Eagles lose to NIU Huskies in 4 sets
The Eastern Michigan University women’s volleyball team (11-6, 1-1 MAC) lost to the Northern Illinois Huskies (9-7, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) in DeKalb, Ill. on Friday. The match was the first conference game for Northern Illinois at home this season. Northern Illinois beat EMU three sets to one (24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21).
EMU came in 1-1 in MAC play after losing to the Ball State Cardinals (14-4, 2-1 MAC) in its conference opener last Friday night and rebounding to defeat the Toledo Rockets (7-7, 1-2 MAC) on Saturday. EMU came into the game winning eight of their last ten games.
The Eagles were defeated despite a strong offensive game. Senior Erin Short and sophomore Stacey Perinar each had 12 kills for the Eagles.
“They’re very formidable at home and they’ve been playing well.” EMU coach Kim Berrington said before the game. “We have to play well and block well because they are relentless at home.”
EMU only had two solo blocks and the Huskies were able to take advantage offensively. The Huskies’ Sarah Angelos had 16 kills and Mackenzie Roddy had 15 kills.
Short played well on offense with 12 total kills, eight of them through the first two sets. Senior Paige Roback also had ten kills.
In the first set, junior Jill Briner had an ace, a kill, and six assists, Briner also had five assists in the third set and nine in the fourth. Sophomore Corynne Smith had 27 digs, which accounts for 40 percent of the Eagles’ 66 total digs.
EMU looked strong early, beating the Huskies 26-24 in a close first set. Northern Illinois swept the next three sets.
EMU opened a lead in the first set 6-2 after a 4-0 run. Northern Illinois was able to pull within one, 7-6, and tie the match at 11.
The Eagles opened the lead again at 17-14 but Northern Illinois was once again able to tie the match at 18. EMU was able to score back to back points at 24-24 to win the first set 26-24.
EMU held a comfortable lead in the second set until Northern Illinois tied the match at 16. The Huskies went on a 6-1 run to take control of the second set 22-17. Northern Illinois won the second set 25-21.
Northern Illinois dominated the third set hitting .250 to EMU’s .057. The Eagles led the first set 4-3 until Northern Illinois went on a 7-0 run to take the lead 10-4. EMU was able to pull within three points late in the third set, 21-18, but Northern Illinois pulled away to win the set 25-19.
Northern Illinois pulled away early in the fourth set. The Huskies led 9-3 over the Eagles. Northern Illinois held a comfortable margin through the fourth to 17-10. The Eagles were able to pull within four, 20-16, but the Huskies’ early run was enough to down EMU 25-21.
Follow Robert Jones on Twitter @RobertJonesEcho.