Volleyball squad returns home for two

By John Dietz

The two teams that will be invading DeKalb this weekend, Youngstown State and Cleveland State, will both have a most difficult task at hand.

That task is to come into the Huskies’ den (Chick Evans Field House) and stop the volleyball squad’s six-match win streak. The question is, do either of these teams have a legitimate shot at pulling off an upset?

Friday night at 7:00, head coach Pete Waite’s squad will see the Penguins of Youngstown State for the first time. Waite knows the Penguins haven’t been playing up to par but remains cautious of his opponents.

“From what I can tell, they’re struggling,” Waite said. “If you’ve never seen them, then you don’t know how you’re going to match up. We’ll know a lot more when we actually step out on the court.”

On Saturday, NIU will face the Vikings of Cleveland State at 2 p.m. The Huskies hold a 10-3 series edge on the Vikings and are hoping send them back to Ohio with another loss.

Once again Waite refused to hope for an easy match.

“They’re having a better year than last year,” Waite said. “We met them in the first round (of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament) last year, and they nearly knocked us out of the conference tournament.”

On the line this weekend is the No. 11 Mideast Region ranking the Huskies bring into these two matches. That rank marks the highest any NIU volleyball team has ever reached in the national standings.

“We feel great about it,” Waite said. “We’re surrounded by some really great teams.”

As far as individual stats go, the leaders are as follows:

Kori Schauer far and away leads the team in hitting percentage (.338) and is second on the team in kills (128).

Wendy Mason, who was just named Rawlings/Mid-Continent

Conference Player of the Week, has reclaimed her position from last year as NIU’s kill leader with 132.

Shelby Snyder, the Huskie’s primary setter, comes in with 467 assists in 42 games played. Snyder also leads in digs (133) and 21 service aces.

However, Amy Foulke is hot on Snyder’s tail with 20 aces and she ranks third in kills (117).

Finally, Becky Ramsey ranks second in digs (126), second in hitting percentage (.249) and fourth in kills (100).