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    Northwestern Downs Delaware, 3-0

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Stephanie Holthus paced the Wildcats with 14 kills Friday against Delaware.
    Stephanie Holthus paced the Wildcats with 14 kills Friday against Delaware.

    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
    Score: Northwestern 3, Delaware 0
    Records: NU (9-0, 0-0 Big Ten), Delaware (2-8, 0- CAA)
    Next NU Event:Tonight-- vs. Saint Louis (Welsh-Ryan Arena), 7 p.m.

    EVANSTON, Ill.

    Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

    -- Northwestern, playing on its home floor for the first time this season, breezed past the Delaware Blue Hens Friday morning at the Wildcat Classic, 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-17).

    The win was ninth in a row for the Wildcats, tying this year's squad with the 1987 group for the best start in program history. The last time that Northwestern won nine straight matches at any point during a season came in 2010 during the program's last run to the NCAA Tournament.

    Northwestern posted its best attacking numbers of the young season Friday. The Wildcats registered an attacking percentage of .365 as they committed a season-low seven hitting errors. Delaware was unable to find any kind of rhythm offensively as NU held the visitors to a clip of .093 in the three-set match.

    Northwestern jumped all over the Blue Hens early Friday as it raced out to an 11-1 advantage in the first set. Stephanie Holthus later extended the lead to 13 points at 20-7 before back-to-back errors by the Delaware attack sealed the first frame in NU's favor, 25-14.

    Holthus had the hot hand in the first set with six kills for the Wildcats. She added a pair of blocks in the first frame.

    Northwestern would never trail in the second set either. The start was not as ferocious as that of the first game, but the 'Cats, nursing a three-point lead at 10-7, went on 12-4 run, punctuated by a pair of kills from Yewande Akanbi, to put the Blue Hens to bed. Northwestern went on to win the second set by an identical score to the first, 25-14.

    The third set was the tightest of the match, featuring four tie scores and three lead changes. NU grabbed the lead at 9-8 and never again trailed as it went on to win the third, 25-17.

    Holthus finished with 14 kills, while Katie Dutchman added eight for Northwestern. Madalyn Shalter handed out a match-high 36 assists and added 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. For good measure, the senior setter added three kills on six attempts.

    The Wildcats will continue their home tournament this evening at 7 p.m. against the Saint Louis Billikens. Saint Louis lost its first match of the day to Western Michigan, 3-0. Delaware and WMU will lock horns later this afternoon at 5 p.m.


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