Dec. 4, 2010
2010 NCAA Tournament Second Round
Missouri 3, Northwestern 1
Site: McLeod Center Cedar Falls, Iowa
Records: Northwestern (20-13), Missouri (22-11)
Northwestern Post Match Press Conference
Northwestern vs. Missouri Box Score
2010 Northwestern Volleyball Final Statistics
NCAA Volleyball Tournament Central
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Northwestern overcame a slow start in set one, rallying to tie Missouri at one heading into the intermission, but some key points for the Tigers down the stretch proved to be the difference as the Wildcats fell 13-25, 25-23, 22-25, 20-25 in the NCAA second round. Northwestern closes out the year with a 20-13 overall record.
"I can't say enough about how proud I am of this team and of their effort throughout the season," said head coach Keylor Chan. "We came up a little short tonight, but it wasn't for lack of trying. I thought our girls played their hearts out tonight, but unfortunately we didn't serve or pass as well as we needed to tonight, and Missouri played phenomenally well. Obviously the end of a season is never an easy time, but this result tonight in no way diminishes what these girls accomplished this season. I'm extremely proud of them and everything they accomplished."
Four Wildcats led an extremely balanced Northwestern offensive attack as Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy), Sabel Moffett (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal) and Stephanie Holthus (Burlington, Ill./Central) each finished with 13 kills on the night for Northwestern, with Christina Kaelin (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) adding 12. As a team, the Wildcats hit .252, including a .487 mark in the second set.
Elyse Glab (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) capped her Northwestern career by dishing out 44 assists with four digs and a block, as she, Johnson and Moffett concluded their careers in Evanston by serving as the emotional catalysts, and coach Chan expressed his appreciation for the seniors following the match.
"These seniors carried this team all year, and did so again tonight. They were the reason we were playing in the postseason to begin with, and I hope they realize the impact they have had on this program. They are a great class and we are going to miss them."
Defensively, Julie Chin (Naperville, Ill./North) recorded 15 digs for the Wildcats, with Madalyn Shalter (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf) adding 10 with three kills. Holthus finished with eight digs for Northwestern, complemented by six from Alex Ayers (Playa del Rey, Calif./Marymount).
After a fast start against Arizona Friday night, Northwestern struggled to find its groove in the opening set, falling behind early to Missouri 10-5. The closest the Wildcats were able to get was to within four at 15-11 before the Tigers exploded for a 10-2 run to end the opening set. Northwestern was able to muster just six kills in the opening set, with three of them coming from Holthus and a pair from Johnson.
Northwestern was able to avoid the early deficit in the second, using a 9-3 run in the middle portion of the set to build a five-point cushion at 18-13. Missouri staged a run of its own late in the set, pulling to within one at 23-22 and again at 24-23, but a kill from Johnson, her seventh of the set, fell in between a pair of Tiger blockers, giving the Wildcats the 25-23 decision in set two. Kaelin added six kills with Moffett knocking down five as NU hit .487 in the stanza.
Another surge in the early stages in set three put Northwestern ahead 14-11, which was answered by a Missouri run to tie the set at 14 apiece. The Wildcats looked to regain control late in the set, building a four-point cushion at 21-17 off Holthus' and Kaelin's 10th kills of the afternoon. But Northwestern couldn't sustain the lead as an 8-1 run by Missouri down the stretch proved to be the difference as the Tigers steal set three 25-22.
Set four proved to be just like the previous three as both teams battled to try and establish control. Neither team was able to establish more than a two-point advantage for the majority of the set, combining for 14 ties and seven lead changes. But with the stanza tied at 18 apiece, Missouri would record five of the next six points to surge ahead 23-19 before outlasting Northwestern 25-20 to advance to the Sweet 16.
Despite the loss, Northwestern's 2010 season will go down as one of the best in program history. The Wildcats finished the season 20-13, including five victories over top-20 opponents, and 9-11 in the Big Ten, an improvement of two matches from 2009. Northwestern advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for just the second time in program history, paced by three players (Moffett, Johnson, Holthus) which tallied All-Big Ten honors.
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