A look back at the clinching weekend

By John Dietz

With the Mid-Continent Conference championship settled, it’s time for the NIU volleyball team to start looking.

The Huskies can look forward to the upcoming matches before the conference tournament and continue to work on getting better.

At the same time, the team can look back to gain a perspective on exactly how it achieved its current 25-5 record.

And how they can improve on it.

One way is to continue to pass the ball to Huskie setter Shelby Snyder with the same accuracy as in the Cleveland State match last Friday.

“The passing was great so we could run more complicated plays,” Snyder said. “The blockers were so confused that they would just have one or no blockers up.”

Snyder registered an amazing 63 assists in the match for an average of 15.75 assists a game.

Amy Foulke took advantage of her teammates’ execution en route to an awesome performance. For the weekend, Foulke registered a team-high 33 kills against only three errors in 58 attacks for a .517 kill clip.

“She (Foulke) is always a really solid player,” Snyder said. “She’s a really big target so it was easy to get the ball right to her.”

Snyder also utilized Wendy Mason during the weekend, and Mason slammed down 24 kills in the two matches. Mason’s last kill was No. 1,000 of her career. In the last two seasons alone, she has 723 kills.

Head coach Pete Waite also employed some of his little-used subs into the lineup in both matches. Foulke liked what she saw.

“All the subs did a great job coming in off the bench,” Foulke said.

Leading the way was sophomore outside hitter Joyce Book. Book came up with 10 kills, 13 digs and three service aces on the weekend.

Another sophomore, Dana Ramos, came away with some quality playing time. In five games, Ramos had seven kills, 12 digs and three service aces.

In the Cleveland State match, Danielle Gerenz helped the team with five kills and nine digs in two games.

Looking forward, the road contains two remaining conference matches before the tournament. Will there be a letdown?

“I hope not,” Foulke said. “We want to keep our perfect (conference) record.”