Another breeze for spikers


The NIU women’s volleyball team will be getting its last taste of Mid-Continent Conference action for a little while when the Western Illinois Westerwinds come to Chick Evans Field House tonight at 7 p.m.

So the Huskies are looking to make the most of it.

“It’s obviously a big match for us because it’s the last conference match in the first round-robin part of the season,” Head Coach Pete Waite explained. “They’re the only team we haven’t seen in the conference so far.

“We’re looking to come out and finish the first half strong.”

There really shouldn’t be any reason they won’t. Kori Schauer will return to the line-up after not playing in two matches last weekend with back problems. Everyone else is in perfect health.

This is bad news for the Westerwinds.

Western is led by middle blocker Tiffany Reedus. Last season, Reedus was third on the team in kills (176), and first in both solo blocks (28) and block assists (107). She finished third in conference with a 1.30 per game average

Another factor the Huskies will have to deal with is junior setter Amy Damon.

Damon will be the table setter for the team, after spending most of last season behind graduated Amy Nesemeier.

Damon will also be the main hitter for WIU. She’s looked upon as a do-everything type of player, as evidenced by her 155 kills a season ago.

The Westerwinds also have a new head coach in Jolene Vinson ater she spent the last four seasons as WIU’s assistant coach. This is Vinson’s first year at the collegiate level.

Waite sees this as a motivational game for his team.

“(This match) gives us momentum going into our trip down to Houston (this weekend) which is really important for us to raise our level of play and be really focused,” he said.

The major concern for the Huskies, however, is their leading hitter, Kori Schauer.

Back problems had been bothering the senior for most of the season, but last weekend was the first time she hadn’t played for that reason. Schauer practiced with the team yesterday and Waite said she’ll suit up and play if they need her.

Odds are they won’t need her in this one.

Last season, the Huskies took both matches from WIU.

The first was a 15-11, 15-6, 15-6 pasting. The second wasn’t any closer at 15-4, 15-7, 15-5.

The way the Huskies have been playing lately, WIU will have conference bragging rights if they even take a game from the Huskies.

NIU hasn’t allowed a conference opponent to go more than three games. Eastern Illinois came close, but fell short losing 16-14 in the first game of the match.