June 17, 2013
EUROPEAN TOUR CENTRAL
MARIBOR, Slovenia -- Northwestern squared off against its second national team in as many days Monday afternoon with a match against the Slovenian National Team at the Dras Center in Maribor, Slovenia.
After dropping the opening set, 25-16, the Wildcats rebounded to take an early lead in the second stanza. Stephanie Holthus served an ace to break a 5-5 tie before Hannah Crippen and Savannah Paffen paired up to record a big block to make it 7-5. Slovenia was not bothered by the early deficit, however, as they climbed back to take an 11-10 and did not look back.
Northwestern elevated its performance in the third and recorded its first set triumph of the tour with a 25-23 victory. Another big block by Paffen and Katie Dutchman gave the 'Cats a four-point lead. After NU built its lead to five points, Slovenia battled back to even the ledger at 17-17, but a 4-1 run for the Wildcats helped them finish off their international foes.
The early stages of the fourth set were back-and-forth before Slovenia eventually put Northwestern away with a 25-15 victory.
All nine players on NU's roster played a key role in the match. Holthus led the 'Cats with 12 kills, while three of her teammates each had five or more. Libero Caroline Niedospial was solid in the back row as she led the squad with 19 digs in the four-set affair. Paffen had a team-best seven blocks and Crippen handed out 28 assists on Monday afternoon.
added nine digs and Abbie Kraus
chipped in with five. Dutchman had seven kills, while Yewande Akanbi
tallied six of her own. Maggie Burnham
had a pair of blocks against the Slovenians.
Northwestern will conclude its stay in the beautiful mountain village of Maribor on Tuesday morning with a tilt against the Slovenian Youth National Team. Following the match, the Wildcats will travel to Italy, where they will remain for the duration of their tour in Europe.
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