Norse victorious in first night of NKU Invitational



Laura Crawford tries to tap a ball past the Cleveland State blockers. The Norse would lose their third straight Horizon League match to CSU 3-2.

The Norse opened up the NKU Invitational Friday night at Regents Hall with a win over the Seattle University Redhawks in four sets, 25-15, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21. NKU improved to 4-0 on the season.

“I think our team plays better when they are at home and we are in our routine,” head coach Liz Hart said. “Our outsides played phenomenal, Haley [Libs] and Laura [Crawford] had a lot of digs and kills and helped lead our team.”

In the first set, the Norse came out firing on all cylinders with a 9-2 lead. Three runs of at least three points allowed for the Norse to have their biggest lead of the set at 20-8. After a back-and-forth sequence in points, the Norse hung on and grabbed the first set victory 25-15. Sophomore Laura Crawford led the team with seven kills.

No team scored more than four straight points early on in the second set. The Redhawks battled back into the game with a 4-0 run to tie the set up at 10 a piece before NKU used one of its timeouts.

Seattle was able to take control for the rest of the set and grab their first lead of the night at 13-10 and their largest lead of 20-13. The Norse found their second wind, tallying up a 5-0 but it was too little too late.

“The challenge for us is we play well in the first set then we go down in the second set…our challenge is to keep our energy up and not let it go,” Hart said.

In the third set, neither team had a lead larger than three. After eight ties, Seattle was able to grab their first lead of the set at 18-17 and keeping the lead to win the set 25-22.

“We had to change some things at intermission and I thought our girls did a great job executing that tonight,” Hart said.

Similar as the third set, the fourth set brought with it the same style of play with back and forth action. Seattle remained in control for most of the set, never giving up the lead. NKU wouldn’t get their first lead until the score was 16-15 and never looked back. The Norse ended the game on a four-point run and getting their largest lead of the set at four.

Junior Haley Libs led the team with 24 kills and 19 digs in the match.

“Haley is a phenomenal player. She did a great job terminating the ball, making smart decisions when she didn’t feel comfortable taking a big swing. She’s a very valuable server and passer for us,” Hart said.

The Norse will play two more games Saturday, September 10th as they play Sacramento State at 12:30pm and Bowling Green at 7pm.