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    Wildcats Open 2010 Campaign With Dominating Sweep of Ramblers

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Senior Naomi Johnson had a big night for the Wildcats, finishing with 10 kills, five blocks and three service aces.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Senior Naomi Johnson had a big night for the Wildcats, finishing with 10 kills, five blocks and three service aces.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Aug. 27, 2010

    Northwestern 3, Loyola (Chicago) 0
    2010 Chicagoland Classic (Hosted by DePaul)
    Site: McGrath Arena • Chicago, Ill.
    Records: Northwestern (1-0); Loyola (Chicago) (0-1)
    Up Next: Illinois-Chicago (Chicagoland Classic championship)
    Saturday, Aug. 28 • 7:30 p.m.

    Box Score
    Northwestern vs. Loyola (Chicago) Box Score Get Acrobat Reader
    2010 Northwestern Volleyball Statistics Get Acrobat Reader

    CHICAGO, Ill. -- Northwestern commenced its 2010 schedule in grand style, sweeping Loyola (Chicago) 25-23, 25-12, 25-15 at the Chicagoland Classic at McGrath Arena on the DePaul University campus. The senior middle blocking duo led the way for the 'Cats with Sabel Moffett (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal) knocking down 12 kills and adding six blocks as Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) recorded 10 kills and five blocks of her own.

    "I thought this first match was a great one for this team to gain some valuable experience," said head coach Keylor Chan. "The first set challenged us a little and I was pleased with the way the girls responded. With the schedule we have coming up, we are going to be in that situation again and I think its critical they got that experience. We've got work to do, but overall, I was pleased for an opening match."

    Leading 12-11, Northwestern started to pull away midway through the opening set, building a 16-12 advantage. Loyola would respond, stringing together a 6-1 run to reclaim the lead at 18-17, which was matched by a 7-2 run for the Wildcats. NU staved off a late Rambler rally, with the true freshman Stephanie Holthus (Burlington, Ill./Central) knocking down the set-clinching kill. Christina Kaelin (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) led the way with six kills in the opener, complemented by four from Moffett.

    Both teams exchanged points early in set two, but with the score tied at nine, the Wildcats took over. Northwestern used a 14-3 run down the stretch to roar to the convincing 25-12 victory in set two. Johnson led all players with five kills in the set with a pair of blocks with Moffett and Madalyn Shalter (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf) each adding three apiece.

    The Wildcats continued that momentum into set three, breaking out to a quick 14-3 lead and never looked back. Loyola tried to cut into that gap, closing the advantage to as little as six at 18-12, but Northwestern held off the rally, as Holthus knocked down the match-clinching kill, her seventh of the night, to put an exclamation mark on the 25-15 decision.

    Kaelin was impressive as well in her Wildcat debut, recording eight kills in just two sets of work. Setter Elyse Glab (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) dished out 36 assists to go along with three blocks and a pair of kills. Libero Julie Chin (Naperville, Ill./North) posted a match-high 12 digs with Holthus adding eight on the night.

    Northwestern now prepares to play in the Chicagoland Classic championship match Saturday evening at McGrath Arena. The Wildcats will face Illinois-Chicago, with the opening serve set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.

    MATCH NOTES

    • Northwestern now leads the all-time series 16-4 and avenges its 2008 Chicagoland Classic championship match loss to the Ramblers.

    • Outside hitter Stephanie Holthus made her first career start as a true freshman, finishing with seven kills, four blocks and eight digs.

    Sabel Moffett had 12 kills on 16 attempts with two errors for a .625 hitting percentage. Fellow middle blocker Naomi Johnson had 10 kills on 17 attempts with three errors, hitting .412 on the night.

    • As a team, the Wildcats committed just 11 errors on the night, recording 44 kills on 103 attempts for a .320 hitting percentage.

    • Northwestern had four service aces to Loyola's none, including three from Johnson.

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