Waite’s crew leaves opponents grounded


The NIU women’s volleyball team continued to pound opposing Mid-Continent Conference foes into the ground this weekend.

The universities of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Wisconsin-Green Bay were the 36th and 37th straight Mid-Con teams to fall to the Huskies over the last year-and-a-half.

The two wins also put NIU over the 20-win mark for the fourth straight season. The team now boasts a 21-4 record with a perfect 13-0 conference slate.

It’s becoming obvious that if anyone is going to beat this team, it won’t be anyone from the Mid-Con.

UWM (5-21, 1-11) found that out on Friday after the Huskies buried them with a 15-1, 15-2, 15-3 assault.

For the season, NIU has met the Lady Panthers twice and have scored 90 points. In contrast, UWM has only managed to score eight total points against the Huskies.

Nikki Kozak led the attack with 13 kills on 18 attempts for a .611 hitting percentage. Kozak and teammate Becky Ramsey each rifled three service aces past the opposing defense.

As a team, the Huskies hit at a .414 clip, highlighted by a .522 hitting spree in the second game, on 33 kills minus 9 errors on 58 attempts. The Lady Panthers anemic offense was left in the red at -.121 with 11 kills minus 18 errors on 58 attempts.

Only middle blocker Heidi Krumins was able to salvage a hitting clip above .000 for UWGB at .125.

On Saturday, the scores got closer as the competition got better, but Wisconsin-Green Bay (10-14, 4-8) had no better luck than the Panthers. The Phoenix played better then the last time the Huskies saw them but still fell 15-7, 15-12, 15-8.

The last time these two teams met, NIU cruised past the Phoenix 15-0, 15-5, 15-2.

With middle blocker Kori Schauer taking the weekend off to rest her shoulder for the Illinois State match on Tuesday, sophomore Holly Bauer got her first collegiate start and made head coach Pete Waite look like a genius.

All she did was pound out 11 kills against one error on only 14 attempts good for an unbelievable .714 attack clip.

“Holly did a great job for us,” Waite said. “That’s the most we’ve gotten on the court from her. She really came through for us.”

Kozak logged 13 kills (.333 attack percentage) while Amy Foulke registered 11 (.409). The defense was paced by Amy Vander Meer’s 12 digs. Ramsey matched her effort with 12 and Kozak came up with 11.

Again the Huskies dominated almost every category. They out-killed the Phoenix 41-19, out-dug them 56-47 and outhit them .252-.023. The only thing UWGB did well in was serving.

The Phoenix riddled NIU for seven aces and attempted to use their serves to keep the score close. They were just not close enough.

“Green Bay played really well and served tough,” Waite said. “We’re just so mature that we don’t let anything rattle us.”

Least of all any Mid-Con opponent.

“Green Bay played really well and served tough. We’re just so mature that we don’t let anything rattle us.”

Pete Waite

head coach