Volleyball wins 5th consecutive match

Sophomore middle blocker Meg Wolowicz celebrates a point during Saturday’s games against Bowling Green State University. The Huskies beat the Falcons 3-1.

By Danielle Brown

DeKALB | Women’s volleyball began Mid-American Conference play Thursday against Western Michigan University and played again Saturday against Bowling Green State University.

Thursday’s match against Western Michigan (5-9, 0-1 MAC) saw the Huskies (10-4, 2-0 MAC) deliver a three set to one win, accumulating a season high of 10 service aces.

Head Coach Ray Gooden was honored during the pregame of the first match for becoming the programs all-time-wins leader on Sept. 2 when the team won against Bradley University in the first match of the North Dakota State University Classic.

Saturday, the Huskies went up against Bowling Green (10-5, 0-2 MAC), NIU defense won the game in four sets totaling 15 blocks.

Lauren Zielinski, redshirt senior middle blocker, led with 13 kills, and sophomore middle blocker Meg Wolowicz had her first career double-double with 10 kills and 10 blocks.

The first set against Western Michigan saw the Broncos get out to a 20-14 lead. NIU had a 5-point run to get within one point of the Broncos. Towards the end, the set was tied 23-23. Western Michigan delivered back-to-back kills to take the first set 25-23.

Western Michigan started off the second set with attacking errors. The Huskies created points with them as they lead 12-5.

The Huskies were then able to control the rhythm for the rest of the set, totaling 15 kills, and they won the second set 25-13.

The Huskies brought the same play from the second set into the third. They easily won it on double digits again, 25-15, totaling 18 kills, four of those being from senior middle blocker Jenna Radtke.

The final set saw NIU trailing after Western Michigan scored the first point, but junior outside hitter Taylor Krage’s service put the Huskies ahead 6-1.

Senior outside hitter Mary Grace Kelly, Krage and Radtke added in four kills each to win the set 25-19.

NIU led Western Michigan in digs (52-51), blocks (8-5), kills (56-47) and aces (10-4) for the match.

Saturday’s game saw the Huskies win the first two sets 25-14 and 25-15. The matches were filled with strong blocking from NIU. They registered five in the first set and six more in the second.

Bowling Green had control of the third set with one of their players going 11 for 18. Bowling Green totaled 18 kills winning the third set 25-16.

In the fourth set, the Huskies took the set back with three more blocks and their third service ace of the night. The Huskies won the set 25-16.

The Huskies had more digs than the Falcons (62-58) and committed less service errors (6-11).

“It was a really good team effort of applying pressure and our serve really got us to that point,” said Gooden. “I think our team was pumped to play this match against a really good team that’s probably top-two in the [MAC] East and maybe even two or three in the conference, so for us to do what we did [Saturday] at home was really special.”

The Huskies will take on Central Michigan University 6 p.m. Friday in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and then travel across the state to play Eastern Michigan University at 4 p.m. on Saturday in Ypsilanti, Michigan.