NIU suffers first setback

DUNBAR, Wis. – Northland International University’s unbeaten women’s volleyball start came to a screeching halt Saturday.

After going 4-0 and not losing a game, Maranatha Baptist Bible College turned the tables with a 3-0 (16-25, 15-25, 12-25) decision at the Pioneer Center.

“Pseudo success is a very dangerous elixir that an athlete can take in,” said NIU Coach Dave Herron. “MBBC showed us what real volleyball is and made us look very incompetent.

“We had a couple of players not play well and that hurt our team success.”

Earlier in the week, nine aces and Marissa Hawley’s seven kills led NIU past Silver Lake College 3-0 25-19, 25-15, 25-18).

NIU also topped visiting UW-Fond du Lac 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-22).

“These wins were obviously self-deceiving,” Herron said. “We did well but the teams we played didn’t bring anything to the net and did not defend us to the point where we had to have urgency about scoring.”

Maranatha, an NIU regional opponent, played in the NCCAA national tournament championship match last season. The Crusaders are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation.

“They know real success and how to obtain it,” Herron said. “They control the ball well on serve receive and defense and have hitters that can score.

“They exposed some deficiencies and I have to trust we will respond and improve.”

Freshman Tiffany Kercher a freshman registered seven kills.

NIU travels to Gogebic Community College Tuesday, and hosts Emmaus at 7:30 p.m. Friday.