Emotional night nears for Waite’s crew


There is a distinct possibility that with the conclusion of the Huskies’ last regular season homestand this weekend, the students of NIU will have seen five of NIU’s greatest volleyball players for the final time.

With the next home game occurring over Thanksgiving break and a possibility of not being given the opening round bid for the NCAA Tourney, this is the last chance most students will be able to see NIU women’s volleyball at its best.

As the Huskies meet up with Valparaiso University on Friday and the University of Illinois-Chicago on Saturday, they will attempt to not only complete an undefeated home ledger but also catch a glimpse of the competition they will see in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament.

Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be played at Chick Evans Fieldhouse.

With head coach Pete Waite fresh off his record breaking 140th career win, the Huskies will begin the weekend with a VU rematch.

These two teams last met on the 18th of September when NIU routed the Lady Crusaders 15-4, 15-9, 15-4.

In that game the Huskies pounded out 42 kills in 90 attempts with 12 errors for a .388 attack percentage. On defense the Huskies stood strong allowing only 21 kills minus 7 errors in 79 attempts for a dismal .177 hitting clip.

Not since October 21, 1991 have the Huskies dropped a Mid-Con or North Star Conference matchup when they lost to VU in Evans Fieldhouse.

On Saturday NIU’s five graduating seniors will be honored in a pregame presentation in which each will be individually recognized for their various achievements and records through their entire career.

‘Nikki Kozak now has 1,334 digs and surpassed Anne Polaski (1984-1987 – 1,100 digs) earlier this season to become the all-time leader in digs.

‘Amy Vander Meer will be commended for her longevity. She will break the record Friday night, assuming she plays, for career matches played (137) breaking the old mark set by Wendy Mason (1989-1992).

‘Becky Ramsey will be honored as she has a career resume which includes over 1000 digs and kills.

‘Amy Foulke will be recognized for her excellence in career leading blocks, solos (137) and assists (390).

‘With a volleyball career which has extended far outside the NIU domain, Kori Schauer will be honored for her hard work and persistence as she has entered her name in five of NIU’s single-season Top 10 categories.

‘Schauer and Foulke were both invited to compete at the 1993 United States Olympic Festival.

To go along with their individual accomplishments the entire team will be commended on their unbelievable 109-27 four-year career record for a seemingly immortal .801 winning percentage.

The last time NIU met up with UIC was September 17 when UIC was annihilated by four Huskies collecting attack percentages over .400.

UIC’s main hope rests on the shoulders of Karen Puckett, who in three games, nailed down five balls with one error in 11 attempts for a .364 attack percentage and dug up 11 more.