Kent State beats NIU in straight sets


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in Ohio

29-10-2022 | 4:00 PM EST

Oct 29 (Sat) / 4:00 PM EST

in Ohio

History KENT, Ohio. – The Northern Illinois University volleyball team was swept Friday night (18-25, 17-25, 20-25) by Kent State at the Memorial Athletic Center. Katie Jablonski (Elburn, Illinois/Kaneland) had 12 kills and Charli Atiemo (Milford, Mich./Farmington Hills Mercy) hit .318 to speed up NIU.

“Kent State has done a really good job playing hard against us. We need to make sure we work hard to get our team ready to play tomorrow night,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden.

How it happened: After KSU opened the score with a kill and an ace, the Huskies posted four straight runs to take a 4-2 advantage early in the first frame. From there, the two teams battled for momentum until the set was tied at 17-17. Kent State suddenly had a flash of energy and closed the set with an 8-1 run to take a 1-0 lead in the game.

After a 5-1 NIU run in the second set, the Huskies held a 9-7 lead before another big run from Kent State allowed them to take control. KSU was leading 13-9, its 6-0 run, but a kill from Jablonski kill ended the flurry. The Huskies scored four points to tie the set at 14-14, but Kent State got off to a 10-1 run to finish the set and win.

NIU had a small lead at 9-8 in the third and final set after the murder of Brianna Scuric (East Troy, Wis./East Troy) of Ella Mihacevich (Brunswick, Ohio/Padua Franciscan). Later, the Huskies increased their lead to 17-15, but Kent State thundered back on a 6-0 run to claim the lead. Mihacevich’s ace narrowed the deficit to 20-22, but three straight runs from KSU finished the matter.

“I thought we were definitely doing things – we put ourselves in a place to be successful, we just couldn’t close it at the end. A couple of miscues and some Kent State plays have defended their home field really well So I have to work on that to make sure our team is ready,”


NIU had seven aces compared to Kent State’s six. Jablonski led the Huskies with 12 kills, while Atiemo and Emily Dykes (Winterville, NC/Ayden-Grifton) contributed eight each. Mihacevich posted 30 assists to accelerate NIU. Francesca Bertucci (Chicago, Illinois/De La Salle) recorded 23 digs, a match high. Following: NIU takes on Ohio at 3pm CT tomorrow in Athens. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN3. “We just have to play hard in every game, try our best and have no breaks. If we play with our intensity and energy, we can do really good things. So we should be able to do that tomorrow night.”

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