The NMU volleyball team proves once again they are here to contend as their undefeated record remains strong at 15-0 (11-0 GLIAC). They move up another spot in the GLIAC north holding strong at 13th in the nation. The ’Cats fought hard this weekend as they traveled to Ohio to take on two very competitive teams, Tiffin and Ohio Dominican.
The Wildcats struggled in their first set against Tiffin, losing 14-25. Tiffin came out swinging and never looked back as they took advantage of the Wildcats’ slow start. But even without their fans to support them, the Wildcats didn’t surrender anymore sets as their energy spiked and their focus kicked into over-drive.
The Wildcats would come back strong in the second set as they fight Tiffin for every point, eventually winning the set 25-23. To seal the deal the Wildcats proved too much for Tiffin as they won the third and fourth sets, both 25-13.
Freshman libero Kristin Wetzel agrees that Tiffin came out with high energy and took advantage of the ’Cats issues with serve reception and hitting errors. But the team pulled through and won a hard-fought match.
“We were not expecting them to breathe as much fire as they did,” Wetzel said. “Their fast offense quickly took advantage of our serve reception and hitting errors, giving them the win for the first set. Collectively we had to minimize errors and just find open spots on the court and once we did, the game was ours.”
The Wildcats would then take on the newcomers of their league, Ohio Dominican. The Wildcats started strong as they won their first set 25-12. Ohio Dominican attempted a comeback by getting more aggressive on their serves, but the Wildcats always defended well. The Wildcats would go on to win both the second and third set, both 25-20, claiming another victory.
Head coach Dominic Yoder is excited his team is doing so well, but points out that the past is the past and that the team needs to focus on their game if they want to keep winning.
“Winning is a great feeling, but it’s in the past,” Yoder said. “We need to focus on the road ahead, learn and fix our mistakes that we make and stay energetic and focused. The middle of October is when teams either fizzle out or make a stand, and we have to prove that we want to make our stand by winning these games.”
The Wildcats have their greatest challenge ahead as they prepare for the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament this weekend. The tournament will take place at Aurora, Ill. where the Wildcats will take on their first opponents Rockhurst, on Friday, Oct. 15, Missouri-St. Louis on Friday night, and finish off with Indianapolis on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Freshman left side hitter Kalli Herron said that this will be a big weekend for the Wildcats and that the team needs to stay strong if they intend on winning this tournament.
“We will be seeing some very tough competition this weekend,” Herron said. “The most important factor is that we are going to have to stay strong and on top of our game. It isn’t the teams that concern us, it’s more of how we execute our plays against them, and that’s what will lead us to victory.”
Head coach Dominic Yoder agrees that the team needs to perform to win but they also have to have the want to win.
“We need to remain energetic, not have as many errors and execute our game plan,” Yoder said. “Make the other teams play at our tempo not the other way around.