Sept. 5, 2003
CHICAGO, Ill. -
Since falling to Loyola last season at Welsh-Ryan Arena, the Wildcats have been looking to defeat the Ramblers and reclaim local bragging rights. In the first match of the Chicago Challenge, the 'Cats did just that, as they defeated their cross-town rival by a score of 3-0 (30-24, 31-29, 30-28).
"Overall, it was a strong performance and rebound from last weekend," said head coach Keylor Chan. "Loyola is a very tenacious team and I am very proud of our efforts to come back after being down and winning games two and three."
Leading the way for NU was junior outside hitter Jill Buschur (New Bremen, Ohio/New Bremen), who recorded 15 kills on 27 attempts with only two errors for a team-high hitting percentage of .481. Buschur also added two service aces and five digs. All-America candidate Erika Lange contributed to the Wildcat effort, as she notched 16 kills and hit .480 on the evening. Junior setter Drew Robertson was the Purple and White's assist leader with 46.
"Offensively we are improving," said Chan. "Erika (Lange) and Jill (Buschur) had a strong night, but we are looking to improve across the board before tomorrow night."
After swapping points with the Ramblers early in game one, the Wildcats scored seven consecutive and began to pull away. At the midpoint of the game, Northwestern held a 15-9 advantage on Loyola. The Ramblers cut the NU lead to two late in the game, but it would not be enough, as the 'Cats won by a score of 30-24.
Early in the second game, Northwestern found itself down by as many as five points. The Wildcats fought back, as they went on a 4-0 run to cut the Ramblers' lead to two. The Purple and White continued to fight back and took a 15-14 lead halfway into the game. The persistent Loyola squad continued to fight, but after swapping points for the remainder of the game, Northwestern earned the 31-29 victory.
After allowing Loyola the first point of the match, the Wildcats scored six unanswered, which sent the Ramblers into a timeout. Following the timeout, the Ramblers battled and took a 12-10 lead. Northwestern quickly went on a 4-0 run and was ahead 15-13 at the midway point of the game. Loyola took their final lead of the night at 22-21, but the victory went to the Wildcats, as they won 30-28.
Senior outside hitter Jorie Miguel recorded 12 kills, seven digs, two block assists and a hitting percentage of .500 to pace the Ramblers, while Lauren Holbrook led the team in assists with 35.
The Wildcats improve to 2-2 on the season with the victory against Loyola. NU will return to action tomorrow, when they take on Ole Miss and host Illinois-Chicago. The first match of the day will be against Ole Miss and is scheduled for a noon start, while the 'Cats and Flames will battle in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. All matches are taking place at the UIC Pavilion.