By Emily McCarthy, News Correspondent
With two decisive wins over conference rivals Towson University and the University of Delaware this past weekend, the Northeastern volleyball team moved into second place in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with a conference record of 6-1 and an overall record of 14-7.
Freshman setter Jamie Bredahl earned CAA rookie of the week honors after an impressive weekend at Solomon Court. In the 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 29-27) sweep of Towson on Friday, Bredahl recorded a triple-double as she racked up 24 assists, 11 digs and a team-leading 13 kills. In Sunday’s 3-1 (25-10, 25-16, 21-25, 25-18) win over Delaware, she earned a double-double as she tallied 13 kills and 22 assists.
“Clearly Jamie had a fantastic match,” head coach Ken Nichols said following the win over Towson. “It’s very rewarding to see her do a great job hitting, but she’s running the offense and doing a great job there, too. That’s exceedingly hard regardless of whether you’re a freshman or not.”
Bredahl led off the first set of Friday’s match with a kill, but the Huskies found themselves tied with the Tigers at the five-point mark. After a lot of back and forth action, Towson took a 16-15 lead and forced Northeastern to call a timeout. After the break, the Huskies went on a 3-0 run to retake the lead.
With the score tied at 23, Northeastern got a much-needed kill from Bredahl and then another from senior outside hitter Kelly Bacon to capture the first set, 25-23.
“I felt good tonight,” Bredahl said after the match. “It was just a really good night. I mean we didn’t start off as strong as we wanted to and the energy was a little low, but we pushed through so it was really good.”
The Huskies came out strong in the second set, jumping out to a 7-4 lead. The set was tied at the 15 and 16 marks, but Towson failed to reclaim the lead remainder of the set as the Huskies won by a decisive 25-20 score.
The third set began with a 12-6 Northeastern lead following two straight kills from junior middle hitter Ava Cramp and another from senior outside hitter Janelle Tucker.
“In my eyes Ava Cramp had a great performance tonight,” Bredahl said. “That’s the best I’ve seen her play all season so far.”
Northeastern maintained the lead until the 21-point mark when the Tigers tied the set. NU won the following point and took a 22-21 lead, forcing Towson to call timeout. Towson went on a 3-0 run coming out of the huddle and the two teams continued to trade points.
The Huskies eventually went on to win the third set by a score of 29-27 after a Bacon kill that captured the match point and completed their second sweep of Towson this season.
“Kelly Bacon stepped up under pressure,” Nichols said. “We need her to do that. She knows that. That pressure’s constant for her.”
In Sunday afternoon’s takedown of the Delaware Blue Hens, Bacon tallied 23 kills and 15 digs en route to her 13th double-double of the year.
The Huskies dominated the first set of the match, opening with four straight kills and eventually taking a 9-3 lead. Northeastern never trailed the entire set and went on to win 25-10.
The second set was more of the same for Northeastern as they sprung out to an early lead and never looked back. The Huskies went up 15-11 and then held the Blue Hens to just five points for the rest of the set, as Northeastern took the set by a score of 25-16.
But Delaware would not go down without a fight. The Blue Hens took a 5-2 lead over the Huskies early in the third set and fought to an eventual 18-18 tie. Delaware avoided the sweep and captured the third set by a 25-21 score.
Northeastern began the elimination set with a 12-4 run thanks to six kills from Bacon and Bredahl. Delaware battled back to come within three points of Northeastern, but the Huskies closed out the set by a final score of 25-18 and won the match.
“I think we have a lot of confidence,” Nichols said. “Overall we’ve got a pretty cohesive core from the last year or two, and the chemistry helps tremendously to feel comfortable under pressure.”
The Huskies will look to continue their current seven-game win streak on Friday when they travel to Hempstead, N.Y. and take on Hofstra University in the first match of a five-game road trip.