Flames Handle Huskies, 3-1

Maggie Strus
Maggie Strus

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CHICAGO - The UIC volleyball team (3-4/0-0 Horizon) defeated Northern Illinois (3-5/0-0 MAC) in a 3-1 (26-24, 25-13, 20-25, 25-20) outcome Tuesday evening inside the Flames Athletic Center.

In an all-around team effort, several Flames members chipped in at crucial points during the match. Senior Aubrey Sniegowski (Lemont, Ill./Lemont Township) totaled 15 kills on the night at a .440 hitting percentage, committing only four errors.

The Flames captured the first set in a 26-24 outcome. The team was paced by Sniegowski, who hammered down five kills in the frame at a .444 hitting percentage, committing only one error.

UIC was able to rally on to a five-point streak which tied the set at 10-10, and a four-point run later in the set to overtake the Huskies, 19-17.

From that point in the set, there were six lead changes to close out the game. The Flames eventually closed out Northern Illinois as redshirt sophomore Maggie Strus (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) held serve and junior MaryKate Imrie (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) set up senior Kelsey Safranek (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) for consecutive kills for the final two points of the frame and a 26-24victory to give UIC a 1-0 lead in the match.

UIC then handled Northern Illinois in the second set 25-13 victory. The Flames outscored the Huskies 8-2 to begin the frame, including three kills by Safranek and a service ace by Strus. Sniegowski improved her hitting percentage to .467 as she added an addition four kills (nine total) and again committing only one error in the frame. Through the first two games, the Flames compiled eight total blocks.

Moving in to the third set, the Flames had a 2-0 lead over the Huskies in the match. In a set of back-and-forth action, the Huskies were able to pull away to a 25-20 lead and place the match a 2-1.

In the fourth set, the Flames were behind 7-6 to the Huskies, before going on a five-point run, which was ignited with a kill by sophomore Molly McCoy (St. Charles, Ill./Wheaton Academy) to lead Northern Illinois, 10-7.

With the scored tied at 17-17, UIC outscored Northern Illinois 8-1 in the next nine points to place the score at 24-18, before finishing the set and securing the match in a 25-20 score.

The Flames travel south to Mother McAuley High School for a two-day tournament (Sept. 8-9). In addition to UIC, DePaul, Oregon State and Penn State round out the four-team field. There are four matches Saturday, followed by two on Sunday. Mother McAuley is the high school of head UIC coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley and assistant coach Ellen Hayes. Penn State serves as the alma mater to Schumacher-Cawley, while Hayes attended DePaul.