DEKALB, Ill. – After the teams split the first two sets, Northern Illinois grabbed a pair of two-point victories as the Miami University volleyball team fell, 1-3 (19-25, 25-17, 23-25, 23-25), to the Huskies Saturday evening. The RedHawks are now 10-14 overall and 2-10 in the Mid-American Conference. NIU improves to 15-11 overall and 7-5 in the MAC.
It was another strong match for sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig. She finished with 16 kills, only two short of her career high. She also made only two attack errors in 35 attempts for a hitting percentage of .400. Sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle was also solid for the ‘Hawks, finishing with 12 kills and a .571 hitting percentage.
Northern Illinois jumped to an 8-2 lead to begin set one. Two kills from sophomore outside hitter Sarah Chaney, along with blocks from Reiswig and Ingle started a 9-3 run that tied the score at 11. The Huskies answered with an 8-4 run that put them in front, 19-15. Ingle and Reiswig each recorded another kill, but Miami was unable to get any closer as NIU took the first set, 25-19.
Tied at seven in set two, a kill from Chaney followed by a block from Ingle and Reiswig began a 6-2 run that gave Miami a 13-9 lead. The run was finished with back-to-back kills by Reiswig. NIU fought back to tie the score at 13, but three kills from junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley were part of a 7-3 run that put the RedHawks in control at 20-16. Ingle took over with a couple more kills to help Miami finish off a 25-17 win.
Set three was close throughout, as with only one exception neither team ever had a lead of more than two points. With the RedHawks trailing 17-18, a pair of kills by senior outside hitter Madison Dodd were part of a 4-0 run that gave Miami that three-point lead at 21-18. Northern Illinois answered with the next five in a row to take a 23-21 advantage. Riley scored next with a kill, but the teams traded side outs the rest of the way, allowing the Huskies to take a 25-23 victory.
Set four was more of the same as this time neither team ever had more than a two-point advantage. The set featured 18 ties and four lead changes. Ingle was the star in this frame for Miami, finishing with four kills. The key sequence came with Miami in front, 22-21. The Huskies answered with the next three points in a row to create match point at 24-22. The ‘Hawks fought it off with a kill by freshman outside hitter Maris Below off of freshman setter Krista Brakauskas’ assist, but NIU scored the final kill to win 25-23 and take a 3-1 victory.
Miami hit .222 for the match, while holding Northern Illinois to a .200 hitting percentage. Riley and Brakauskas each recorded double-doubles. Riley finished with 11 kills and 23 assists, while Brakauskas had 32 assists and 13 digs. As a team, the RedHawks finished with 83 digs, led by senior libero Madison Hardy with 28.
After four straight on the road, Miami returns home on Friday to welcome Kent State to Millett Hall for a 7 p.m. match.