Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lamar Volleyball Falls 3-0 to Northern Illinois

BEAUMONT, TEXAS (September 7, 2011) Northern Illinois All-America Lauren Wicinski pounded down a match-high 16 kills Thursday night at McDonald Gym as the visiting Huskies defeated Lamar University 3-0 (18-25, 21-25, 19-25) in a non-conference volleyball match.

The Lady Cardinals schedule will not get any easier this weekend as they host Baylor, Mississippi State and UTEP in the MCM Elegante’ Invitational. Lamar and Mississippi State will square off on Friday night at 6:30, with the Lady Cards facing UTEP on Saturday at 12:30 and then closing the tournament with Baylor at 7 p.m.

Lamar stands at 1-7 on the year, having lost its last six matches. NIU won its sixth straight match to improve to 8-2 on the season.

“I thought we were able to do some things offensively tonight that we wanted,” said LU head coach Justin Gibert. “However, we couldn’t stop them. They’re playing at a higher level than us. They’re a step quicker, and it’s just a pace we’re not used to.”

After dropping the first set 25-18, Lamar looked to even the match at a set apiece with a strong rally in the second set. The Lady Cardinals attacked at impressive .333 as a team in set two, and cut a 19-13 deficit down to one at 19-18.

However, NIU would not be denied the set. Behind Wicinski’s offense, the Huskies stemmed the tide and pulled out the set 25-21. As strong as Lamar was offensively in the set, NIU hit a match-high .370 with 14 kills on only 27 attempts with four attack errors.

The Huskies then hit .310 in set three to close the match with a 25-19 victory. In fitting fashion, the match ended on Wicinski’s 16th kill of the match.

While Lamar hit a solid .195 as a team, the Huskies were more efficient and finished with a 47-29 advantage in kills. NIU also finished with a 40-25 advantage in digs and a 9-7 advantage in service aces.

Sophomore outside hitter Sierra Whittaker had a strong match, finishing with eight kills and a .316 attack percentage. Whittaker added three block assists as Lamar finished with 8.5 as a team.

Junior setter Alex Morford saw her first action of the season as she continues to recover from a broken foot. Only cleared to play one set, Morford finished with five assists, a kills and two of LU’s five service aces.

“I thought she came out real competitive in that first set and I just wish we could have had her for more than just that one game,” said Gibert.

Sophomore outside hitter Megan McStravick added seven kills, five digs and a solid .294 attack percentage.

Allison McGlaughlin added eight kills for NIU, hitting an outstanding .412 in the match. She also finished with 10 digs, as did teammate Amber Walker.

No comments: