAC). NIU defeated Western Michigan once already this season in straight sets on Sept. 22.

The Huskies’ 10-0 start is their best start since 1993 when they were still members of the Mid-Continent Conference.

The Huskies match up with MAC-East leader Miami University (18-4, 10-0 MAC) 6 p.m Thursday.

NIU’s current win streak is tied for fourth-longest in the nation and the fifth-longest in program history. The Huskies’ opponent on Saturday, Miami, currently boasts the second-longest streak in the nation with 17 consecutive victories.

NIU is coming off victories Friday and Saturday in Ohio against Ohio University and Kent State University, respectively. This was the team’s first time sweeping those two teams consecutively since 2010.

The team’s win streak began Sept. 16 in Washington when it finished the George Washington Invitational 3-0, defeating James Madison University, University of Tennessee and George Washington University.

The Huskies have also played great defensively all season, ranking 37th in the NCAA and first in the MAC with 2.53 blocks-per-set.

The Huskies are in the midst of a four-game road trip, their longest since September when they traveled to Fargo, North Dakota, Honolulu and Washington in consecutive weekends.

NIU is 10-3 on the season either away or on a neutral court and have not suffered a loss away from Victor E. Court since they lost in straight sets against nationally-ranked University of Hawaii, who are currently ranked 14th in the nation, according to NCAA’s website.

Senior middle blocker Jenna Radtke is ranked 14th in the NCAA with a .412 hitting percentage. Junior defensive setter Anna Brereton, senior outside hitter Mary Grace Kelly, and Radtke are all ranked in the top 10 in the MAC in service aces this season.

Brereton was also named MAC-West Division Defensive Player of the week Monday, her first honor of the season. NIU has 10 honors in its first nine weeks of the season.

Thursday’s match will broadcast on ESPN3.