The Wildcats’ volleyball season might be nearly over, but the team isn’t done fighting yet.
On a two-game road trip out east, the Northwestern women’s volleyball team took on Maryland and Ohio State on Friday and Sunday, respectively, hoping to make a jump in the Big Ten standings. The Wildcats (14-12, 4-10 B1G) fell to the Terrapins (15-11, 6-8) in four sets, but they rebounded with their second win over the Buckeyes (12-14, 3-11) in eight days. Though the team might not have NCAA tournament hopes unless they win out in their final six conference games (against some of the best teams in the country), they will get to help break in the new Welsh-Ryan arena for their four remaining home games.
Northwestern’s first leg of away action came against Maryland. The team narrowly fell in four close sets (21-25, 25-23, 22-25, 23-25). The Terrapins pieced together several strong scoring runs throughout the game to keep Northwestern’s momentum at check. They also had nearly doubled the ‘Cats in blocks with 15 compared to Northwestern’s 8.
Nia Robinson, who posted a team-leading 13 kills, also had some struggles with ten attack errors and a .071 hitting %. Abryanna Cannon and Alana Walker each had double-digit kill counts, at 11 and 10 respectively. Kiara McNulty had 42 assists and 15 digs in place of setter Britt Bommer, who hasn’t played since Oct. 24.
👀 The match clincher from Rainelle Jones!— Maryland Volleyball (@TerpsVolleyball) November 3, 2018
EP led us with 20 kills. Katie Myers and Emma Schriner combined for 17 block. Nicole Alford tallied 48 assists!
WHAT. A. NIGHT. #FearTheTurtlepic.twitter.com/szBvQTcT7X
The Wildcats then traveled to Ohio State, where they received stiffer resistance than their previous matchup a week prior. Ultimately the ‘Cats prevailed, winning in four (25-19, 18-25, 29-27, 25-20). In set three, the most important set of the day, Northwestern closed a small gap late as a number of reviews were called for. The ’Cats secured victory in the final set when, after being tied at 20, the team went on a 5-0 run.
First-year Ella Grbac shined with a career-high 17 kills and hit .293 percent on the day. Aryanna Cannon pitched in with 11 kills, while Alana Walker recorded seven blocks and eight kills on .500 hitting. McNulty led the team again with 17 digs on top of her 33 assists.
The ’Cats will open up volleyball play in the new Welsh-Ryan against #8 Penn State on Nov. 9, one day after men’s basketball hosts New Orleans.