Tuesday, October 9, 2007

2 Huskies Garner MAC POY Awards

Irene Johnson Earns MAC West Player Of The Week Honors

Irene Johnson has totaled 196 kills and 160 digs for NIU in 2007.

Oct. 8, 2007

DeKalb, Ill. - Junior outside hitter Irene Johnson (Schaumburg, Ill. / Schaumburg) became the second NIU volleyball player this season to earn the Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week for her efforts in the Huskies' two road wins over the weekend.

Johnson joins freshman Dani D'Ambrose (Addison, Ill. / Addison Trail) as the only two Huskies to garner MAC West Player of the Week honors and has notched a personal best three straight double-doubles. On Friday, Johnson led the way for NIU with 14 kills and 12 digs in the Huskies' 3-1 win over Toledo on the road. On Saturday, Johnson also helped spark NIU's comeback from a 2-0 deficit to Ball State, leading the Huskies with 16 kills and 12 digs in the 3-2 NIU triumph over Ball State. Johnson finished the weekend with 30 kills, 24 digs, five blocks and 35 points while helping the Huskies post their third consecutive MAC win and second win in 15 years at Ball State's John E. Worthen Arena.

"It's great for Irene and the program for her success this past week," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. She has done a good job offensively and defensively for us. It's great to see her rewarded by the conference. We're fortunate now to have multiple kids win the award."

On the season, Johnson ranks third on the Huskies and sixth in the MAC with an average of 4.18 kills per MAC contest. Johnson also ranks sixth in the MAC and second on NIU with 4.73 digs per MAC contest.

The Huskies face Akron on Friday, October 12 at 5 p.m. in Akron, Ohio.

Not to be outdone...

Van Buren's Shutouts Earn MAC Accolades

Brian Van Buren recorded the first and second shutouts of his NIU career last weekend.

Oct. 8, 2007

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Mid-American Conference has named Northern Illinois goalkeeper Brian Van Buren its Men's Soccer Player of The Week, the conference announced Monday.

Van Buren (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) recorded three saves in two shutout victories for the Huskies, the first and second shutouts of his career. To open the weekend, Northern Illinois defeated MAC opponent Western Michigan 4-0 in a game in which Van Buren faced four shots. Two days later, the senior keeper recorded three saves and assisted the game-winning goal in the Huskies' 1-0 victory over Western Illinois.

"Brian has trained hard his entire NIU career to be at his peak when called upon, and that hard work paid off last weekend," Huskie head coach Steve Simmons said.

Van Buren has now allowed only one goal in 270 minutes between the pipes.

The Huskies return to action Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (CST) to face No. 28 Akron in Akron, Ohio.

BTW, it was just announced that the NIU @ Wisconsin game will be played Saturday October 20 @ 11 AM and will be shown on the Big 10 Network

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