Aug. 30, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. -- Northwestern followed up opening night's thrilling five-set victory with a quick straight-set win over the Presbyterian College Blue Hose Saturday morning. The Wildcats rarely trailed en route to their second straight win (25-18, 25-12, 25-18).
"It was great to see that we came out focused and determined after an emotional win last night against Colorado," said Northwestern head coach Keylor Chan. "Presbyterian was ready to go from the first serve, and so we're we. We were able to use the a lot of different players and that's because we've built such strong depth. We'll rest up and be ready to go tonight against the Huskies."
Presbyterian and Northwestern we're tied at 6-6 in the first set when the Wildcats orchestrated a six-point run to take the lead for good. Maddie Slater started the run with her first kill of the match and Kayla Morin added two of her own during the stretch. The Blue Hose would come no closer than four points for the rest of the frame before Morin finished off a 25-18 victory off a feed from freshman setter Taylor Tashima.
The second was also tied early on at four points each before Northwestern ripped off a 14-4 run that was capped by back-to-back kills from Morin and newcomer Symone Abbott, giving NU a ten-point cushion. Senior middle blocker Savannah Paffen later finished off the set with a solo block, then a kill to seal a 25-12 triumph for the Wildcats.
Northwestern's attack was firing on all cylinders during the second set. NU hit .591 as a team with 15 kills to just two errors.
In the third set, the two teams were locked up again early before another Northwestern run put the Blue Hose to bed. The score was 6-6 before an 8-2 swing in favor of the Wildcats put them up by six and they would never trail again.
After leading the squad with 18 kills on opening night, senior Yewande Akabi paced the 'Cats again Saturday morning with 12 terminations. Akanbi hit .500 against Presbyterian, while Abbott hit .467 with nine kills on 15 attempts in her second collegiate match. Senior Monica McGreal led Northwestern with nine digs and Morin had eight to go along with nine kills of her own.
Gabrielle Hazen became the third true freshman to play for NU this season against Presbyterian, while redshirt freshman Kelly Boutelle also made her collegiate debut. In all, 14 players saw action against the Blue Hose.
The Wildcats conclude the NIU Invitational tonight against the host NIU Huskies at Victor E. Court. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m. and is the first since 1997 between the two programs.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter and Instagram, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!