Oct. 20, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- On "Dig for the Cure" night at Welsh-Ryan Arena, Northwestern dug 56 Iowa attacks to help raise money for the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, but more importantly the 'Cats swept the Hawkeyes, 31-29, 30-22, 30-19.
The win improves Northwestern to 12-9 overall on the season, 3-7 in the conference. Iowa falls to 9-12 with its loss, 1-9 in the Big Ten.
Part of the evening involved fans making pledges to the Komen Foundation for every dig the Wildcats earned in the match. Libero Kate Nobilio's (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg) jersey was to be pink, however the match officials did not permit it to be worn because its contrast was not stark enough compared to NU's white jerseys.
Northwestern found its defense on "Dig for the Cure" night, holding Iowa to a paltry .014 team hitting percentage in the match.
Northwestern began the match in the hole, using its first timeout with a five-point deficit in game one, 15-10. A 6-1 run after the break tied the match for the 'Cats, 16-16, after kills by Chelsy Hyser (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere), Brittney Aldridge (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire), Lindsay Anderson (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) and Brittani Gray (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore).
The teams traded points until the very end, when Iowa earned two game points, 29-27. A Gray kill followed by an Iowa attack error knotted the score, 29-29, then a Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) solo block and another Hawkeye attack error gave the Wildcats game one, 31-29.
In game two, Northwestern romped out to a huge 15-6 lead, capping the opening explosion with a block by Aldridge and Gray. Iowa gradually fought its way back into the game, getting as close as four, 24-20, before a trio of Anderson kills ignited a 6-2 run to end the game and give NU a 2-0 lead in the match, 30-22.
Anderson had eight kills in the second game for the 'Cats.
Game three was close until the midway point, with Northwestern holding a one-point lead, 17-16. The Wildcats then caught fire, ending the game on a 13-3 run to win, 30-19, and sweep the match. Northwestern held Iowa to an -.043 hitting percentage in the third game.
Anderson finished with a match-high 16 kills, while Aldridge had 12 on a match-best .455 hitting percentage (12-2-22). Anderson also added 16 digs for a double-double. Setter Elyse Glab (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) totaled 37 assists in the three games, while Nobilio had a match-high 17 digs.
Northwestern played its second-straight match without senior Courtnie Paulus (Belgium, Wis./Ozaukee), who suffered a minor injury during practice last week.
Northwestern returns to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, against Michigan State at Welsh-Ryan Arena in a match to be televised by the Big Ten Network.