Miami swept by NIU, extend losing streak to 7
Northern Illinois University (NIU) capitalized off an inconsistent Miami University volleyball offense Saturday evening en route to a 3-0 (19-25, 17-25-20-25) sweep, extending the RedHawks losing streak to seven matches. The Red and White are still winless in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and are now 5-14 this year.
NIU (13-9, 4-2 MAC) took a 6-0 advantage in the first set Saturday before Miami rallied and pulled within four points of the Huskies at 15-19. However, Northern Illinois sealed the deal with a 5-2 run, in what would become the theme of the night.
The Huskies put together runs of 7-3 and 6-1 in the second set and a 6-2 run to close the third set after Miami pulled within one.
"We tried two lineups tonight," Head Coach Carolyn Condit said. "We tried a lineup with one setter and one with two setters. Neither generated the kind of offense we needed."
The Huskies played well as a team, generating at .412 hitting percentage. The duo of MacKenzie Roddy and Alexis Gonzalez led NIU. Roddy had 10 kills and 7 digs, while Gonzalez recorded 33 of Northern Illinois' 42 assists. The win keeps NIU in the hunt for the MAC West at third place.
Miami did take away positives from the match.
Redshirt freshman Sarah Chaney had a coming-out party against the Huskies, racking up a team-leading 11 kills and an outstanding .476 hitting percentage. Along with Chaney's efforts, senior outside hitter Amy Kendall set up the RedHawk offense with 26 assists.
However, Miami's 17 errors hurt them against a strong NIU team.
"I'm proud of what Sarah Chaney did tonight," Condit said. "She gained some experience and improved her decision-making."
Chaney also reflected on the team's performance.
"It's tough to lose, but we're improving," she said. "We weren't making the same mistakes we were making earlier this season."
The RedHawks face Central Michigan University (CMU) 7 p.m. Thursday. The Chippewas are tied with Western Michigan University for first place in the MAC West and are 3-2 at home this year.
CMU (10-6, 4-1 MAC) is riding a five game winning streak, including sweeps of Eastern Michigan University and Kent State University. During that stretch, the Chippewas had four players honored as MAC West Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week: sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn McIntyre and junior setter Kelly Maxwell, and junior defensive specialist Jenna Coates and freshman middle blocker Angie White, respectively. Maxwell is second in the MAC and 15th in the nation, averaging 11.66 assists per set.
As a team, Central Michigan is second in the MAC in hitting percentage at .234, and averages 13.28 assists per set and 14.06 kills per set.
However, the RedHawks are looking forward to the challenge.
"We need to keep working hard in practice," Chaney said. "There's a lot of the season left."
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