Waite on brink of breaking win record


With a full week to prepare for a Western Illinois rematch, whom NIU easily defeated just less than a month ago, the Huskies are riding high after a tough battle with MVC powerhouse ISU.

Now they are ready to give head coach Pete Waite a title he rightfully deserves, All-Time Winningest coach at NIU when they take on WIU tonight at 7 p.m. in Macomb.

After tying Debbie Brue (139-131-5, seven seasons) for the victories lead, the Huskies volleyball squad will attempt to give Waite a 140-55-0 career record at NIU and an unprecedented .718 career win percentage with the Huskies.

With Nikki Kozak, recently Mid-Continent Player of the week, on fire and the superb play of Shelby Snyder (1092 assists), Kori Schauer (.312 attack percentage), and Becky Ramsey (226 kills) so far this year, the Westerwinds will have plenty to prepare for when the Huskies come in tonight as they finish up the first of their final five matches for the regular season.

For WIU, the presence of senior middle blocker Tiffany Reedus has not gone unnoticed as she has been their dominating force on offense with a .320 hitting clip.

Stepping up this year on defense has been junior Amy Damon. A decisive factor in the team’s 13-11 record, Damon has recorded 270 digs.

After easily walking over WIU earlier this season by scores of 15-2, 15-2, 15-4, NIU looks to be in top shape for tonight as they prepare to finish their remaining conference matches and enter post-season play.

Although tonight’s matchup doesn’t seem to be of any great concern for NIU, it will still be a conference game Waite wants more than most others.

“It would sure be nice,” Waite said. “We don’t try to look at matches that way, but it would be a nice milestone to have accomplished.”

Waite couldn’t have asked for a better time this season to produce a win as the entire team is on an emotional high after their recent two-hour battle with ISU.

“(The team’s feelings) couldn’t be better,” he said. “Right now we’re feeling real good. It’s nice to see our effort paying off and paying off in big dividends against ISU.”

While only five matches remain, the next three seem to be of particular importance to the Huskies as it is likely a taste of what they will meet at the Final Four in the Mid-Continent Tournament.

“We’ve played so competitively we have a lot to be proud of,” Waite commented.

While only in his sixth season, Waite has put NIU on the map in the volleyball world. So when he earns victory No. 140 to go along with his .718 career win percentage and fourth straight 20-win season, Waite will stand by his team and forever have one more thing they can be proud of.