Bloomington, Ind. (University Gymnasium)
Northwestern 3, Indiana 0
NU (14-10, 5-8 Big Ten), Indiana (8-17, 0-13 Big Ten)
Next NU Event:
Saturday, Nov. 5 -- at No. 11 Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), 6 p.m. CT
Nov. 4, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Northwestern's volleyball team posted its fourth consecutive victory on Friday night with a clean sweep of the Indiana Hoosiers (25-21, 25-20, 25-12) at University Gym in Bloomington, Ind. The Wildcats were extremely efficient as they tied a season high with an attacking percentage of .341 for the match.
"We played great volleyball tonight," said Northwestern head coach Keylor Chan. "Our middles were awesome. Both Kathryn Chrystal and Katie Dutchman had very strong games tonight. I thought Yewande [Akanbi] and Carks [Niedospial] did some great things, as well."
Chrystal (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) buried six kills while committing only one error (6-1-9; .556) while Dutchman (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines) had seven kills on 12 swings without a misfire. She led all players in the match with a .583 attacking percentage. The middle blocking duo also combined for nine block assists Friday.
Akanbi (Houston, Texas/Dawson) led the Wildcats with 10 kills, while Niedospial (Chicago, Ill./Marist) tied a career high with 11 digs in the three-set win.
In the first set, the Wildcats drew first blood by scoring the first two points, but the Hoosiers went on an 7-1 run to grab a lead and force NU head coach Keylor Chan to call an early timeout. Indiana would extend the lead to 13-7 before Northwestern began to chip away. A run of five straight points by the Wildcats cut the deficit to one (12-13) and prompted IU head coach Sherry Dunbar to call a timeout of her own. Coming out of the timeout, Niedospial served an ace and the Hoosiers committed an attacking error to give NU its first lead since 2-1.
Indiana would take back the lead once again at 16-15, but Northwestern used another run, this time 6-1, to take a 21-17 lead. After another IU timeout, the 'Cats continued to apply pressure while holding a charge from the Hoosiers to win the first set, 25-21. Stephanie Holthus (Burlington, Ill./Central) sealed the set with just her first kill of the match. Akanbi led the Wildcats with five terminations in the first.
The two teams opened the second frame in an evenly matched manner as they traded points until NU used a 4-1 run punctuated on a powerful slam by Dutchman to grab a 12-8 lead. IU would not relent as they came within a point at 12-11, but would come no closer the rest of the way. For the second straight set, Holthus closed it out for Northwestern on the strength of her fifth kill of the match.
Through the first two sets, the Wildcats committed only four attacking errors. After two sets in the books, NU was attacking at a clip of .315 (27-4-73) for the match.
The 'Cats took control of the third set from the onset as they busted out to a 7-2 lead, which prompted Dunbar to call an early timeout. NU came out of the break on a 6-3 run to build the advantage to 13-5. Northwestern spread the ball around and continued to play mistake-free volleyball as they won the final set, 25-12.
Northwestern's attacking percentage (.341) tied a season high, which was previously accomplished on Sept. 2 against Loyola (Chicago). The 'Cats had only five attacking errors, besting the previous mark this season by two. Five errors was one shy of tying a program record, which was set just last season.
With the win, Northwestern completed the season sweep of the Hoosiers and extended its winning streak against Indiana to five straight matches, dating back to Oct. 11, 2009.
Northwestern will conclude the brief road trip tomorrow night when it travels to West Lafayette, Ind. to square off against No. 11 Purdue at 6 p.m. CT. The 'Cats will be looking to avenge an earlier loss this season when they fell to the Boilermakers at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sept. 28, 3-1.
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