Sept. 3, 2010
Northwestern 3, Mississippi 1
2010 Northwestern Challenge
Site: Welsh-Ryan Arena Evanston, Ill.
Records: Northwestern (3-0); Mississippi (2-2)
Up Next: Morehead State Saturday, Sept. 4 Noon
Northwestern vs. Mississippi Box Score
2010 Northwestern Volleyball Statistics
2010 Northwestern Challenge Tournament Central
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern and Mississippi exchanged blows all night in the teams' opening match of the Northwestern Challenge, but it was the Wildcats getting the key points when it counted, holding off the Rebels 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 26-24 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Senior middle blocker Sabel Moffett (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal) recorded a double-double for Northwestern, knocking down 14 kills to complement her career-best 11 blocks.
"That was an extremely good team out there," said head coach Keylor Chan of Ole Miss. "We knew they would give us everything they had, and they did. We played off at times, but it was nice to see girls step up when we needed them to. Everyone did the little things, and this was a nice victory to get."
Moffett and setter Elyse Glab (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) wreaked havoc at the nets all night for the Rebels, as the duo combined for eight blocks on the Mississippi attack. Moffett would add a solo block and two more block assists, surpassing her previous career-best of 10 blocks which she set on five occasions last season.
Offensively, it was a balanced team effort as three different Wildcats recorded double-digit kill totals. In addition to the 14 from Moffett, Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) had 12 with Madalyn Shalter (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf) adding 10 of her own. Christina Kaelin (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) and Stephanie Holthus (Burlington, Ill./Central) both had eight kills on the night.
Each match was extremely competitive from the opening serve as neither team was able to build more than a five-point lead the entire evening. In the first set, Northwestern broke a 19-19 tie by scoring six of the final eight points to take the 25-21 victory. In set two, it was déjà vu all over again, only this time it was the Rebels who outscored the Wildcats 6-2 to earn the 25-21 decision.
The Wildcats looked like they might break away in set three, leading 22-17 late, until a 5-1 run Mississippi run cut the gap to just one at 23-22. But a pair of kills from Moffett sealed the 25-23 victory.
Northwestern and Mississippi saved the best for last, however, staging an incredible fourth set. With the Wildcats leading 17-12, the Rebels fought back to take the lead at 23-21. After exchanging points, Ole Miss held a 24-23 advantage and was serving for the set, but three straight points by the Wildcats, including a kill from Kaelin that landed just inside the back line and a match-sealing block from Moffett and Glab, slammed the door on the Mississippi rally.
Glab finished the night with 45 assists to complement her eight blocks, which ties a personal-best. Defensively, Julie Chin (Naperville, Ill./North) set a personal-best with 23 digs on the night, with Holthus adding a career-best 18 digs of her own.
Northwestern won't have much time to savor the victory as the Wildcats will be back on the Welsh-Ryan court Saturday morning, taking on Morehead State at noon. The 'Cats then close out the 2010 Northwestern Challenge by facing Utah at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
Northwestern improved to 3-0 all-time against Mississippi with the victory after defeating the Rebels in straight sets in both 1996 and 2003.
Christina Kaelin notched the 1,000th kill of her career early in the fourth set. She tallied 982 kills during her career at Notre Dame and has 20 through the first three matches as a Wildcat for 1,002 career kills.
Naomi Johnson (12) and Madalyn Shalter (10) both season season-highs for kills in a match.
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