Volleyball takes one of two over weekend

jessica.wilson and jessica.wilson

Competing against two of the top volleyball teams in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (GLIAC), the ‘Cats fell just short of beating No. 11 Grand Valley State on Saturday, and triumphed over the Ferris State Bulldogs on Sunday.

Northern Michigan (7-7 overall, 1-1 GLIAC) faced Grand Valley (13-2, 3-0) on the Lakers’ home court and lost by a 1-3 margin (24-30, 30-28, 21-30, 28-30). Brittany McGowan set up 43 assists.

“We were right there with them the whole time,” McGowan said of the competitive match.

The ‘Cats hit .121 with a team total of five blocks and four aces in the match. Grand Valley hit .216 with 10 blocks and seven aces.

“If we want to be number one in the nation, we’re going to have to play the best team in the nation to be able to compete at that level,” head coach Dominic Yoder said.

Sunday’s match against Ferris State (10-4, 2-1) leveled out NMU’s conference record to 1-1. The ‘Cats beat the Bulldogs with three wins and two losses, ending in a tie-breaking fifth game win (25-30, 33-31, 30-22, 23-30, 15-13). NMU hit .140 with four blocks, while the Bulldogs hit .191 and 11 team blocks. Outside hitter Amy Anderson-Goldsworthy tallied 17 kills to help bring NMU to victory.

“We’ve been in five-game matches before, and we just wanted this one really badly; after losing to Grand Valley we knew we should be able to beat Ferris, and we came out strong” Anderson-Goldsworthy said of the win.

Based on the team’s effort thus far, Yoder is confident that the ‘Cats will be successful in the 2007 GLIAC.

“This year is a real learning experience for the team [as far as] the level of competition we’re going to have to be at to be the number one team,” he said. “We competed well with Grand Valley who is number one in the conference right now, so I feel our chances are very, very high.”