Confident Huskies ‘roll’ into DePaul

By John Dietz

The NIU volleyball team will play its third match in four days at Alumni Hall tonight against its long-time rival, the DePaul Blue Demons.

NIU leads the series 13-8.

DePaul comes into the match with an 11-11 record but have defeated four of its last five opponents.

It has also taken the Huskies five games to defeat the Blue Demons in each of their last two meetings.

Invasion of enemy territory when a team is on a roll could present some problems, but NIU head coach Pete Waite isn’t worried.

“We’re on an even bigger roll and their (the Huskies’) confidence is going to be really tough to stop,” Waite said.

DePaul has also lost two of its top stars from last year’s 32-7 team. Waite thinks this will make tonight’s match a little less hectic than past matches.

“They’ve lost two of their big players and we haven’t lost anybody, so that should benefit us,” Waite said. “We’d like to beat them in a lot quicker fashion than we did last year.”

Waite is especially pleased with all the positive events that occurred over the weekend.

“It was an exciting weekend for us,” he said. “One reason was the two conference wins. Eastern Illinois is a team we may see in the (conference) finals. Wright State is the team we played in the finals last year, and we may have eliminated them from the top four.”

Waite also conceded that the 100th victory was extra special because of where it happened.

“To do that at home especially was a nice feeling,” he said.

On a statistical note, two Huskies have drastically improved their attack percentages in the last six matches.

Amy Foulke has committed only 13 errors in her last 19 games, which has exploded her attack percentage from .230 to .290.

Becky Ramsey is also on a roll. Ramsey has only eight errors in her last 17 games, and her attack percentage has ballooned from .249 to .286.

Other consistent contributors include:

Kori Schauer, who has maintained her status as the team’s most proficient attacker with a .312 attack percentage.

Wendy Mason continues to hold the lead in total kills with 189, but Foulke isn’t far behind with 181.

In the Wright State match, the Huskies racked up nine service aces to bring the team’s total to 135. Their opponents have just 73 aces.