Huskies keep the streak alive

By Brian Hayes

The NIU volleyball team is on a roll and there seems to be no signs of it letting up.

The Huskies made quick work of Youngstown State on Friday night by scores of 15-5, 15-3, 15-8. They followed that up on Saturday afternoon with a 15-6, 15-2, 15-1 drubbing of Cleveland State.

The victories broke a school record for consecutive three-match wins—which was formerly six—and is now at eight and counting. NIU has won 24 straight games since losing the final game of a five-set loss on Sept. 12 to Pittsburgh.

“The girls were excited to hear that they had a chance to break the record for consecutive three-game matches,” NIU head coach Pete Waite said. “Plus, their main motivation was to send a message back to Cleveland State. Last year it took us four games to beat them in the North Star Championships, and we wanted to let them know who the improved team was.”

Amy Foulke paved the way on Saturday. She pounded 15 kills in 24 attempts with only one error.

“Amy did a superb job,” said Waite. “There was no stopping her on the court. She kept hitting harder and harder.”

The defense also put on a show as the Huskies out dug the Vikings 43-27. Amy Vander Meer recorded six digs and three service aces. Wendy Mason added six digs and two service errors as NIU made quick work of the Vikings, winning in just under an hour.

Friday night featured the Huskies first-ever encounter with the Youngstown State Penguins.

Once again it was Foulke on the attack. She hammered nine kills in 16 attempts against two errors. She was joined by Becky Ramsey who blasted seven kills in 15 attempts against one error, and Dana Romans who came off the bench to slam six kills in 12 attempts against two errors. Shelby Snyder had seven digs, two service errors and 34 assists.

Defensively, Vander Meer was there again. She had five digs and a service ace and caught praise from her coach.

“I think Amy made some exciting defensive plays and revved our team up to a higher level,” said Waite.

The two wins boost the Huskies’ overall record to 12-2 and keeps their Mid-Continent Conference record perfect at 5-0.

NIU will now take its act on the road for a non-conference match at Illinois State on Tuesday and a conference match at Western Illinois on Saturday.