The NMU Women’s Volleyball team had a tough series of matches last weekend as they faced off against some of the GLIAC’s best volleyball teams. The Wildcats put up the good fight against all three opponents but lost two out of their three games, lowering their overall record and GLIAC standings.
The Wildcats first went up against the Hillsdale College Chargers. Hillsdale forced the ’Cats to play at their tempo and speed of the game. The Wildcats did not go down easily as they fought for every single point they scored, but in the end, Hillsdale was the victor as they swept the ’Cats in three straight sets (25-22, 26-24, and 25-22).
The Wildcats next moved on to the Wayne State Warriors. The Warriors wasted little time aggressively serving and showing the will to compete by winning the first two sets 25-22, and 25-17. The ’Cats, trying to comeback, won the third set 28-26, but in the end, the Warriors were not accepting defeat as they won the final set by 25-21, giving the ’Cats their second loss of the weekend.
Head coach Dominic Yoder said that these were tough losses, but the expectations around this team surpassed anything he could have hoped for.
“Both matches against Hillsdale and Wayne State were very competitive, and we had a couple of missed opportunities and plays that we shouldn’t miss,” Yoder said. “This team is performing way above their expectations and it’s a young team. We may be at the point to where we have maxed out the players abilities, but that doesn’t mean we stop competing, ever.”
The Wildcats’ final opponent of the weekend was the Findlay Oilers. The Wildcats, who wanted to end their last regular season game on a good note, came out fast and hard, controlling first contact and winning the service battle against Findlay’s defense. The ’Cats won the first set 25-17. The Oilers came back strong to win the second set 25-18, but the ’Cats proved this was their day to shine as they took the final sets 25-18 and 25-21.
Freshman libero Kristin Wetzel said she feels that the team is struggling to put all the parts together, but the ability and drive that this team has, the season is far from over.
“I think the team is wondering what happened to that ‘refuse to lose’ attitude,” Wetzel said. “This late in the season, the game is all about heart and competing, and if we compete and leave our blood on the court, the rest will take care of itself. We just have to believe in ourselves, and above all else, remain confident.”
Sami Vierk led the ’Cats in kills this weekend with a total of 34 for all three games, followed up by Lina Lopes who had 30, and Emma Wolfe with 21. Kristin Wetzel led the ‘Cats with over 64 Digs this weekend, followed by Lina Lopes with 40.
Head coach Dominic Yoder said that the upcoming game against Tiffin is very important in securing a spot for the NCAA Division II tournament and losing this game is not an option.
“Right now, Tiffin is fighting for their lives in order to get in this tournament, and right now we are the team that stands in their way,” Yoder said. “Tiffin is a very competitive team, and we will be on our toes this weekend, but as long as we focus on serving, passing and being competitive, we will go far in our tournament endeavors.
The Wildcats will start the GLIAC tournament on Thursday, Nov. 11 as they host the Tiffin Dragons at 7 p.m. in the Vandament Arena. General admission costs $8. The Wildcats faced off against Tiffin early on in the season and were able to pull out a victory of 3-1 on Tiffin’s home court.