Sept. 6, 2003
CHICAGO, Ill. -
In their only other meeting with Ole Miss, the Wildcats had experienced success, recording a 3-0 win. The matchup at the Chicago Challenge was no different. Northwestern looked to be back at full speed, as they handed the Rebels a 3-0 (30-17, 30-12, 30-15) loss. With the win, the 'Cats improved to 3-2, while Ole Miss fell to 0-5 on the season.
"We came out and executed our game plan today," said head coach Keylor Chan. "We scouted them well and the team came out and executed what we had discussed. These were probably the three best games we've played in a row and our team looks like it is really coming around."
Sophomore outside hitter Christie Gardner (West Bend, Wis./ West Bend East) led the Wildcats against Ole Miss, as she recorded 11 kills, eight digs, three service aces and a career-high hitting percentage of .444. Seniors Erika Lange (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) and Iwona Lodzik (Tarnobrzeg, Poland/Tarnobrzeg) complimented Gardner, as they were both successful against the Rebels. Lange notched 15 kills and four block assists, while Lodzik had eight kills, seven digs, two service aces and a career-high hitting percentage of .533.
Ole Miss kept the score close early in the first game, trailing by as few as two points, but the Wildcats went on a 10-1 run and pulled away from their SEC foe. At the midpoint of the match, Northwestern led 15-10. The 'Cats allowed the Rebels just seven additional points in the game and went on to a 30-17 victory.
A 5-1 run by Northwestern got things started in game two. The scrappy Ole Miss team cut the lead to three at 5-2, but would not get any closer. The 'Cats went on a 10-4 run and took a 15-6 lead halfway into the game. The teams matched their scores from the first half of the game and NU won by a score of 30-12.
The Rebels scored the first point of the third game, but it would be the only lead for Ole Miss, as Northwestern followed with a 10-0 run. The Wildcats allowed the Rebels two more points before the midway point of the match, when they led 15-3. Ole Miss began to battle back late in the game, but it wouldn't be enough, as NU was victorious, 30-15.
Sophomore middle blocker Rachel Refenes, who tallied six kills, two digs and one block assist, led Ole Miss.
The 'Cats return to action tonight, when they take on the host Flames at 7:30 p.m. The match is scheduled to be held at the UIC Pavilion.