Batura earns CAA Player of the Week

Batura earns CAA Player of the Week

By Jewel Della Valle

The volleyball team cruised to two road victories against Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) foes last weekend. Junior middle hitter Kira Batura continued her dominance, racking up double-doubles in both matches, good for her third and fourth consecutive double-doubles, and was named CAA Co-Player of the Week.

“She’s doing a little bit of everything [for us],” said head coach Ken Nichols. “If I know Kira as well as I do, she’d say something like she wished she’d served better. She’s a bit of a perfectionist.”

Sophomore outside hitter Brianna Seitz also had double-doubles in both matches and freshman setter Jessica Tkachuk had one in Friday’s match as well.

The Huskies took on last-place UNC Wilmington Friday and after dropping the first game, came back strong and took the next three for the match win (31-29, 30-12, 30-21, 30-14). UNC Wilmington was 7-12 (0-7 CAA) going in to the match.

After losing game one, Batura said the Huskies learned an important lesson – not to take any team in the conference for granted.

“We weren’t ready to play and we just can’t underestimate any team,” Batura said. “We just have to expect everyone to be equally good because all the teams in this conference are. After the first game we kind of woke up and just started to play.”

Senior co-captain Ashley Reeves said UNC Wilmington was fired up in game one and the Huskies should have played harder from the beginning, but were able to adjust and made less errors after the first game.

“I think we got a slap in the face,” Reeves said. “For us to be conference champions, we can’t play like [we did in game one]. We should have been able to control them better.”

The Huskies totaled 12 errors in game one and 10 errors in the next three games combined. After hitting just .059 in game one, the Huskies got their act together and sailed past UNC Wilmington in the next three games for the win.

Nichols said UNC Wilmington, though winless in conference play, exemplifies the CAA’s all-around talent.

“We’ve been very conscientious of how we approach these teams,” Nichols said. “If you look at the conference, it’s very deep. UNC Wilmington, they have lost all their matches, but are contenders in a lot of games that they’re playing. They’re not a pushover.”

Reeves had a match-high attacking percentage at .667 and tied with Seitz for the match high in kills with 18. Freshman libero Leah Neubeck racked up 28 digs and senior setter Ivana Pavlisin led in assists with 26. Batura was second in attacking at .424, kills with 16 and digs with 23.

Northeastern out-hit the Seahawks .305 to .057 and totaled 37 more kills, 33 more digs and 31 more assists.

NU carried the momentum into Sunday’s game at Georgia State, downing the Panthers in three unbalanced games (30-12, 30-19, 30-20).

“We had really good team chemistry,” Seitz said. “Everyone was just playing so well. The setters were setting great and diversifying the offense, Kira and Leah were digging everything and our middles were blocking like they’ve never blocked before and just working so hard. Everything came together this weekend.”

Nichols said the work the Huskies did this week on blocking and serving showed in the match wins.

“We had looked at the performance statistics going into this weekend and we were a little soft on blocking and serving,” Nichols said. “We spent some time on it this week and statistically the blocking was much improved and the serving was greatly improved. We had a little trouble getting started against UNC Wilmington, we didn’t really ‘get off the bus,’ so to speak.

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