Kozak comes through in the clutch


The Huskie spikers won what could have been the most important game of the regular season when they took out Illinois State University in four games last night.

Nikki Kozak, who was named Mid-Con player of the week after averaging 12 kills, posting a .378 hitting percentage last week, more than doubled that average with 26 kills in 56 attempts for a .321 hitting percentage against the #7 team in the region, last night.

After a comeback victory in the first game, and a blowout in the second, the Redbirds managed to sneak one by the Huskies in front of what NIU head coach Pete Waite called the most enthusiastic crowd of the year.

The Huskies left it up to Kozak in game four to lead them from a 11-4 deficit to win the game 16-14, and ultimately the match.

When the Huskies were down in the fourth game, Kozak came through with four clutch kills to side out for the Huskies, and one kill for a point.

To add to Kozak’s great offensive play, she also had two service aces with one of those coming late in the fourth game.

“She (Kozak) was outstanding. She just kept pushing and pushing, and for her to come through like that, with such a high hitting percentage against such a great defensive team … it was a major contribution she made for us tonight,” Waite said.

Kozak also helped the Huskies out big on defense, leading the team with 21 digs.

“It’s easy to see why she earned player of the week in the conference, and them came through for us in this big non-conference match for us tonight,” Waite said.