The Presbyterian College volleyball team opened the 2014 season with a 3-1 loss to Northern Illinois this evening at Victor Court in DeKalb, Ill., as part of the NIU Invitational.

PC dropped the first two sets, 25-18 and 25-16, before taking the third set, 30-28.  The Huskies took the fourth set 25-13 to win the match and move to 1-0 on the season.  PC fell to 0-1.

Leading PC was Rachel Hall with 12 kills, followed by Rachel Elshoff, who posted 10 kills in her collegiate debut.  Ashtin Frank recorded 29 assists with Mary Trimpe coming away with 12 digs.

PC finished with a .104 hitting percentage, collecting 33 total kills on the night.

Mackenzie Roddy led NIU with 15 kills, followed by Mary Grace Kelly with nine.  Alexis Gonzalez recorded 43 assists, while Anna Brereton posted 17 digs.  NIU ended the match with a .382 hitting percentage and 56 kills.

The first set belonged to NIU with the Huskies building a 16-4 lead early and extending it to 24-8 before an ace by Zielinski gave the home team the 25- win.

PC and NIU fought a close second set early with the set tied at 6-6 off a Huskie attack error.  Tied 7-7, NIU rallied with five straight to build a 12-7 lead.  Frank’s service ace cut the margin to two at 16-14, but that is as close as the Blue Hose would get with the Huskies posting six unanswered to build a 22-14 lead, taking the eventual 25-16 second set win.

Down 21-16 in the third set, the Blue Hose rattled off six straight, highlighted by two block assists from Hall and Ashton Stewart, to take their first lead of the match at 22-21.  After NIU tied the match at 22-22, Hall used a kill to take a 23-22 lead.

Jenna Radtke posted back to back kills to give NIU match point at 24-23, however.  Elshoff responded with two kills in a row to give PC set point, 25-24.  Both teams traded points back and forth the next several points until an attack error by NIU gave PC another set point.  Trimpe used a service ace, her first of the night, to give PC the 30-28 third set win, forcing a fourth set.

NIU opened up an 11-4 lead in the fourth set, extending the margin to 11, 18-7, off back to back service aces by Gonzalez.  The Huskies used two kills by Radtke and one by Roddy the final four points to take the 25-13 set and match win.

The Blue Hose continue tournament action Saturday, Aug. 30, when they take on Northwestern at 11 a.m., and Colorado at 6 p.m.