Top Mid-Con squads looking to dethrone NIU


The NIU women’s volleyball team steps back into Mid-Continent Conference action this weekend to try and sweep through the second half of their schedule.

Wright State University and Eastern Illinois University will try to halt the Huskie stranglehold that NIU (9-0 in conference, 16-4 overall) has had on the Mid-Con since they entered the conference a season and a half ago.

Friday, Wright State comes to Dekalb. The Raiders are currently second in the conference with a 8-1 ledger, 12-6 overall.

This is an important match for both teams. With the Raiders breathing right down the Huskies back, it would be hard to imagine Wright State not getting up for this game. It could mean their season.

The last time these two teams met, The Huskies crushed the Raiders in three straight games, 15-8, 15-1, 15-3. And that was in Dayton. Now the Huskies have them on their home floor, where they’ve only lost one match all year.

The Raiders are paced by junior middle blocker Jenny Moore who is second in the conference with a .329 hitting percentage and is third in blocks averaging 1.12 a game.

Saturday, Eastern Illinois enters Chick Evans Fieldhouse to take on the Huskies.

EIU (5-4 tied for 5th in conference; 8-12 overall) has some firepower of their own with junior outside hitter, Karyn Sadler leading the league in kills per game with a 3.96 average.

Eastern’s Amy Van Eekeren is fourth in the assist column with 9.32 and is in the top ten in service aces (31).

Right now, Eastern holds bragging rights around the conference as the only team to almost take a game from the Huskies this season.

The last time these two teams met in Charleston, Eastern made the Huskies go to overtime in the first game before NIU put the match away 16-14, 15-10, 15-1.

As a team, EIU is second in most offensive categories since NIU leads in all offensive categories except aces.

“These two teams are expected to finish in the top four in the conference,” said head coach Pete Waite. “This is an important weekend for us.”

For the Huskies, the past weekend in Texas saw two more records fall.

Senior middle blocker Amy Foulke broke the school records for career solo blocks (130) and block assists (375). The old marks were both held by Cathy Holmes (1985-88) with 126 and 372 respectively.

In conference, junior setter Shelby Snyder leads the league in set assists per game with a 12.24 average.

Kori Schauer continues to rip into the ball and now stands second in kills per game at 3.93, while defensively she’s fifth in blocks at 1.03. Foulke is just ahead of Schauer at 1.11 blocks per game.

With the season starting to wind down like it is, Waite is looking for the crowds to get bigger, and noisier, to help pick up the team a little more.

“We could use the boost to help us through the rest of the season,” he said. “We need people to be loud, rowdy and to have a good time.”