Coming off a disappointing Northern Illinois Big 12 East performance at Kaneland on Tuesday, Morris came home to a more welcoming crowd Thursday.
Playing in front of a spirited student section, the Redskins took that energy and downed the Rochelle Hubs 25-8, 25-18.
“We all had fun and there was a lot of excitement coming out here,” Morris sophomore Kaylin Korte said. “The fans coming out really helped us out.”
Morris senior Morgan Hussey said the energy was the difference from the loss at Kaneland to the win at home.
“I think it was the energy we brought. We were more excited and more into the game,” she said.
“Against Kaneland we kind of got down on ourselves and it bogged our play down. This game we kept the level up and played our game. That helped us control the court. We got a lot of momentum off the beginning. Some great rallies got us going and that helped.”
“We said this is our home court, this is where we like to play,” Morris coach Jackie Litwiller said. “We like seeing the fans here and getting excited and we like to give them something to get excited about. We jumped out on them right away and then kept on it.”
Morris was up 12-8 early in the first game before Korte served out with 13 straight points, including five aces.
“The 13 serves really helped,” Korte said. “Coach was saying where to go and I’ve been working on my zones, too.”
Litwiller said the service streak from Korte was good to see.
“She did a nice job,” Litwiller said. “She’s been working on it. That’s part of her game where she knows we need to have her step it up. We already know what she can do in the front row ... it’s something we’d like to see her do more. She’s proven she can.”
Hussey said it was refreshing to see the lineup looking backwards to forwards.
“It’s fun. It’s always great to see someone else at the back of the line for a long time,” she said.
“That’s where you get to play defense and I love defense, that’s my favorite part, but it’s always nice to be on top.”
The second game got off to a rocky start, but Morris was able to straighten things out, while getting people valuable playing time.
“We made a few errors on our part, but when we end up winning, it seems like we regroup and get it done,” Hussey said.“All of us got equal playing time, which helps us,” Korte said. “We all tried to work together and encourage each other.”
Litwiller said the second game was all about getting girls playing time and they made it work.
“We changed the lineup in Game 2 and had different people in there,” she said. “We wanted to give them a shot. I wanted to give them some game experience, so I let them play. I knew whoever I put out there on the floor that we could win with. It was a good chance for them to get some playing time under their belts.”
Korte ended the night with seven kills to go with her 13 points and six digs. Additionally, JoAnna Nowicki had five kills and two digs; Taya Torkelson had 17 assists, a kill and eight digs; and Hussey added nine digs.
Morris is now 8-5 overall and 1-1 in league play.