The NMU volleyball team earned two more victories last weekend, bringing their winning streak to six straight games. This upcoming weekend, the team will participate in three games at the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC)-GLIAC Crossover Volleyball Tournament.
On Oct. 9, the Wildcats (12-7 overall, 8-3 GLIAC) dropped the first set versus the Wayne State University Warriors but came back to win the subsequent three sets and the match with scores of 20-25, 25-21, 25-22, and 26-24. NMU senior captain Mandie Meyer led the team in kills with 15, followed by senior Amy Andersen-Goldsworthy with 10. NMU senior player Katt Garvick had four serve aces.
The Wildcats also needed four sets to defeat the Northwood University Timberwolves with set scores of 25-15, 17-25, 25-22, and 25-22. Andersen-Goldsworthy led with 15 kills, followed by Meyer with 11 and Garvick with 10.
Head coach Dominic Yoder feels that while the team was victorious, there’s still work to be done offensively.
“We figured out how to come back from being down and win the set, but I think we made too many unforced errors [against Wayne State and Northwood]. The team still needs to work on serve reception and consistency with attacking on the outside,” he said.
The ‘Cats will play the first game of the tournament on Oct. 16 at 11 a.m. against the Indianapolis University Greyhounds (22-1 overall, 7-1 GLVC) who are on an eight game winning streak.
Yoder said this game gives the ‘Cats a possibility to gain some clout in NCAA Division II.
“It gives us an opportunity to play the No. 2 team in the GLVC which gives us a chance to get up higher in the regional rankings if we beat them,” he said.
NMU senior player Katt Garvick said the team is preparing for a rough match.
“We’re expecting Indianapolis to be tough. We’re expecting them to come out, play hard, and compete. We know that they’re a good team but we’re looking to go out and be strong against them,” Garvick said.
The ‘Cats will be doing double duty on that day, as they also play a 6:30 p.m. game against the Pumas of St. Joseph’s College (11-11 overall, 5-3 GLVC).
The Pumas are a young team with a good coach but are struggling this year, Yoder said.
Garvick had the opportunity to play in the crossover last year. She said the ‘Cats are right at home in the intense environment brought on by tournament play. In the 2008 tournament, the Wildcats went 2-1 when they defeated Indianapolis and the Norse of Northern Kentucky University, but lost to the University of Southern Indiana Eagles.
“It’s a really fun atmosphere. There are so many teams down there so it’s extremely competitive and we’re really excited to be going,” Garvick said.
She also said part of being a senior means setting a positive example for the whole team and being a source of inspiration.
“Being an upperclassman has a lot of responsibilities that me and my other seniors are doing a good job with,” she said. “It’s fun to lead a team and know that this is your last year playing and to go out and play as hard as you can, knowing there can’t be any regrets.”
The ‘Cats will finish the tournament on Oct. 17 at 12:30 p.m. against the Drury University Panthers (12-8 overall, 4-4 GLVC) before returning home Oct. 23 to play the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals (13-6 overall, 8-3 GLIAC).