in Central Michigan
02/04/2021 | 5.00
DeKALB, IL The Northern Illinois University volleyball team was defeated 3-0 (21:25, 21:25, 18:25) by the Toledo Rockets on Friday afternoon at Victor E. Court when the two teams split their weekend streak.
“With those back to back, we’re all still trying to get to a level of volleyball that we’re used to after being gone for so long,” said head coach Ray Gooden. “Toledo did a good job today to put us under pressure from time to time. We were good to get the first one here on Thursday and unfortunately we didn’t get it tonight. It’s a lesson we learned Go back to where we need to go now and keep working hard to prepare for another tough divisional series on the road. “
Junior setter Grace Balensiefer (Lafayette, Ind./McCutcheon) had her third double-double in a row with 16 assists and 12 digs. Katie Jablonski (Elburn, Ill./New Hampshire) led the huskies with 11 kills when Katilyn Bell (De Soto, Kan./De Soto) had 10 kills and hit .381. Jablonski also added four service aces. Samantha Juarez (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) went up and down with 18 digs.
NIU (1-3, 1-3 MAC) got off to a good start in the opening set with a 4-0 run highlighted by a block from Jablonski and Jasmine Kemp (DeKalb, Ill./DeKalb) to take a 7-4 lead. Toledo came back with a 5-0 run, which was completed 9-7 by two kills by Olivia Vance. The Huskies traded points with the Rockets up to 17-15 when a Kemp kill kicked off a 3-0 run that gave NIU an 18-17 lead. NIU was leading 21-19 when an Abby Erickson kill triggered a 6-0 Toledo run that gave the Rockets the first set 25-21.
The Huskies took the lead 10-4 in the second set and won seven direct points from Jablonski’s serve. The second child had three aces in that distance. Toledo threw himself at the top of the NIU, coming up with a block from Rhyenne Filisi and Taylor Alt between 16 and 14 in two minutes. After a Kennedy Wallace (Kansas City, Kan./Piper) killed the Huskies back to three, Toledo took a 7-0 lead and took advantage of a 21:17 advantage. The two teams exchanged points the rest of the way, allowing the Rockets to take a 2-0 lead in the game with another 25:21 win.
“We did some really good things at the beginning of this set and then I thought we were worried about things like the result,” said Gooden. “Before you know it, Toledo has run a run to take the lead. We just have to be able to deal with it. That’s one of the big things for our team right now, to have that short term memory and be ready for the next game. “
Toledo (1-3, 1-3 MAC) got two kills each from Filisi and Alt to take a 6-0 lead and start the third set. NIU rallied back to be within two of an 11: 9am Jablonski kill. The missiles then came back with five of the next six points to take a 16-10 lead and eventually increased the advantage to 10 at 22-12 on another alt-kill. The Huskies came close to six but couldn’t keep up with Toledo’s efficient attack as the Rockets hit .295 in set and won 25:18 and won the match 3-0.
The missiles hit .294 in the match to NIUs .147. Alt led all players with 17 kills.
NIU is opening a two-game series in Central Michigan this Thursday, February 4th at 5:00 p.m.