Volleyball handles Green Bay in four sets

By Mike Romor

NIU volleyball has a new look, and Tuesday night, it looked promising.

The Huskies (2-2) handled Green Bay (1-3) in a fast-paced four-setter, 25-13, 22-25, 25-12, 25-15.

“We have been trying to work to do some things and we keep improving a little bit every day,” said NIU coach Ray Gooden. “We played against a solid Green Bay team, but we were able to use our home-court advantage in our favor tonight.”

NIU has a much different lineup, just a season removed from being atop the NCAA in most offensive categories. Despite a freshman setter, Alexis Gonzalez, and a sophomore outside hitter, MacKenzie Roddy, the unit seems poised to put up solid offensive numbers once again after hitting .344 as a team Tuesday night.

Gonzalez had 45 assists en route to guiding four Huskies to double digit kills, led by a career-high 19 from Roddy. Gonzalez also contributed with three service aces, nine digs and three block assists.

“Any time you can add to the team, it’s a good feeling,” Roddy said. “[Meghan] Romo and I are just trying to do our jobs, and with Alexis being new, she’s really stepped up and done a really good job. We’re just looking to help out the team any way we can because if we do our job, it’s going to make everyone else’s job a little easier and make us a better team.”

Romo, a senior, continued her early-season excellence while recording 11 kills with a .526 hitting percentage. Romo received a larger role in the team’s offense this season and seems to fit in well with the new lineup.

“I think changing it up is always a good thing,” Romo said. “We are good at making adjustments. I am more comfortable with the setters now and more comfortable hitting off their sets.”

Fellow senior Mary Kurisch also notched 11 kills while hitting .333 and posting three solo blocks.

Junior Sarah Angelos posted 10 kills, making Tuesday the third time this season she’s reached double digits in the category.

While the Huskies trounced Green Bay, it is still an adjustment period for the squad that lost two All-Americans from last season. In the opening week of the season, Gooden feels confident his team is meshing and building toward success.

“The good thing is, we have some kids that can do some things and do some positive stuff,” Gooden said. “People are getting some good opportunities and hopefully they can take advantage of it and be okay. All in all, I think we’re doing what we need to right now.”