Oct. 26, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After falling behind in the match, 2-1, Northwestern rebounded to win games four and five in commanding fashion Friday night against No. 20 Michigan, besting the Wolverines, 26-30, 30-28, 16-30, 30-25, 15-9, to conclude its four-match home stand with a perfect 4-0 record.
The victory increases the Wildcats' current winning streak to four matches, improving NU to 14-9 overall and 5-7 in the Big Ten. Northwestern now is 3-0 on the season in five-game matches, with all three of those wins coming against ranked Big Ten opponents.
The win closed out a perfect 4-0 Big Ten home stand for the Wildcats, marking the first time since 1984 that Northwestern has gone undefeated during a four-match Big Ten home stand.
The Wolverines' loss drops them to 17-6 on the season, 5-6 in the conference.
Game one was close until midway through when Michigan opened up a 23-18 lead to force a Northwestern timeout. The Wildcats had trouble reeling the Wolverines back in, eventually falling behind by seven, 28-21. At that point, blocks by Brittney Aldridge (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) and Elyse Glab (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) coupled with a kill from Lindsay Anderson (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) brought NU back to within three, 28-25, but Michigan would win game one, 30-26.
Sophomore libero Kate Nobilio (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg) had a whopping 11 digs in game one.
Both teams traded mini-runs in game two, with NU holding a 15-10 lead before U-M came back to eventually take a 23-21 advantage. With Northwestern trailing a bit later by one, 26-25, Glab notched a block followed by a Michigan attack error, a Courtnie Paulus (Belgium, Wis./Ozaukee) kill and an Anderson ace to give NU a 29-26 lead. The Wildcats finally put the game away, 30-28, on another U-M attack error.
Game three was the ugly duckling of the match for the 'Cats, with the Wolverines launching out to a huge 13-6 lead it would never relinquish in a 30-16 U-M win.
Northwestern returned the favor in game four, scoring nine of the first 10 points for a 9-1 advantage. Three NU blocks, all involving junior Chelsy Hyser (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere), helped propel the start. The Northwestern lead became as high as 10, 19-9, on another Wolverine attack error before Michigan gradually inched its way back into the game. NU cruised into the finish, though, with a 30-25 game four win to even the match, 2-2.
A 6-1 run early in game five gave the Wildcats a 7-3 lead, with two kills from Anderson, a kill by Hyser and a Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) termination helping the cause. A 3-0 spurt later on comprised of an Anderson kill, a U-M attack error and a Hyser kill gave the 'Cats a six-point cushion, 11-5. That advantage would remain the rest of the match, with Anderson slamming home the final point for a 15-9 game-five win, and a 3-2 match victory for NU.
Paulus finished with a team-high 16 kills and 13 digs for a double-double. She moved into 15th place on NU's career kills list with 1,104. Also moving up the career kills ladder was Anderson, whose 14 kills put her at 1,398 for her career, good for the No. 7 spot in school history. Anderson added 13 digs of her own for another double-double.
Hyser blocked a match-best nine attacks, while Glab dished out 44 assists and 12 digs for a double-double. Nobilio ended up with a team-high 26 digs. Johnson totaled nine kills, the best total of the freshman's career thus far.
As a team, NU had 19.0 blocks, its best total of the year. The Wildcats' 83 digs were their second-best total of the season.
Northwestern returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Illinois.