First round: game, set, match 3-1


In the quarterfinals of the GLIAC championships, NMU defeated the Timberwolves of Northwood in four sets Wednesday night. Game scores for the night were 25-16, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22.

NMU had 16 service aces on the night, and head coach Dominic Yoder said those aces were a key to the playoff victory.

“We really have to serve tough to allow our defense to work easier and more systemic, and they did a great job doing that tonight,” he said.

Leading the team was junior Katt Garvick with five service aces. On the defensive side, Cassie Osiecki added 18 digs. On the other end of the court, senior Caryn VanBeckum had 14 kills and Mandie Meyer dropped 10.

The ‘Cats also held Northwood to just 16 kills, and Yoder said this aggressive style of defense was the determining factor of the match.

Yoder also commended the play of senior Breanne Zaremba who stepped up for injured sophomore hitter Daniela Bezerra, who was injured after Friday’s match with Ferris.

“She (Zaremba) said she wanted to be on that court all the time, and I told her she is going to have that chance on Wednesday,” Yoder said. “And she really proved that she deserved to be there.”

Yoder added that to see that type of play out of a senior during this part the season shows her leadership.

“When they (the team) see a player that hasn’t played much front row for us step up and do a great job playing front row, it really motivates them to play better,” he said.

With this victory in the books, NMU moves on to face the Cardinals of SVSU on Saturday.

SVSU beat Michigan Tech 3-0 Wednesday in Houghton to advance. In the prior two matches of the season against SVSU, NMU lost both 3-1. Yoder credited those two matches to SVSU’s defensive ability.

“SVSU did a good job playing defense against us, so we are going to work on shot blocking and just being smart about our scoring opportunities” he said.

Yoder added his team didn’t play to its full potential in the previous matches against the Cards.

“I think the team (NMU) is really confident that they haven’t played their best match against Saginaw Valley all year long,” he said. “They’re excited, and they’re motivated and they want to play their best.”