The NMU volleyball team faced off against three teams this past weekend that it had beaten on their respective courts earlier in the season. The Wildcats, ready for anything, knew all three teams were looking for nothing more than to give the ’Cats their first loss in the GLIAC conference.
The Wildcats played a very tough Ferris State team on Oct. 22. The Wildcats struck early as they won both the first set 25-19 and second set 25-22. The Bulldogs fought back with everything they had and came up with the wins for both the third and fourth sets, 25-15 and 25-23. The Bulldogs tried to keep the momentum going, but the Wildcats prevailed to win the final set 15-10.
The Wildcats moved forward to take on the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals on Oct. 23 as they looked to sweep the team for the second time this season. The Cardinals put up a valiant effort but could not seal the deal as the Wildcats swept them in three straight sets, 25-19, 25-19 and 25-18.
Head coach Dominic Yoder said that being able to sweep a team twice in one season is very tough and he was very happy to have seen this happen.
“Anytime you play against a team twice in one season, it’s very tough to sweep them,” Yoder said. “The teams have had their down time, a chance to review and study up on their opponents, make tactical changes, and learn from their mistakes. So it’s great to see that no matter what they could throw at us, we could still win.”
Unfortunately, the ’Cats were unable to hand Grand Valley a second loss of the season on Oct. 24, as the Lakers only had one thing on their mind and that was to win this volleyball game at all costs. The Lakers made a quick statement by winning the first set 25-15. The ’Cats quickly responded with a hard-fought win in the second set 28-26. But the Lakers proved too much for the ’Cats as they won the next two sets 25-16 and 25-20, giving the Wildcats their first loss in the GLIAC.
Junior hitter Catherine Waybright said that it’s always tough to lose a game, but there are positives that can come from it.
“It’s always tough to lose, but we did accomplish several things this past weekend that we wanted to,” Waybright said. “Now we just need to take those things and get ready for this upcoming weekend against Lake Superior State and Northwood. We know what it takes to be successful, and we will be working hard in practice this week to assure a positive outcome for the team.”
Sami Vierk would lead the Wildcats in kills this weekend with a total of 31 for all three games, followed by Emma Wolfe who had 28 and Ana Lopes who had 22. Becca Feuerherd led the ’Cats in digs with a total of 41 for the weekend, followed by Lopes who had 29 and Kristin Wetzel with 24.
The Wildcats will be on the road again this weekend as they first take on the Northwood University Timberwolves on Friday, Oct. 29th at 7 p.m. in Midland, Mich., followed by their second opponent, the Lake Superior State Lakers on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. in Sault Ste. Marie.
Head coach Dominic Yoder says his team will be ready for the games this weekend, but from here on out, nothing is going to be easy.
“Northwood is going to be a tough, competitive team that will fight for every point, and Lake Superior State is a scrappy team that isn’t predictable and you never know what they will throw at us,” Yoder said. “In order to win our games from here on out, we need to bounce back and forget about our wins and losses and stay competitive and consistent. This is a great team, and that’s what great teams do.”