NIU gains momentum after win

By John Dietz

Did anyone check the pulse of the Bradley Braves’ volleyball team Tuesday night?

Some may argue that it was around 30 because it seemed as if they were comatose.

Others may disagree and point out it was probably at about 220 because of the way they were running around like chickens with their heads cut off all night.

The Braves were led to the foxes and slaughtered Tuesday evening and for anyone that needs reminding, the scoreboard read: NIU 15-8, 15-7, 15-2.


Head coach Pete Waite’s squad now stands 5-2, although Waite didn’t expect this win to be so easy.

“Bradley, in the first matches of the season, had some good matches,” he said. “I talked to their coach afterwards and she was a little upset with how they played.”

When a team like NIU explodes on its opponent in such dominant fashion, one would expect to see the bench empty so some of the newer players could see some action.

Waite explained why this philosophy doesn’t always hold true in volleyball as it does for other sports.

“The toughest part of subbing in volleyball is there’s no clock running down and you can lose the momentum at any time,” Waite said.

And once a team loses its momentum, in all sports, it can be difficult to regain.

One thing Waite was pleased with was the crowd turnout. He thought it was one of the biggest and definitely loudest crowds he’s seen at NIU.

“Let’s hope it continues,” he said.

Not only should it continue, but the crowd should grow as the season grows older. This is one of the most exciting volleyball teams ever to hit DeKalb.

It’s one that needs to be seen to be believed.

The next home match is Saturday at 7 p.m. against Wisconsin-Green Bay. NIU leads the series 5-1.

Momentum played a vital roll in all of the matches played last weekend. And although NIU lost against two tough teams (Purdue and Pittsburgh), Waite believes the losses will help the team in the long run.

“I think overall it will have a positive effect, other than the two losses on our record,” Waite said. “The team learned to play with a focus and realized that against the best teams you can’t rest for a second.”