Huskies take rematch over Panthers

Eastern Illinois falls to NIU in four sets Saturday


James Krause | Northern Star

Redshirt senior libero Miranda Karlen digs in a practice on Aug. 24 at Victor E. Court. The Huskies will play three games over two days to open their regular season schedule.

By Waleed Alamleh, Sports Reporter

DeKALB —  The Women’s Volleyball team defeated the Eastern Illinois Panthers in four sets Saturday evening improving their record to 3-2 on the season. The Huskies were very impressive on both sides of the net Saturday as the hitting and defense were much more improved from Thursday’s game against the Panthers. 

The team was dominant to start the match as the Huskies got an early 10-5 lead over the Panthers that they would not look back from. The offense got it going through junior outside hitter Katie Jablonski who got five kills in the set, this allowed the ball to spread around with nearly seven Huskies being credited for a kill in the set.

The Huskies would push the lead to double digits eventually winning 25-13, Head Coach Ray Gooden was impressed with his team’s effort early saying in an interview with NIU athletics, “We knew we had to establish ourselves early and really work hard on our tempo and also our defensive tenacity.” 

The second set was a much more competitive one as the Panthers were able to wipe away the Huskies five-point lead at two different points in the set but they could never even up the score. The closest the Panthers got was 21-20 when again Jablonski and sophomore setter Ella Mihacevich went on a 5-1 run by themselves to get the Huskies the set win.

Set number three was a very competitive back and forth battle between the teams with the biggest lead coming with the Panthers up 22-18. It was then Huskies first-year middle-back Charli Atiemo who almost sparked a comeback with three straight aces to put the Huskies down one until the Panthers were able to pull away at the end winning 25-23.

The fourth set was all Huskies as the team turned another hot start to the set along with sloppy play from the Panthers into a huge four-set lead. The Panthers had nine errors in the set while only hitting 5% on kills; that’s the perfect combination to a 25-15 blowout loss and a 3-1 match victory.  

The Huskies next game is Friday, Sept. 10, as they will travel for a two-day tournament in Charleston, South Carolina.