November 24, 1998
DEKALB, Ill. -- In the first round of the Mid-American Conference volleyball tournament, the #6 seed WMU Broncos traveled to Northern Illinois, where the Huskies had not lost since 1995. NIU defeated the Broncos, 3-0, in a hard-fought contest, 15-10, 16-14, 15-10. The loss ends the 1998 season for WMU.
For the match, WMU had a 57-56 advantage in kills. The Broncos hit .244 for the three-game match and held the Huskies to a .216 hitting percentage. NIU had an 8-5 advantage in service aces, and a narrow, 46-45, advantage in digs. Western Michigan, which ranks second overall in the MAC in blocks, had 13 blocks in the contest compared to seven for Northern Illinois.
Senior Stefanie Rotunno led the Broncos with a match-high 17 kills and a team-high 13 digs. She hit .342 for the match. Senior Andrea Cole concluded her career with a team-high seven blocks, including two solo blocks. Mandy Whitfield had 13 kills, hit .290, and added four blocks. Traci Morin had 12 kills, hit .333, and had five blocks, including two solos. Jen Nowak, among the top setters in the MAC, had 53 assists for a lofty 17.7 assists per game average.
In other first-round MAC tournament contests, Nov. 24, #1 Miami (Ohio) defeated #8 Central Michigan, 3-1; #2 Ball State defeated #7 Marshall, 3-0, and #4 Akron defeated #5 Ohio, 3-1. The semi-finals, Nov. 27, and finals, Nov. 28, will be played on the home court of the highest remaining seed, Miami, in Oxford, Ohio.
WMU finished the season with an overall record of 19-13 . The Broncos' 11-7 regular season MAC record is their best in the Mid-American Conference since 1991.
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