DeKALB — Inconsistency continues to weigh down the volleyball team, as the Huskies were blanked Friday against Ball State University, losing 3-0, but bounced back Saturday with a dominant 3-1 victory over University of Toledo.
Ball State came out firing on all cylinders, winning set one 25–19, with a team hitting percentage of .412. On the other side of the net, the Huskies did not play as well, with a team hitting percentage of .286 and 14 kills.
The Cardinals continued to roll in the second set with 17 kills and a hitting percentage of .400. NIU failed to match BSU and had five attack errors and only 10 kills in the set.
The Huskies’ struggles led to their demise as Ball State went on to win 25–19.
The third and final set was highly contested as both teams had a hitting percentage over .278. NIU had a match-high 18 kills in the set on 43 attempts.
NIU’s strong performance was not enough to win the set as the Cardinals took the set and match 26–24 to sweep the Huskies.
Natalie Risi, first-year outside hitter, led the way for the Cardinals with 17 kills and one ace. NIU’s top performer was sophomore middle blocker Jasmine Kemp with 12 kills.
Both teams struggled mightily in the first set, combining for 12 attack errors, and neither team had a hitting percentage higher than .205. Though NIU struggled to be consistent, it was able to win the set 25–23.
NIU was led by Kaitlyn Bell, first-year outside hitter, with five kills, and junior libero Miranda Karlen had 14 assists. The Rockets’ top performer was Emma Swope with four kills and a hitting percentage of .444.
Toledo bounced back in the second set with a team match-high hitting percentage of .333 with 14 kills.
On the other side of the net, the Huskies had their worst set of the night with eight attack errors and a match low .029 hitting percentage.
Senior middle blocker Zoe Birnbrich led the way for the Rockets with six kills and only one attack error in the second set. NIU’s top performer was first-year outside hitter Peyton Tilly with four kills.
NIU took control of the match in the third set with a match-high 18 kills and a hitting percentage of .298. The Huskies were led by junior middle blocker Kennedy Wallace with six kills in the set.
Birnbrich led the way again for the Rockets with six kills in the third set.
NIU dominated the fourth and final set with a match-high hitting percentage of .394 and only had two attack errors. While NIU thrived, Toledo struggled with a match-low .083 hitting percentage and seven attack errors.
Bell was NIU’s top performer in the fourth set with seven kills on 11 attacking attempts. Toledo’s top performer was Birnbrich with four kills to finish with 12 for the match.
The Huskies finish up their road trip against Western Michigan University 5 p.m. Friday at the Fieldhouse University Arena in Kalamazoo, Michigan.