After a slow start to the season the NMU women’s volleyball team picked up the pace this past weekend going 3-1 at the North Dakota Fall Tournament in Grand Forks N.D., giving them at an overall record of 3-5.
NMU lost the first game after sophomore Mandie Meyer, an outside hitter, went down with a foot injury.
This gave junior Breanne Zaremba an opportunity to contribute to the team for the second match.
After the rocky start the girls pulled through, winning their next three matches of the tournament against North Dakota, Chardon State and the University of Minnesota-Crookston.
The victories were the first of the 2007 season for the ‘Cats.
“I think we really clicked this weekend, even with people playing different positions,” said Meyer. “We’ve been working really hard the past few weeks and its paying off. I think we’re moving in a really good direction,”
The team knew the competition would be tough and that they would be facing some top-ranked teams, although the girls weren’t the only ones preparing to play some tough competition this weekend.
New head coach Dominic Yoder said he was ready and willing to tackle a difficult weekend.
“Having a young team, I was glad that the competition was stiff at Concordia. It is a good learning experience for the girls to play at that level,” said Yoder.
The girls played in the Concordia-St. Paul Invitational during the previous weekend against top ranked teams like Concordia-St. Paul and the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a disappointing finish of 0-4.
The plan from the start was to test the girls, Yoder said.
“Being a new coach and having a young team like this, I want to take this organization to the next level and the only way to do that is to play the best,” he said.
Some players certaintly feel that the competition is helping them to develop.
“I think we are really headed in the right direction. The girls are really pushing each other. I think it’s great that we are playing tougher competition, it really shows us where we need to be,” said Brittany McGowan, one of only two seniors on the team.
“We’ve been facing tougher competition than in past years, they throw a lot of different things at us but I think are team is solid and hopefully we keep on improving like we have been, she added”
Yoder said he is trying to immediately challenge the girls with a tough line up to start out the season.
“Without a doubt, having a tough schedule is much more beneficial than having a weak schedule,” Yoder said.
The ‘Cats will continue their season this weekend when they travel to Pensacola, Fla. to take part in the Argonaut Regional Crossover Tournament.
The team will take to the air to cover the distance, which is over 1200 miles.
At the tournament they will face Southern Arkansas University, Rollins College, Alabama Huntsville, and St. Leo University.