Nov. 14, 2001
NKU FACES NORTHERN MICHIGAN IN NCAAs
Norse to meet Wildcats on Thursday at Allendale, Mich.
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University volleyball team will meet Northern Michigan University this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA II Great Lakes Region Tournament at Allendale, Mich.
NKU won its fifth consecutive Great Lakes Valley Conference championship last weekend by defeating the University of Southern Indiana in three games. The Norse are the only team in GLVC volleyball history to win five straight GLVC titles.
NKU enters the NCAA Division II Tournament with a 27-4 record, and the Norse are the No. 4 seed in the Great Lakes Region Tournament. NKU has won 23 consecutive matches entering the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Norses last loss came on Sept. 8 to Northern Michigan, which posted a four-game win over NKU in Regents Hall.
Northern Michigan (22-9), a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, is the No. 5 seed. A year ago, NKU defeated Northern Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament in four games.
Grand Valley State University is the No. 1 seed and host for the NCAA II Great Lakes Region. The Lakers are 26-4 entering the NCAA Division II Tournament. The University of Findlay (28-6) is the No. 2 seed, and GLIAC champion Northwood (Mich.) University is the No. 3 seed.
If NKU defeats Northern Michigan on Thursday, the Norse will play Grand Valley State at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Grand Valley State defeated NKU in three games on Sept. 7 in Regents Hall, and the Lakers eliminated the Norse from the NCAA Division II Tournament a year ago with a five-game victory at Allendale, Mich.
The NCAA II Great Lakes Region Tournament championship match is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday.
AGAINST NMU EARLIER THIS SEASON: Sabien Heisterkamp, Beth Laveen and Michaela Franklin all had 15 kills as Northern Michigan defeated NKU, 30-26, 26-30, 34-32, 30-27, in the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament in Regents Hall.
The Wildcats recorded 28 total blocks, while NKU had just six blocks. Laveen led the Wildcats with three solo blocks and five block assists. Bethany Gastright led the Norse with 22 kills.
Northern Michigan leads the all-time series with NKU, 9-5. The Wildcats and NKU have met twice in the NCAA Division II Tournament (1997 and 2000). A year ago, NKU defeated Northern Michigan in four games at Allendale, Mich., in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
NKU LEADERS: Norse senior outside hitter Bethany Gastright, the GLVC Player of the Year, leads NKU with 517 kills. Gastright is NKUs all-time career leader with 1,666 kills.
Senior middle blocker Denise Barhorst ranks No. 3 on the NKU all-time solo blocks list with 84. Barhorst also has 251 kills and a .357 hitting percentage this season.
Sophomore setter Sara Taylor, a second team All-GLVC selection, leads NKU with 1,036 assists. Taylor also has 28 service aces.
Senior right-side hitter Luisa Gomez and freshman defensive specialist Amber Timmons also earned second team All-GLVC honors. Gomez has 185 kills and 28 service aces, while Timmons has recorded 206 digs and 29 service aces.
STREAK AT 23: NKU has won 23 consecutive matches since the loss to Northern Michigan on Sept. 8. The longest single-season win streak in Norse volleyball history is 27, set in 1995 when NKU won its final 27 matches of the season.
NKU will have to advance to the NCAA Division II national championship match in order to break the single-season record of 27.
NCAA II Great Lakes Region
(at Allendale, Mich.)
Thursday, Nov. 15
#3 Northwood (24-8) vs. #6 Wheeling Jesuit (34-7), 5 p.m.
#4 NKU (27-4) vs. #5 Northern Michigan (22-9), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 16
#2 Findlay (28-6) vs. Northwood/Wheeling Jesuit winner, 5 p.m.
#1 Grand Valley State (26-4) vs. NKU/Northern Michigan winner, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 17
Championship, 7 p.m.