Volleyball drops MAC opener, despite winning first set
It took four games for the Northern Illinois Huskies to top the Central Michigan volleyball team 3-1 in front of an enthusiastic crowd packed into McGuirk Arena Friday night.
The Chippewas won every category on paper, but in the end the Huskies came out on top in the Mid-American Conference opener.
Kelly Maxwell was back in action for the Chippewas, starting the first match helping lead her team to a 25-18 win.
“She made great decisions; she had great set location and I think she executed our game plan well,” head coach Eric Olson said.
The Huskies stole game two 16-25 and game three 30-28 after pushing the Chippewas into extra points.
“I thought we did a pretty good job, we just let them back in the set,” Olson said. “We let them in at crunch time. We win set three, we win the match.”
CMU fell to NIU 25-22 in game four to end the night.
Olson brought in sophomore middle blocker Hallie Enderle in set three to help spark to the Chipewa offense. She ended the night with a .857 hitting percentage.
“Whenever coach turns to me and says ‘Enderle’, it’s the greatest opportunity in the world,” Enderle said. “I’m really proud of myself to give that spark - that energy – for the team.”
Defensively, the team was led by junior defensive specialist Jenna Coates, who had 31 digs out of the team’s 74 total digs.
The Chippewas spread out its offensive effort, with significant performances by senior outside hitter Lindsey Dulude (10), senior outside hitter Val Deweerd (11), junior middle blocker Danielle Gotham (10) and sophomore outside hitter Kaityln McIntyre (16).
CMU will continue their four-game home stand taking on Western Michigan at 7 p.m. Saturday night at McGuirk Arena.
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