Spikers to play twice

By Brian Hayes

The NIU volleyball team is in for a big weekend.

Saturday night the Huskies play their first-ever Mid-Continent Conference match against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. at Chick Evans Field House and coach Pete Waite is looking forward to it.

“This will generate much more excitement for the fans,” he said. “It also puts a greater emphasis on conference play. We will play everyone in the conference twice and only the top four teams get to go to the tournament at season’s end.”

The Huskies beat the Phoenix in straight sets last season and lead the overall series 5-1.

Then less than 24 hours later, the Huskies will face Big Eight power Kansas Sunday at the fieldhouse with the first serve scheduled for 1 p.m. The overall series is tied at 1-1 and the teams last met in 1990.

Waite sizes up the Jayhawks: “We faced them two years ago at their place and came away feeling that we could play with them. They went to the same postseason tournament (NIVC) as we did last year, and they are definitely among the top 50 teams in the country.

“I am confident the people are going to see an exciting match. We have the experience now that we lacked the first time we played them.”

The Huskies have a chance to gain big draws at both matches with the football team on the road and the Chicago Bears not playing until Monday night, which leaves Waite optimistic for a good turnout both days.

“I was more than pleased with the turnout Tuesday,” Waite said. “What is nice about this weekend is we are the big sports event on campus. Also, it gives people who were in class or did not have time Tuesday another opportunity to see what we are all about.”