Sept. 10, 2005
CHICAGO, Ill. -- In the first match of back-to-back contests Saturday afternoon at the Chicagoland Classic, Northwestern showcased its ability to close out games in a sweep of host DePaul, 30-18, 30-18, 30-24.
With the win, Northwestern improves to 5-1 on the year and a perfect 2-0 in the tournament. The Wildcats return to action immediately against UIC in a match scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.
The Wildcats scored the final five points in game one, the last seven in game two and three of the final four in the third.
Game one was a tight affair early on before a quick Northwestern spurt capped by a Courtnie Paulus (Belgium, Wis./Ozaukee) ace gave the Wildcats a 17-13 lead. NU wasted no time extending that advantage, pulling away to a 25-18 lead, then scoring the game's final five points for a 30-18 win.
Game two ended in an identical, 30-18 Wildcat win. A 4-0 run midway through the contest, highlighted by a Stefanie Alde (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) solo block, gave NU a 13-4 lead. DePaul gradually cut into that total before taking a timeout with the score 23-18. Coming out of the break, NU scored the final seven points in order to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Wildcats raced out to a 5-1 lead in game three, forcing the Blue Demons to use a timeout. NU ran off the next five points after the break for a 10-1 lead. Again, DePaul crept back into the match, eventually closing to within four, 26-22, before the Wildcats closed out the match, 30-24.
As a team, Northwestern blocked 10 Blue Demon attacks, with Paulus contributing four while Brittney Aldridge (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) and Lindsay Anderson (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) each had three.
The `Cats finished the game with a .360 team hitting percentage; junior Cassie McLaughlin (Cary, Ill./Cary Grove) led the way by killing 11 balls at a .529 clip. Anderson recorded a match-high 16 kills and hit .481.
Northwestern held DePaul to just a .098 attack percentage.
Senior Christie Gardner (West Bend, Wis./West Bend East) finished with a match-best 18 digs, her best total of the season.