Huskies beats Akron in four sets

NIU starts final road series of the season with victory

Freshman+middle+blocker+Charli+Atiemo+winds+up+for+a+serve+on+Sept.+18.+Atiemo+has+quickly+grown+into+a+starter+for+the+volleyball+team.

Courtesy of NIU Athletics

Freshman middle blocker Charli Atiemo winds up for a serve on Sept. 18. Atiemo has quickly grown into a starter for the volleyball team.

Carlos Finney Jr., Sports Reporter

DeKALB — The NIU volleyball team defeated the University of Akron Zips in four sets 25-23, 25-23, 25-14, 25-20 in Akron, Ohio on Friday. 

“We did what we needed to do tonight,” head coach Ray Gooden said in a Friday NIU Athletics news release. “What we had to do was have a good start, play solid volleyball and get a good win on the road. Tonight’s match was a defensive battle on both sides. When we started to settle down and put pressure on Akron, I thought we did a better job of managing our side.”

In the first set, the Huskies got off to a 5-0 lead. The Zips worked their way back into the game to even the score 11-11. The two teams traded points and tied a total of four times before the Huskies were able to create seperation from the Zips by going a 4-0 run near the end of the match. This led to the Huskies winning the first set with a score of 25-23. 

In the second set, the Zips took the lead with a score of 10-6 in the early stages of the set. The Huskies responded by going on a 5-0 run to take the lead 11-10. The Huskies and the Zips would tie six times in the set. The Huskies were able to even the score at 23-23 before the Zips scored the next two points to win the set 25-23.

In the third set, the Huskies never lost control, taking a 8-5 lead early.  Multiple runs throughout the set didn’t allow the Zips a chance to gain any momentum. The Huskies won the set by 11, with a score of 25-14.

The Huskies carried this momentum into the fourth set by taking a 10-4 lead to start. A 3-0 run and a 4-0 run led to another comfortable set win for the Huskies, with a score of 25-20. 

Junior outside hitter Katie Jablonski finished with 16 kills, while sophomore setter Ella Mihacevich and freshman middle blocker Charli Atiemo each had 10 kills of their own. 

The Huskies next game is at 4 p.m. Saturday against the Zips in Akron, Ohio.