Volleyball team wins four in tourney


The NMU volleyball team swept through the Eastern Michigan University tournament on Saturday.

The ‘Cat won all four matches against Cleveland State, Toledo, Oakland and Northwood University.

The team played in all of the matches over the course of one day.

In the first match of the EMU Spring Bash, the Wildcats fell behind Division I team Cleveland State, losing the first game 17-25, but quickly rebounded to win the next two 25-20 and 16-14.

“We started out real sluggish in game one against Cleveland State. But in game two, we came back and played really well. And then they just got better throughout the course of the day,” head coach Dominic Yoder said.

In the second game of the day, the ‘Cats squared off against another D-I team, Toledo. NMU won 2-0, with the games scored 25-8 and 25-16. Yoder said he was proud of the persistence his team showed and how they didn’t back down against D-I competition.

“Against Toledo, they just were relentless. [NMU] wouldn’t allow any points scored unearned,” he added. “It’s amazing to watch them play like that.”

In the third game in the tournament, the Wildcats brought home another victory against D-I opponents, beating Oakland 2-0, games scores of 25-20 and 25-23. Yoder said the D-I schools were surprised by how hims team played.

“We saw we can play with some of the better D-I teams and that is going to allow us to play with the best D-II teams,” Yoder said.

For the fourth and final game of the tournament, the ‘Cats faced Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference (GLIAC) North Division rival Northwood University and continued the tournament’s theme of success. NMU shut out Northwood 2-0, winning both games, 25-15 and 25-11.

Yoder said it was important to get thesee wins but still believed there was room for improvement.

“I think what we need to continue working on– as a team– is just continue polishing the technical aspect of the game and the individual aspect of the game,” he said. “We are going to work on some different systemic things when it comes to our offensive plays and hopefully be able to incorporate those into our fall season.”

The reason the Wildcats play these spring tournaments is to be better off come the fall season, Yoder said.

“It just each day raises the bar for each one of them; not only for themselves but for their teammates,” he said

For the Wildcats, their spring season isn’t over yet, as they travel to the University of Minnesota-Duluth this weekend. The ‘Cats will play matches against U-M Duluth, U-M Duluth alumni, University of Wisconsin Superior and St. Cloud State. Even with the team’s recent success, Yoder still looks for his team to develop.

“It definitely doesn’t make us feel content. We’re wanting the next step now. And now we’re thinking we are right there at the top of our conference,” Yoder said. “Now we need to push towards competing for a regional title and being in the elite eight and hopefully the final four and final two.”