Volleyball looks to take home a road victory in Toledo Friday


NIU’s Mary Kurisch (10) goes to tip the ball over Kent State’s Maigan Larsen (7) as she blocks in the game Friday night.

By Jacob Onak

NIU women’s volleyball will look to take on a struggling Toledo Rockets in MAC conference play, Friday in Ohio.

The Huskies (16-12, 7-5 MAC) are coming off of a 3-0 win over Central Michigan, in coach Ray Gooden’s 400th career win.

The Rockets (8-17, 2-10 MAC) are currently on a five match losing streak. Their last win came against Kent State, Oct. 13. Toledo is led by junior outside hitter Lauren Rafdal who leads the team with 261 kills on the season.

In order to be successful against Toledo, Gooden said the Huskies need to push the tempo.

“They are a really good blocking team and they are pretty solid at home,” Gooden said. “So it will be a tough match for us. I think ball control is a big deal for us. I think that we are a team that is based on tempo and if we can do things at our temp than we have a chance to be successful.”

Huskies’ junior middle blocker Sarah Angelos had 10 kills in her last match against Western Michigan and currently has 265 kills on the season, with 2.55 kills per set average.

Angelos said the key to the Huskies attack will be forcing Toledo to make mistakes.

“We are doing a good job of finding open spots on the court and we are being pretty consistent,” Angelos said. “As the last couple weekends have progressed I think we have gotten better at being more consistent, and making the other team play the ball and make errors opposed to us playing the ball and making errors.”

Redshirt senior Amber Walker said the Huskies ball control will also be key at Toledo. The libero leads the team with 461 digs on the season.

“I think just staying consistent would be the best circumstance for us,” Walker said. “We have been playing really well defensively all the way around right back, middle back, left back no matter who’s where, so as long we can keep that up. We work a lot on ball control in practice so just staying focused on that and keeping it consistent will help us run our offense.”

After their match in Toledo the Huskies will have a quick turnaround, facing Ball State in Indiana on Sunday.

The Cardinals (13-12, 6-6 MAC) are .500 in MAC play and are coming off of wins against Toledo and Buffalo.