Sept. 2, 2011
Site: Chicago, Ill. (Flames Athletic Center)
Score: Northwestern 3, Loyola (Chicago) 0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-15)
Records: NU (4-0), Loyola (Chicago) (0-3)
Next NU Event: Sept. 3, 2011 -- Chicago Challenge Championship Match (Flames Athletic Center), 7 p.m. CT
CHICAGO -- Northwestern hit a blistering .341 as a team and sided out an astronomical 81 percent of the time Friday night in cruising to a Chicago Challenge opening round sweep (25-18, 25-12, 25-15) of Loyola (Chicago) at the UIC Flames Athletic Center.
By virtue of the win, Northwestern will take on either DePaul or the host Flames in the Chicago Challenge championship match at 7 p.m. CT Saturday, Sept. 3.
Freshman right side Hannah Crippen led the Northwestern attack with 10 kills on 14 swings with no errors for a .714 hitting percentage. Reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Stephanie Holthus added nine kills on a .318 hitting percentage with 12 digs while middle blocker Katie Dutchman hit .429 with eight kills and four blocks.
The first set of the match began tight until a Holthus kill sparked a 4-0 spurt that led to a 16-10 Northwestern lead and a Loyola timeout. The Ramblers climbed back within two points, 19-17, but two more Holthus kills, an Alex Ayers termination and several Loyola attack errors ended the first set, 25-18.
Northwestern roared to a 9-2 lead in set No. 2. Two Holthus kills, two Dutchman kills and a Crippen kill and ace helped fuel the run. The Wildcats continued to pour on the pressure in cruising to a 25-12 win.
The Ramblers kept the third set closer at the beginning, though the final score would be the same. With NU up two, 12-10, the Wildcats proceeded to score 13 of the next 15 points to terminate the match in resounding fashion.
finished the night with 35 assists to give her at least 35 in each of NU's first four matches of the year -- all sweeps. Libero Julie Chin
notched 14 digs and a team-best three service aces.
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