The NKU volleyball team battled Horizon League foe the Oakland Golden Grizzlies Friday night at Regents Hall. The Norse suffered their second-straight loss 3-1 and falling to 9-11 on the year and 5-6 in conference play.
NKU also took the time to recognize junior Haley Libs as she reached 1,000 career kills. She is the 19th player in school history to reach that mark.
“Haley is a phenomenal player, she has had a great year and career…I’m excited she can her 1000th career kill,” said head coach Liz Hart. “She’s very talented and is doing a great job of improving.”
In the first set it was the Golden Grizzlies who grabbed the first victory 25-15. Oakland started the set on a 3-0 and eventually tacked on a 7-0 run to firmly establish their lead. The Norse added some points toward the end of the set but it was too little too late. Junior Haley Libs led the Norse with three kills in the set. Senior Darien Bandel Oakland with five kills in the set.
The Golden Grizzlies found themselves up 2-0 with a 25-17 set two win. The Norse started off strong with a three-point run, giving them their first lead of the night. Oakland then went on a six-point run to give them the lead for the rest of the set. Libs and Bandel both lead their respected teams in kills with seven and 11.
“We need to start better,” Hart said. “We started off slow and we need to play with more energy…we played much better in the third and fourth sets though.”
The Norse were able to avoid the sweep by snagging a 30-28 third set victory. In a set that had 11 ties and seven lead changes, the Norse and Golden Grizzlies never allowed a lead to exceed three points. NKU was able to battle back from a 24-23 deficit to take things into extras and score two straight points to take the set.
“Our girls have done a nice job when they are in tight matches,” Hart said. “We need to do a little bit of a better job of getting it done earlier when we had the opportunities…but we did a good job finishing.”
The fourth set closed the door for NKU as Oakland claimed the set and the match 25-22. The Norse were unable to grab a lead, despite six ties in the set. Similar to the third set, the Golden Grizzlies never had a lead more than three points. Libs finished with 17 kills for the Norse. Oakland showed why they are number one in blocks in the conference, adding 17 blocks to their total.
The Norse will host Youngstown State University Saturday Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. at Regents Hall. It will be the second matchup between the two teams this season, NKU took the first match 3-1 earlier this season.