Volleyball losing streak up to four


NIU head coach Ray Gooden (right) speaks with junior outside hitter T’ara Austin and junior defensive specialist Malia Gabel on Saturday at Victor E. Court. NIU went winless in the Huskie Invitational after losing three consecutive games.

By Danielle Brown

Volleyball (4-8) hosted the Huskie Invitational this weekend, facing off against Alabama, Northern Iowa and Western Kentucky, going winless and raising its current losing streak to four.


The Huskies came out strong against Alabama, getting off to a quick start and remaining close throughout the first set. Both teams traded the lead, but Alabama eventually stole it, going up 18-13 in the set. The Huskies fought back as junior outside hitter T’ara Austin had a kill to tie the game at 19-19. NIU closed the set with a late surge, closing it with a 25-23 win.

Alabama got ahead yet again for a slight lead of 15-12 after competitive play from both sides in the second set. The Huskies climbed back, shortening the Tide’s lead to 20-21. As the end of the set approached, both teams were neck and neck at 24-24; however, Alabama ended the set with a 28-26 win after back and forth battling.

Alabama took the lead early on in the third set, going up 12-7. The Tide continued to increase their lead as they went up by eight. The Huskies gave comeback attempts throughout the set but Alabama took the win 25-15, for its largest set win of the day.

NIU went on an 8-0 run in a close fourth set, as both teams were locked at 23. Alabama scored the last two points, giving them the win for the set and game.

Western Kentucky

Both teams were able to get off to solid starts as the first set was tied at 14-14. The Huskies caught up later, bringing the set to 24-23, but Western Kentucky won the match by a total of two points.

NIU opened up the second set with its biggest lead in the game up to that point, going up 10-4. The Huskies stretched the lead to 16-6, going on to win 25-12.

Volleyball lead 12-10 midway through the third set. Junior Jenna Radtke went down with a minor injury, but NIU was able to hold its lead. Kills from junior middle blocker Lauren Zielinski and T’ara Austin won the set for the Huskies, 25-17.

Western Kentucky held an 8-0 lead over the Huskies in the fourth set. The Huskies were never able to make a dent in the Hilltoppers’ lead, as Western Kentucky won 25-17.

The teams played a fifth set, where Western Kentucky took the match 15-7 to close the win.

Northern Iowa

Northern Iowa held an early lead in the first set, but the Huskies were able to trim it to just three points.

The Panthers led 21-19 but the Huskies were able to come back and tie the set at 21. NIU came out on top in the end, winning the set 25-22.

The Huskies had the first lead of the second set, going up 14-12. Both teams went back-and-forth throughout, until Northern Iowa went on to win the set 25-23.

The Huskies led 18-17 nearing the end of the third set, but could not capitalize as Northern Iowa won 25-21 for its second consecutive set win.

The fourth set was played close by both teams and was deadlocked at 20. Northern Iowa went on a 4-1 run to close the set, winning its third straight set and taking the match.

The Huskies will continue the invitational this weekend as they prepare for games against Central and Eastern Michigan.