Streaking NIU invades ISU

By John Dietz

When the NIU volleyball team invades Illinois State tonight, several streaks will be in jeopardy and at least one will come to a screeching halt.

NIU has won eight matches and 24 games in a row, dating back to Sept. 12.

However, it has been 19 years since the Huskies have defeated the Redbirds.

Which of these streaks will fall? Well, the way the Huskies have dominated of late, their eight-match winning streak may just stay intact.

Over the years, the Redbirds have managed to compile a 25-10 overall record against the Huskies.

Head coach Pete Waite conceded that this match will definitely be a bench mark for his team.

“Well, that’s a huge match for us for a lot of reasons,” Waite said.

“First one is that I was a former assistant coach there before I came to Northern, so there are still some players there that I recruited in the program, and I know they’ve always been a solid program.”

The 15th-ranked Redbirds were solid enough to defeat No. 4 Notre Dame last Tuesday, so this match with the No. 11 Huskies should be a rough battle.

“Within those top rankings, any team can beat another on any day of the week. It means a lot to our season to go down there and win a match,” Waite said.

Going in with a 12-2 record, the question becomes: Is this team beginning to feel like it should win every match?

“Well, it really depends on who we go up against,” Waite said. “In our conference—yes. We have the confidence to walk in and win the match.

“Against some of these other teams, it just depends on how we play on that day. (Going into ISU) neither the team nor staff feel we’re the underdog.”

The school-record, 24-game win streak, which was established with two victories last weekend, is also on the line, but Waite would rather concentrate on a win.

“Records are nice, but wins are more important,” he said.