Perfect conference record no sweat for Waite’s crew

By John Dietz

That is how the NIU volleyball team finished its season in the Mid-Continent Conference with victories over Valparaiso University (15-6, 15-9, 15-9) and the University of Illinois-Chicago (15-5, 15-11, 15-3) this weekend.

Head coach Pete Waite conceded that it was no easy task to go through the season undefeated in the conference.

“It was a main goal of ours to stay undefeated in the conference, but it has been tough,” Waite said. “Nikki Kozak didn’t play at all (Saturday) because of her ankle, and Kori Schauer didn’t play much because her ankle was sore.”

The Huskies were led by Amy Foulke, Dana Ramos and Becky Ramsey in the UIC match.

Foulke had 12 kills against two errors in 17 attempts for a lofty .588 attack percentage. For the season, she finished second in kills (330), second in attack percentage (.294) and first in service aces (42).

Hamos had 11 kills in 23 attempts with five errors for a .261 attack clip. Ramsey ripped 10 kills in 21 attempts with only two errors for a .381 clip.

For the weekend, Foulke and Wendy Mason led the way on offense with 22 kills.

Mason led defensively with 24 digs on the weekend, followed by Shelby Snyder who saved 22.

Overall, the Huskies are 27-5 going into the conference tournament this weekend at Chick Evans Field House.

Friday at 7 p.m. the Huskies take on UIC to open up the tournament. The other match is between Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois Friday at 5 p.m. The winners meet Saturday at

3 p.m. to play for an automatic bid to the National

Invitational Volleyball Championships.

What are the odds that NIU will get upset in this tournament? Not good. They hold a 48-2 edge in games against conference opponents.