NKU volleyball falls 2-3 (22-25, 28-26, 25-20, 18-25, 15-13) against the Oakland Grizzlies on Wednesday just after being ranked 44th on the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index—The highest ranking in school history as well as highest in the Horizon League. The Norse drop to 10-7 overall and 3-2 in the Horizon League. They finished with 69 kills, 117 digs and hit .194%.
— Northern Kentucky VB (@NKUNorseVB) October 7, 2019
NKU led the first set 25-22, finishing with 14 attacks. Going into the second set, the Norse had to fight. They continued to rally, going back and forth at the 21 point mark, and ended the set 26-28.
The Grizzlies started the third set with a run 8-1. NKU brought it back; senior outside hitter Laura Crawford caught fire and got 9 out of 13 kills in the set.
“It’s really important to stay together, keep working together,” Kaelin Gentile, junior middle blocker and opposite hitter, said. “As soon as we turn into individuals on the court, that’s never good, so it’s important that we keep each other hyped up.”
The heat continued to rise in the fourth set as NKU held Oakland to a .088 hitting percentage. The Norse gained 32 digs, with junior defensive specialist and libero Ashton Terrill leading with seven.
The Norse continued on strong into the 5th set that ended with two Oakland kills and an NKU error, clinching a victory for Oakland.
The Norse haven’t had a player with 20+ digs in one match since Oct. 22, 2017. Three players broke that record in this match. Crawford led with 27 digs, Terrill with 26 and sophomore outside hitter Anna Brinkmann with 23.
Crawford led the team with her career high of 21 kills, a career best of 27 digs and added 2 aces.
Head Coach Liz Hart addressed the lack of energy in the first few sets.
“They need to make a mental switch of ready to go right away with urgency from the get go,” Head Coach Liz Hart said.
Gentile comments on how to improve on the lack of energy in the future.
“We need to take no breaks, we need to go hard,” Gentile said. “We need to flip that switch so we can come out the next game and really finish it.”
Next up for the Norse is a trip to Milwaukee to face the Panthers, one of two undefeated teams in the Horizon League. The game is set for Friday, Oct. 11 at 6/7 p.m. CT/ET and will be broadcast on ESPN+.