Liz Holmes is key factor to strong start in volleyball

As if both the Norse soccer teams weren’t calling enough attention to Northern’s fall sports programs, the volleyball team is also off to a hot start.

The Norse had a big win against No. 7 in the nation, Hillsdale College Sep. 7. However, the team followed this up with a loss to Missouri-St. Louis Oct. 4. Despite the setback, Northern Kentucky University held on to its No. 22 spot in the national poll.

Senior middle-hitter Liz Holmes has been all-everything since stepping onto campus three years ago. She earned honorable mention all-American honors last year, and is in the top two or three in every team category.

She is the overwhelming leader in kills on the team and is known for her power, speed and an excellent vertical leap.

She’s arguably been the best athlete at Northern in the last few years, and perhaps one of the best in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in any sport.

When all is said and done, she will probably break former volleyball standout Bethany Gastright’s all-time kill record at NKU.

Key weekend match-up

Despite last week’s disappointing loss to Missouri-Saint Louis, the Norse took care of business on the road against two teams on the bottom half of the GLVC Western Division, which the team was suppose to beat.

The Norse cruised past a Missouri-Rolla team in three consecutive games; UM-Rolla fielding a volleyball team for the first time in school history, is struggling mightily with a 3-20 record.

The Norse then headed to Illinois and swept a Quincy team that is struggling to stay out of the GLVC West cellar, and swept Quincy in three straight sets.

To no fault of their own, the Norse weren’t able to gain substantial ground on Indianapolis. That’s because Indianapolis continues to win. And win. And win some more.

Indianapolis, which has won 17 consecutive games, has not lost since Aug. 25, when it lost to non-GLVC foe South Dakota in a California tournament. However, the Norse volleyball team faces off against Indianapolis Oct. 20, in the midst of a five-game home stand which begins this Oct. 12.

Four huge games are on the slate for the Norse, as they take on Rockhurst, Drury, Saint Joseph’s (Ind.), Indianapolis and non-GLVC opponent Mount Saint Joseph’s in a huge border rivalry.

Indianapolis was ranked No. 20 in the most recent poll, and will definitely continue to shoot up the charts as it is one of the hottest teams in the country.

The Norse kickoff the big homestand next Friday, as mid-terms come to a close.

We can only hope the Norse pull off four out of five at home and stay within striking distance of the GLVC East crown.