NMU returns home in search of wins

Cody Boyer

The NMU volleyball team competed at the fifth annual Mizuno GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament last weekend, facing three teams and leaving with three losses.

The Wildcats travelled to Illinois to compete at the Crossover, starting on Friday, Oct. 12 against Southern Indiana, 0-3, and Missouri-St. Louis, 0-3, and concluding on Saturday, Oct. 13 against Lewis, 2-3. The ’Cats wrapped up their final non-conference match with a record of 13-9. NMU head coach Dominic Yoder said the team played well to make the matches close, but came up short in the end.

“The players played hard,” Yoder said. “They competed to give us chances to win, but we had some critical errors on both days that led to us not winning.”

The ’Cats were swept in three sets against the Southern Indiana Eagles, losing the first set, 24-26, the second, 23-25, and the third, 17-25.

Junior left-side middle hitter Kalli Herron led the team in kills with 15.

Senior defensive specialist Kalin Zimmerman contributed from NMU’s side of the net with 18 digs. Junior middle-hitter Sarah Hamilton contributed four block assists. Defensively, junior setter Kellisha Harley tallied 36 assists.

Harley said the team is coming away from the weekend with a renewed outlook for the future.

“We are taking this week of practice and these upcoming games to refocus and get back on the right track,” Harley said. “We are just working on forgetting about the losses while working on perfecting the little things of the game that will help us finish sets and help us for the remainder of the season.”

Friday’s second match brought the ’Cats another close game, but ultimately brought them a second loss. NMU held their own against the Missouri-St. Louis Tritons, losing the first two sets 20-25 and 21-25. The Tritons clinched the match in the third set, 18-25.

Herron, once again, led the team in kills with 15. Zimmerman contributed 25 digs, leading the ’Cats defense. Harley remained consistent at the net with 28 additional assists.

Herron said a few aspects of the team’s performance were not working during the match.

“The main thing that was not working for us was finishing sets,” Herron said. “Other than that, we were playing strong. We tended to start well in all sets, but once it got to the last few points we struggled to finish the match. We are going to focus on serve-receive and finishing sets strong and not getting stuck in a rut at important times to prepare to play at home.”

On Saturday, the Wildcats lost its final match of the weekend against the Lewis University Flyers, 2-3.

The ’Cats had their strongest start of the weekend, taking the first two sets, 25-18 and 25-23 before dropping the final three matches.

For the weekend the ’Cats were led by Herron’s 50 kills. Zimmerman chipped in 47 digs and Harley added 112 assists.

The Wildcats return home for their next two conference matches, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19 against Ohio Dominican. The next match starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 against Tiffin.