Oct. 24, 2008
NU vs. Indiana Box Score
2008 Northwestern Volleyball Statistics
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Behind a career-high 16 kills from junior Ariel Baxterbeck (Menlo Park, Calif./Castilleja), Northwestern pounced out to an early 2-1 lead on Indiana, but the Hoosiers rally to defeat the Wildcats 25-23, 23-25, 29-27, 18-25, 10-15 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The loss drops NU to 7-13 on the year and 1-8 in the Big Ten, while Indiana improves to 11-10 on the season and 3-6 in conference play.
It was a night of streaks for both teams, as both the Wildcats and Hoosiers put together a handful of substantial runs throughout the match. Indiana used a 5-1 run midway through the first set to build a 16-12 advantage, which was quickly matched by a 10-4 run by Northwestern. Tied at 22, a pair of blocks by Baxterbeck and sophomore Sabel Moffett (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal) helped seal the 25-23 opening set victory for NU. Senior Chelsy Hyser (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere) and sophomore Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) lead the offensive charge with four kills each, with Baxterbeck adding three of her own.
Northwestern controlled the tempo for the majority of the second set, building its lead to as many as five at 23-18. But needing just two points to take a commanding two sets to none lead, the Wildcats couldn't fend off a fierce Hoosier charge as Indiana registered the last seven points to upend NU 25-23. This time it was Moffett who came up big for the `Cats with five kills, complimented by two kills and three digs by freshman Madalyn Shalter (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf). Junior Kate Nobilio (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg) continued to anchor the Northwestern defense with six digs.
The Wildcats again gained the early advantage in the third set, once again building an early five point advantage at 13-8. But as was the case all evening, Indiana responded with a run of its own, tying the match at 20. Leading 24-23, the Wildcats had four chances to close out the set, but each attempt was answered by the Hoosiers. Tied at 27, a pair of blocks by Moffett and Johnson finally put the `Cats over the top, taking the third set 29-27. Hyser and Baxterbeck combined for 11 kills while Moffett tallied four blocks for Northwestern, with sophomore Elyse Glab (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) dishing out 15 assists.
Despite the tough defeat, it was Indiana that took control early of the fourth set from the onset. The Hoosiers build a five point cushion early, and extended that lead to as many as nine at 21-12. Northwestern did try to mount a late rally, using a 6-2 run to get to within five, but were unable to get over the hump and fell 25-18.
Both the Wildcats and Hoosiers traded points in the decisive fifth set, but tied at nine it was Indiana that took control, using a 6-1 run to close out the match with a 15-10 fifth-set victory. Erica Short and Ashley Benson were the difference makers for Indiana, as the two combined for 48 kills on the night. Benson also added nine blocks for the Hoosiers.
The loss overshadowed a career night for Baxterbeck, who, in addition to her career-high 16 kills, tied a season-best with 16 digs for the first double-double of her career. Her 41 attempts were also a new personal best. Hyser added 14 kills and four blocks while Moffett tied her career high with 10 blocks on the night. Glab just missed cracking the 50-assist mark, finishing with 49, and is now just 23 assists shy of becoming only the ninth player in the program's history to record 2,000 helpers. Nobilio finished the night with 22 digs and becomes just the second Wildcat to record 1,500 digs, bumping her career total to 1,503.
Northwestern now must regroup quickly as it welcomes top-ranked and defending national champion Penn State to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Saturday, Oct. 25. The Nittany Lions are 21-0 on the year and 9-0 in Big Ten play after sweeping Wisconsin in Madison Friday night, and have yet to drop a set this season. Saturday night's match is also the "Dig for the Cure" as the Wildcats team up with the Susan G. Komen Foundation in the fight against breast cancer. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the match as the `Cats will wear special pink jerseys, and fans will have the opportunity to win prizes as well as donate to the cause. Opening serve is set for 7 p.m.