Flock to the fieldhouse


Not since 1973 had NIU beaten an ISU volleyball team, but after 19 years of torment the Huskies put it all together last year and wrapped up only their 11th victory in 36 attempts.

Not since 1975-1981 had an NIU volleyball coach recorded 139 victories, but with a second victory in as many years against the Redbirds tonight, the students of NIU may see history in the making as Head Coach Pete Waite attempts to match the mark Debbie Brue set over 10 years ago.

Both Becky Ramsey and Amy Vander Meer have expressed that they would love to see more fans come to this game tonight than any other game this season, but not without good reason. Most everyone on this year’s NIU squad knows of the three-decade-long rivalry and has friends on the ISU squad.

Even Head Coach Pete Waite has professional ties with the Redbird organization as he coached ISU for two seasons in 1986 and 1987.

Not by coincidence are flyers being handed out, sidewalks being chalked up, sandwich boards being constructed, ads being taken and the NIU message board displaying the time and place for tonight’s match.

Only football has ever received this much attention at NIU, so something out of the ordinary must be going on.

Something out of the ordinary is going on, and during the first week of December there is a distinct possibility that for the first time in NIU history, the Huskies will play host in the opening round of NCAA Tournament play.

With Redbird Head Coach Julie Morgan expecting bus loads of fans to make this year’s trek from Normal to DeKalb, the Huskies are in need of encouragement from cheering fans to help the most exciting home game of the year seem less like an away game.

Although Waite discussed no plan for a lineup adjustment, Morgan was quick to assume NIU will have some tricks up their sleeves and also readily admitted to having some surprises of their own.

Both teams entering tonight’s contest possess a dominant group of seniors, but as of late, NIU’s underclassmen have become indispensable, stepping up for a previously injured Kori Schauer and others who weren’t at their best at times.

Although not everyone at NIU will be in attendance tonight, those of you who choose to show up will not only be entertained by two of best teams in the region, but also get to chase ISU fans out of the fieldhouse after Waite enters his name in the annals of NIU.