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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Volleyball ends season on high note

The NMU volleyball team finished the spring season strongly at the University of Minnesota-Duluth Tournament on Saturday, April 17, with three victories, one loss and one tie against the reigning three-time NCAA Division II National Champions.

Two sets were played in all games of the tournament.

The Wildcats (8-6-1) started the tournament off slowly with a 0-2 loss to the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs with set scores of 19-25 and 15-25.

Sophomore middle hitter Emma Wolfe led with seven kills and sophomore libero Becca Feuerherd had eight digs. NMU head coach Dominic Yoder said the early morning match did not go as he’d expected.

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“We just didn’t play like we were supposed to play,” Yoder said.

The Wildcats picked up steam in the second game, where they swept the Wisconsin Superior Yellowjackets 25-12 and 25-15. Freshman middle Sami Vierk led with six kills, followed by Wolfe and freshman right hitter Sarah Hamilton with four. Freshman right Dani Branco had five aces.

In the third game, the Wildcats earned a sweeping victory against the St. Cloud State University Huskies 25-18 and 25-17.

Vierk led the offense with seven kills, followed by Wolfe with five. Defensively, Branco led with six digs.

The Wildcats finessed the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears into a stalemate in the fourth game of the tournament, tying the 3-time national champions 18-25 and 25-21.

Wolfe earned 10 kills, followed by Branco with five. Feuerherd stopped the opponent’s offense with nine digs, and junior right side Katie Twardzik followed with eight.

Wolfe said the tie proved that the ’Cats have the ability to be a dominating force in the fall because the Golden Bears were 37-0 last season.

“It was such a great accomplishment to see that we can take a set from a national champion,” Wolfe said.

Yoder said he was proud that the Wildcats were able to take a set from a team that lost only six sets during their undefeated season.

“They’re a good team, and we played really to our potential. I think that was a good indicator of what we’re capable of doing as a young group as long as we stay mentally strong and focused,” he said.

The final game of the tournament was another sweeping win for the Wildcats, as they defeated the College of St. Scholastica Saints 25-15, and 25-18.

Wolfe led the offense with seven kills, followed by Dani Kowalski with five.

Vierk contributed three kills and three  aces. Feuerherd dug 11 of the team’s 23 digs for the win.

With the spring season over, Yoder said he’s able to look back and see how far the younger athletes have come.

“The young players really found their own,” he said. “The fall was kind of an adjustment period for them, and this spring really gave them an opportunity to explore who they were and create an identity for themselves.”

Yoder said he didn’t expect great improvement out of the upperclassmen, but he knows they will return as a leading force next season.

“Our senior and our juniors really understand what is necessary for the team to be successful in the fall,” he said.

As one of only three upperclassmen for next year’s roster, Wolfe said she benefited from the learning experience of the spring season.

“I feel like I have become more confident in my position and have become more of a leader on the court,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe’s plan for the offseason includes sprinting, weightlifting, and beach volleyball to improve as an outside hitter.


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