Volleyball continues slide, falls to NIU in five sets

Freshman setter Kelly Maxwell watches in anticipation as CMU fights to break a tie with Northern Illinois in the first game of the match Friday at Finch Fieldhouse. (Perry Fishe/Staff Photographer)

The Central Michigan women's volleyball team continued its struggle in five-set matches Friday, losing 3-2 against Northern Illinois at Finch Fieldhouse.

After winning the first set 25-17, CMU struggled in sets two and three, dropping both 32-30 and 25-18, respectively.

“During (match) three, we definitely let our focus slip and that effected the rest of our game, causing us to lose our momentum," said sophomore outside hitter Katie Schuette, who finished with 13 kills and nine digs.

The Chippewas would even the match 2-2 with a 25-18 win of their own in the fourth set, but were unable to close it out in the fifth. Back and forth throughout the set, the Huskies broke a 13-13 tie with back-to-back kills.

Senior Lauren Krupsky lead the way for the team, recording 18 kills. Senior defensive specialist Lisa Johnson had a team-high 20 digs. Lauren Wicinski had a game-high 25 kills for NIU (18-2, 4-1 MAC).

CMU head coach Erik Olson stressed his disappointment in the end result after the match.

"Statistically, we won every single category – we scored more points, we had a higher game percentage, we had more kills, we out dug them and out blocked them – but it’s a matter of scoring points at the right time, and that’s the biggest hump we have to get over," Olson said.

With the loss, CMU drops to 7-10 on the season and 1-4 in the Mid-American Conference. It plays next at 7 p.m. Saturday against Western Michigan at Finch Fieldhouse.