Courtesy: CMU Athletic Communications
Central Michigan junior Kaitlyn McIntyre led CMU with eight kills and three aces on Friday, but the Chippewas fell to Northern Illinois in straight sets.
Chippewas Fall at Home to Northern Illinois in Straight Sets

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan was unable to prevent key runs by Mid-American Conference foe Northern Illinois Friday night, falling in straight sets inside McGuirk Arena, 25-21, 25-18, 25-19.

The Huskies (16-11, 8-5 MAC) used pivotal runs in each of the three sets to create separation from the Chippewas (11-14, 5-8 MAC) and held off each and every attempt by CMU for a comeback.

The two squads played even through the first 18 points of the match as a kill by senior Danielle Gotham tied set one, 9-9. The Huskies then went on a quick 4-0 run that forced a CMU timeout and held the four-point advantage until junior Kaitlyn McIntyre tried to take over. McIntyre slammed home a kill to pull CMU within four, 22-18, and then sandwiched a pair of aces around a kill by Gotham to pull CMU within a point, 22-21. A service error on the junior returned the serve back to the Huskies however and they were able to score the next two points to win the set, 25-21.

Again CMU and NIU were even through the first 18 points, 9-9, in set two before another quick 3-0 run by the Huskies forced a CMU timeout. NIU continued to push forward, extending the run to 9-2 for a 19-11 lead. CMU went on a 4-0 run of its own which included another ace by McIntyre to pull within four, 19-15, but it was as close as the Chippewas would get as NIU went on to claim a 25-18 victory.

The third set started in the Chippewas’ favor as McIntyre dug a ball with a flick of her foot and scored the first point of the set on a kill, but  a kill by NIU’s Mary Grace Kelly started a 9-0 run midway through the set that pushed the Huskies in front, 15-7. A kill by McKenzie Roddy held NIU’s eight-point lead, 21-13, but CMU attempted one final comeback with a 4-0 run that included a pair of kills by senior Katie Schuette to pull within 21-17. NIU stalled the rally with a timeout however and went on to score four of the next six to close the match, 25-19.

McIntyre led the Chippewas with eight kills and a season-high three aces, while Gotham finished with seven kills and Schuette six. Three huskies posted double-digit kill marks, led by Roddy’s 13 as NIU held a .298 to .141 advantage in hitting percentage.

CMU will look to snap its three-match skid Saturday night versus rival Western Michigan. Saturday marks Senior Night as the Chippewas will celebrate the careers of four seniors prior to the match at 7 p.m.