Volleyball loses in four to Broncos


James Krause | Northern Star

Junior outside hitter Katie Jablonski serves against Western Illinois on Aug. 27 at Victor E. Court. Jablonski leads the Huskies with 198 kills in 56 sets this season.

By Carlos Finney Jr., Sports Reporter

DeKALB — The NIU volleyball team lost to the Western Michigan University Broncos Tuesday 3-1 to fall to 7-6 on the season. 

NIU had full control of the first set. The score was tied at 8-8, but NIU would take over from that point and go on a 12-0 run. NIU would win the first set by a wide margin with a score of 25-14. 

Head coach Ray Gooden spoke on the Huskies’ fast start in the first set and how important it was when going against a tough team like Western Michigan after just having back-to-back games last week Friday and Saturday.   

“I knew we needed to have a fast start, especially when playing one of the best teams in our league at their place on a short turnaround,” Gooden said in a Tuesday NIU Athletics news release. “The start was really important for us. We took advantage of our serve, every first contact was positive, and I thought we did a nice job getting out in front.”

The second set was full of momentum swings. NIU went on a 5-0 run early to take a 9-5 lead. WMU would go on a 5-0 run of their own to take the lead 13-10. Each team would trade points throughout the rest of the set before WMU would edge out the Huskies to win the second set 25-23. 

The third set was more of the same before WMU would pull ahead to give themselves some breathing room from the Huskies. WMU went on a 5-0 run when leading 9-8 to then take a lead of 14-8. Down 21-16 near the end of the match, the Huskies went on a run to fight their way back into the game and shrink WMU lead to one. Just as the second set went,  NIU could not pull off the comeback, and WMU would win the set 25-23. 

The fourth set was all about the early start that WMU got off to, taking a five point lead in the early going. The Huskies tried to battle their way back into the set, but they trailed the rest of the match to lose the set 25-21 and match 3-1. 

Junior outside hitter Katie Jablonski finished with 14 kills, while freshman middle blocker Charli Atiemo sophomore setter Ella Mihacevich had 13 kills each. 

The Huskies look to bounce back against the Eastern Michigan University Eagles at 6 p.m. Friday at home in DeKalb for the first of two back-to-back matchups against Eastern Michigan in front of their home crowd for Homecoming week.