The Northern Illinois University volleyball team gets their first home matches in three weeks this weekend, as they welcome Ohio and Kent State into Victor E. Court.
The Huskies battle the Bobcats Friday night at 7 p.m., which will feature FREE live streaming from NIU Media Services.
The next night, NIU takes on the Golden Flashes in the annual Pink Match and Alumni Night. Fans attending Saturday night’s match should be aware that they will be charged for parking due to the NIU football game at 2:30 p.m. and concert later that night.
“It’s a great time to be a Huskie, as far as all the energy that is going on,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden about the event-filled weekend with volleyball and around campus, which includes the opening of the Chessick Practice Center. “There’s a lot of positives that are going around campus, so we’re hoping for lots of continual support from our fanbase.”
NIU closed out their four-match road trip last weekend with a trek out to Buffalo and Akron. After suffering a 3-2 defeat Friday night to the Bulls, the Huskies bounced back Saturday by taking a 3-1 win against the Zips.
This weekend, NIU hosts two of the MAC East’s top teams in the standings.
The first opponent, Ohio, currently sits atop the division with a 6-2 conference mark and a 16-4 overall record. Earlier in the year, the Bobcats upset then-No. 8 – and currently No. 20 – Oregon on their home floor and swept then-No. 21 Western Kentucky. Yet, Ohio has cooled off with a 2-2 record the last two weekends to fall from No. 18 in the nation to receiving votes. The Bobcats lead the MAC in attack percentage with a .267 average and rank in the top five in every other statistical category.
“Ohio comes in as one of the top teams in our conference,” Gooden said. “They had a setback against Ball State, but we know they are one of the most physical and successful teams in our conference. They’ve had significant wins all year and they play a really confident style of volleyball.”
On Saturday, the Huskies face KSU. The Golden Flashes come into the weekend with a 10-11 overall record and a 4-4 MAC mark. Despite a rough start to the season, KSU has rebounded with a 9-6 record since Sept. 13.
“Kent comes in with a lot of positive energy, as well,” Gooden said. “They are a physical team – a typical East team. We’re going to have to do our best to battle. The good thing is that we are at home.”
For more information on NIU volleyball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.