Huskies in ‘championship’ form

By John Dietz

Before Friday night’s match with Eastern Illinois University, two new banners were raised to honor the achievements of last year’s volleyball team.

The 1991 Mid-Continent Conference championship banner, along with the NIVC tournament banner both hang in Chick Evans Field House for all the fans to see.

Head coach Pete Waite asked the crowd to continue to support Huskie volleyball and to “continue to push this team to be better.”

Well, this weekend NIU was nothing short of unstoppable.

EIU fell first, 15-6, 15-5, 15-10. In the early going EIU looked like it may give NIU a little trouble. The Huskies held a 4-3 lead in the first game with the serve before they finally ripped apart the Panthers.

One true crowd pleaser came when Wendy Mason dove head first to save a Panther spike. However, the incredible dive gave Shelby Snyder just an instant to react. Snyder dove at the ball and Amy Vandermeer bumped it back to the Panthers.

The ball never came back. That incredible series energized the crowd and the team for the remainder of the match.

Saturday night, the Wright State Raiders were torn apart by the Huskies, 15-4, 15-3, 15-4. The victory was Waite’s 100th of his career at NIU.

The entire team lifted Waite into the air in recognition of this achievement in such a short period of time.

Waite sent some of the little-used Huskies into the lineup in the third game of this match. Joyce Book stood out as one of the promising Huskies of the future.

Book began serving game three with the Huskies down 1-0 and reeled off six points in a row—including a momentum-boosting three aces. She now has eight aces on the season.

“Joyce did a super job coming off the bench,” Waite said.

Waite also remarked on the fact that this team is deep in talent, and he wants the crowd to see more of the younger players.

The victories extended NIU’s winning streak to 12 matches and improved its record to 16-2, 8-0 in the Mid-Con.

Since the start of the winning streak on Sept. 15, NIU holds a 36-2 edge in games played.