Split weekend ends on positive note


Although the NIU volleyball team did not win both matches this weekend, it still came out with a positive state of mind.

The Huskies (14-10, 6-4) began the weekend with a straight set loss to Ohio (14-7, 7-3), 20-25, 14-25, 15-25, but came back Saturday with a four set win over Kent State (13-10, 3-7), 20-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-21.

“It was nice to end the weekend on a positive note playing well against a good Kent State team,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t have the energy level to play against a really strong Ohio team.”

NIU seemed to be out of its element, and only compiled 29 kills compared to the Bobcats’ 53 kills. The Mid-American Conference leader in blocking Bobcats looked the part with 10.5 blocks.

“In every aspect, Ohio played better than we did,” Gooden said. “They frustrated us with their tempo, they put a hand on everything that we swung at, and they won the majority of the hustle plays.”

Freshman Allison McGlaughlin was the lone star on offense with 13 kills.

Outside hitter Meagan Schoenrock ended her 24 match double-digit kills streak, only tallying up eight kills.

“They served us well and we couldn’t get into a strong passing rhythm,” Gooden said. “They were able to form a pretty good block and defense against her.”

Against the Golden Flashes, NIU appeared to be a totally different team. For the first time all season, four Huskies, McGlaughlin, Schoenrock, Irene Johnson, and Cassie Yates, finished with more than 10 kills.

“We needed that in order to beat Kent State,” Gooden said. “You have to give a lot of credit to our passers that helped our offense run the way we wanted to so we can have that balance on offense.”

McGlaughlin ended the match with a season-high 20 kills, a .295 hitting percentage, and 14 digs. Schoenrock notched 15 kills and a .212 hitting percentage.

In the first set, NIU looked as if they would continue to play as they did the day before. 10 kills and 9 errors ruined the set, but did not wreck the Huskies’ spirits.

“We really stressed the fact that if we took care of the ball, then positive things would happen, and that’s what we did,” Gooden said.