Volleyball sweeps day in S. Carolina

Huskies beat Wildcats in three sets, The Citadel in four

Junior+outside+hitter+Katie+Jablonski+%28right%29+attempts+to+spike+the+ball+over+a+a+wall+of+Air+Force+players+in+the+Huskies+3-0+win+at+Victor+E.+Court+on+Aug.+28.+Jablonski+led+the+Huskies+in+kills+during+the+Huskie+Invitational+with+38+over+three+games.

James Krause

Junior outside hitter Katie Jablonski (right) attempts to spike the ball over a a wall of Air Force players in the Huskies 3-0 win at Victor E. Court on Aug. 28. Jablonski led the Huskies in kills during the Huskie Invitational with 38 over three games.

Carlos Finney Jr., Sports Reporter

DeKALB —  The NIU volleyball team went undefeated on Friday at the Charleston Southern Tournament, dominating Bethune-Cookman University in the first match 3-0 and then defeating The Citadel in their second match 3-1.

NIU dominates morning game with Bethune-Cookman

In the first match against Bethune-Cookman, the Huskies came out rolling by dominating the first set after going on an 11-0 run to win the set with a score of 25-10. 

The second set was more of the same, but a little more competitive in the early going. The Huskies would take over again by going on a 10-4 run to the end the set and win it with a score of 25-14. 

The losses seemed to have woken Bethune-Cookman, because the third set was the most competitive set of the entire match. The score was 16-16 at a certain point in the set but, in the end the Huskies would prevail, winning the set and the match with a score of 25-21.

Sophomore setter Ella Mihacevich led the way with 10 kills while junior outside hitter Katie Jablonski and senior middle blocker Jasmine Kemp each had seven kills as well against Bethune-Cookman. 

Developing players and getting a lot of players in the first match against Bethune-Cookman was a very important takeaway for Coach Gooden. 

“We did a nice job getting a lot of people some match experience in the first match against Bethune-Cookman”, said head coach Ray Gooden. 

Huskies withstand The Citadel’s late rally

In the Huskies second match of the day, the set wins did not come as easy against The Citadel. The Huskies were looking just as dominant as they looked in their match against Bethune-Cookman in the first set. Once the score was 18-14 in favor of NIU, the Huskies would go on a 7-0 run to win the set with a score of 25-15. 

From that point on, every set was competitive. The second set was so competitive that they had to exceed the usual game point of 25 because neither NIU or The Citadel could win by two points. The Citadel would eventually put an end to the set by winning 28-26, evening the set score at 1-1. 

The third set was more of the same, being all tied up at 11-11. The Huskies would take the lead after this and would not lose it from that point on. The Huskies would win the third set 25-20. 

The fourth set early on looked to be in control of the Citadel as they went up 6-0 to start and then 14-6 later on. The Huskies would not roll over and eventually tied the score 17-17. The Huskies took the lead and never looked back to win the set and match with a score of 25-21. 

Kemp had a career game with 18 kills. Jablonski with 14 kills and freshman middle blocker Charli Atiemo chipped in with eight kills as well.

The Citadel really put the Huskies to the test and pushed them to the limit. Gooden believes a match like that will be good for the Huskies in the long run. 

“The second match against The Citadel was a battle and we needed a match like that,” said Gooden. The Citadel did a good job of battling for each point, and for us to battle right back with them and come back the way we did was good for our group.”

Pushing their win streak to three games, the Huskies finish out the Charleston Southern Tournament with one last game at 9 a.m. Saturday against the hosting Charleston Southern.