Huskies win weekend tournament

By Ben Gross

Don’t expect any post-game swagger from three NIU volleyball players who received awards after the weekend’s Radisson Hotel Invitational.

The Huskies (7-4) could have boasted they produced two members of the All-Tournament squad and the tournament MVP, but the players were more interested in talking about the team’s performance.

The Huskies went 3-1 this weekend at Bradley University in Peoria, beating the host team on Saturday night to become tournament champions.

“It was a 12 person show,” coach Ray Gooden said. “It was a real great team effort.”

After beating Oakland University in an early match Friday, the Huskies fell to Belmont University during the night game.

NIU bounced back Saturday by beating Southeast Missouri State to obtain a shot at the title.

Middle blockers Kate McCullagh and Corrine Walsh nabbed spots on the All-Tournament squad, and libero Gina Guide was named the tournament MVP.

“I thought I did okay,” Guide said.

McCullagh was equally modest on her performance.

“I was definitely disappointed,” said the Woodstock native. “I don’t think I played as aggressively as I could have. I should have done better.”

While both players were hard on themselves, though they set personal records, they had nothing but praise for the team.

“Today we stepped it up,” said the 4-foot-10-inch Guide. “We all weren’t relying on Kate [McCullagh].”

McCullagh again agreed with her teammate’s view.

“People who usually are not involved stepped-up,” McCullagh said.

Freshman setter Jenny Dziubla feels the main reason the team did so well was because of their communication.

“It was amazing,” Dziubla said. “It was the best it’s been all year.”