Huskies nearly flawless in weekend sweep

By John Dietz

When the first serve of the Brown and Orange Invitational went soaring through the air, the long excruciating wait of a new season ended and the Huskies were ready.

Ready to begin a weekend of relentless attacks on their opponents, only to cease with a four-match victory over Bowling Green State University.

Head coach Pete Waite’s squad cruised through its first two opponents, Temple (15-3, 15-8, 15-7) and Kent State (15-3, 15-7, 15-8) with almost identical results on the scoreboard.

When the Huskies took on their final opponent, BGSU, both teams came in at 2-0.

With the tournament on the line, the Huskies came out with a vengeance and took the first two matches 15-13, 15-6. The momentum of those two matches helped NIU build a quick 12-4 lead in the third match.

It looked as if Waite’s squad would leave Ohio without losing a single match, until a string of well-placed serves by senior Carey Amos enabled BGSU to creep back into the match and shock the Huskies with a 16-14 come-from-behind win.

An infuriated bunch of Huskies then went on a rampage in the fourth game and pummeled the Falcons 15-5 to clinch the trophy.

“I think that match says a lot about this team,” Waite said. “We could have fallen apart but we didn’t.”

Individual honors went to senior Wendy Mason and junior Amy Foulke when they were voted to the All-Tournament Team. For Mason it was her fourth consecutive selection to an all-tourney team.

Another Huskie that impressed her coach was defensive specialist Shelby Snyder (99 assists, 9 service aces).

“Shelby had one of the best defensive tournaments of her career,” Waite said.

Kori Schauer also played extremely well with a team-high 31 kills and could have been another Huskie selected to the all-tournament team.

Although Waite does admit there are a few things the team needs to work on, he ultimately feels the season should be a success.

“If we play the way we did on Saturday (against BGSU), we should have a great season,” Waite said.