Volleyball wins Creighton Invite

By Northern Star staff

It was quite an eventful weekend for NIU volleyball.

The Huskies (6-2) defeated South Dakota (1-6) to win the Creighton Bluejay Invitational. NIU also received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 Poll.

NIU received six votes from the nation’s coaches, which places NIU as the 37th ranked team in the country.

“It’s great for NIU volleyball to be recognized nationally like this,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden in a press release. “It’s nice to receive votes for the top 25, but we want to be in the top 25. That’s one of the by-products of our goal, which is to get to the NCAA Tournament. In order to be a tournament team, you have to have your name out there and have the respect of national opponents. This is a nice step in that direction for the Huskie volleyball program.”

South Dakota had 18 hitting errors, and NIU took advantage of the team’s mistakes while winning the kills battle, 41-35.

The Huskies also dominated in the aces department 8-2, as Mary Kurisch account for a career-high five.

“We continued to serve well, as we’ve done all weekend,” Gooden said. “It was great for Mary to have a run from the serving line tonight.”

Kurisch was in good company, as several other NIU players stood out in the weekend invite.

On the offensive side, Sarah Angelos racked up nine kills with a .350 hitting percentage, while Lauren Wicinski and Allison McGlaughlin each had eight kills. NIU’s Kristin Hoffman contributed with 33 assists helping coordinate the offense.

For their efforts during the invite the Huskies garnered some honors, Wicinski and Hoffman were named to the all-tournament team.

Hoffman provided 121 assists while netting 19 digs and eight kills.

And Wicinski brought home another piece of hardware, as she was named MVP of the tournament. Wicinski tourney stat line includes 49 kills, 31 digs and seven aces.

“Those two, along with the whole team, did a good job of playing team volleyball,” Gooden said. “It’s nice to have those two recognized as part of our team effort.”