By Tim Foley, news staff
The Northeastern women’s volleyball team picked up three consecutive home wins this weekend, edging out victories in five-setters against Elon University and Towson University and then finishing off with a sweep of the University of Delaware.
The Huskies (16-5, 6-1 CAA) came out strong against Elon Friday night, pulling away at the end of the first set to win 25-19. Senior outside hitter Hannah Fry had two late kills in the first, part of her team-best 13 for the night.
But the Phoenix (15-7, 2-4 CAA) came prepared to battle. The two teams exchanged sets and Elon pulled away in the fourth to force a fifth set. The Huskies, however, did not allow Elon’s momentum from the fourth to carry into the final frame.
“We’ve got so much depth and so many options that we can put different people in, get a different look, get people to the bench and get them rested,” Northeastern coach Ken Nichols said. “And let’s be honest, they get a little inspired when they come out.”
The depth was a necessary component, as the Huskies faced a 6-3 deficit. Freshman defensive specialist Clare Lund subbed in and helped Northeastern even the score at six.
Then, sophomore defensive specialist Sherrie Wang and freshman middle blocker Amy Underdown came in, along with Fry who added some power to the front line, and the Huskies took the set 15-11, securing the match.
Junior setter Kristen Walding had a standout performance in the match, with 41 assists, landing seven kills and hitting .700. She also helped bolster the defense with a season-high 21 digs. Walding’s success carried over into Saturday night’s game against Towson, in which she contributed another double-double.
“[Walding]’s doing great,” Nichols said. “She’s incredibly bright, and stays well in the moment.”
The Huskies trailed two sets to one against the Tigers (15-5, 3-3 CAA). But in the fourth, Nichols said the attack started going more high-risk with their swings, and it seemed to pay off. The Northeastern women landed a total of 12 kills in the set and found themselves in a decisive fifth for the second night in a row.
This time, the Huskies took control early and didn’t look back. Walding dumped over a second ball to land a strategic kill and snuff out Towson’s brief comeback and Northeastern took down the set and the match.
“It was a great team win,” Walding said. “Everyone had a great attitude coming out ready to fight and it’s been working for us.”
In Monday’s game against Delaware, there was no need for any extra sets. The Huskies went on a 6-0 run in the first to take control, and won 25-18.
The Blue Hens (6-13, 0-6 CAA) kept it close early in the second, but the Northeastern women scored seven of the last eight points to take the set 25-15.
Junior outside hitter Brigitte Burcescu led the team with 11 kills in Monday’s game, and she landed six in the third and added two blocks to help push the team to a 27-25 win, finishing the sweep.
The Huskies will finish off their stretch of home matches against Hofstra University at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics