Volleyball serves up weekend sweep


The NMU volleyball team swept through the Eastern Michigan Spring Bash tournament this past weekend.

In competitions, NMU beat Eastern Michigan (2-1), the Eastern Michigan Alumni squad (2-0) and GLIAC foes Northwood (2-0) and Saginaw Valley State University (2-0).

Head coach Dominic Yoder said this spring tournament was a step in the right direction for his club and the fall season.

“I didn’t think we were spectacular, but we did some things really well,” he said.

Yoder added that one surprise to come out of the tournament was the match against SVSU, which was the team that beat Northern in last fall’s GLIAC semifinals.

“I think our players were motivated to play well against them, and they did,” he said. “Going against a team that they had lost against, to come in and beat them is a tremendous boost in their confidence.”

The team stayed focused for individual training in January and February, and is now applying that at the team level. This is one factor Yoder gave for their spring season success.

“We will start laying this out and this is going to lead into our team setting goals here for the next fall season,” Yoder said.

NMU lost three seniors last season, including the ‘Cats’ top two scorers, Caryn VanBeckum and Daniela Bezerra. But Yoder said NMU has signed four athletes for next season who will have an instant impact.

“I think all four of them can step in and contribute right away,” he said. “I think all four of them have that opportunity to come in and really compete for those starting positions and get some valuable playing time.”

The spring season will continue for the Wildcats this weekend as they travel to Green Bay to play UW-Green Bay, UW-Parkside, UW Oshkosh, Minnesota-Duluth and the UW-Green Bay Alumni.

Yoder said he is going into this tournament with same mindset as any other competition.

“I think the biggest thing that we want to convey to our players is that every time they step between the lines, whether there is a championship on the line or it is just a competition, that they compete,” he added.

“That is what we are really trying to get across to them that the spring season is about competing. It is an opportunity to compete, but to compete under less stress.”

The volleyball team will then compete the weekend of April 11, when they travel to the University of Minnesota-Duluth to face the Bulldogs in their final spring match.