Volleyball loses two out of three at Wichita Invite

By Danielle Brown

Volleyball (4-5, 0-0 MAC) went 1-2 over the weekend in the Wichita State Invitational, defeating Texas State but taking losses to both Wichita State and No. 21 Kentucky.

Wichita State

The Huskies started the invitational with a game against Wichita State (4-3) on Thursday. NIU held the early lead, but Wichita State was able to bounce back, defeating the Huskies in four sets. In the loss, the Huskies were led in kills by junior middle blockerJenna Radtke and junior outside hitter T’ara Austin. In addition to the kills, the Huskies’ back line was able to hold up as sophomore libero Anna Brereton accumulated 24 digs.

NIU held a 22-16 lead in the first set, but surrendered the lead and win after a Shockers comeback.

The score was neck and neck heading in the second set, but Wichita State found itself making a run that put them ahead and helped them take that set as well. Wichita State continued its strong play in the fourth set, giving it the eventual victory.

Texas State

The Huskies continued the invitational Friday, playing in a game against Texas State (4-6). After falling short to Wichita State the previous day, NIU broke its three-game losing streak, defeating the Bobcats 3-1.

The Huskies were helped by a career night from T’ara Austin, who set a new personal career high with 23 kills. Austin recorded a double-double in the game, collecting 15 digs throughout.

NIU made few mistakes in a close first set, taking the set 25-23. In the second set the Huskies attacked strong and never allowed Texas State to grab the lead, taking the set 25-20. NIU won the third set 25-13 — its largest victory in any set on the day.


The Huskies played No. 21 Kentucky (5-5) to end the weekend. Kentucky controlled nearly all of the game, winning all three sets in the game.

NIU led early in the first set but allowed Kentucky to take the lead and win the set 25-19. In the second set, both teams went back and forth in a close set, but Kentucky won its second consecutive set by a score of 25-2.

In the final set, the Huskies had a lead and were presented with opporunities to win the set, but Kentucky struck back and took the lead, ending the set with a score of 25-19.

Following the loss, NIU will hold the Huskie Invitational beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, where it will play games throughout the weekend against Alabama, Northern Iowa and Kentucky. with the chance to imrpove to 7-5.