Women’s Volleyball Preview

Katie Bultman

The Vandament Arena hosted the first volleyball match of the season at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27 for the annual Green and Gold series.

The yearly event serves as the preseason scrimmage amongst team members, allowing the coaches to focus on players that will serve as starters for the 2013 season.

Head coach Dominic Yoder said this year’s green team, which consisted of members most likely to start and see more playing time, took three wins over the yellow team.

“I thought they all did a really nice job,” Yoder said. “They got used to playing in front of people, which is important, and there was a pretty good fan showing.”

The Wildcats recently hosted a scrimmage, as well, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 in the Vandament Arena. Aside from NMU, Lake State and Michigan Tech participated in the first combined team scrimmage of the season.

Yoder said all of the teams came into the scrimmage with a competitive edge, including a young Lake State team that brought in a new coach for the 2013 volleyball season.

Yoder also said the games played between Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan University brought out some of the on-court rivalry that fans note during regular season play.

“We were expecting a lot of competitive opportunity,” Yoder said. “ And both teams came out very competitive.”

Yoder said Michigan Tech and NMU played as a split squad in order to even out the playing field for the tournament, which in turn worked to increase the on-court intensity between the rivalry teams.

The Wildcats opened the preseason with new players to add to the roster, as several new recruits joined the team. With a good number of returning players, which consists of 10 members from last year’s team, the ’Cats only have five seniors that are returning back to the courts.

Freshman libero Meghan Supple said the senior leadership on the court has been a huge help for all of the newest team members, as she had experienced herself.

“It has been awesome,” Supple said. “The upperclassmen have been super and have helped all seven of us freshman. It has been a lot of hard work adjusting well to the speed, but the upperclassmen are doing well with helping us all out.”

The addition of the newest team members make up the 2013 squad of 17 athletes, all under the leadership of Yoder, who will be going into his seventh season as head coach for Northern Michigan University.

Yoder said it is great to see the team come together as one in preparation for the upcoming season, and great to see the women working together and bonding as well as they are. Yoder also said the team has been working toward season goals, in addition to focusing on areas that the team still needs work on.

“We will need to work on serve reception and overall defense,” Yoder said. “But it has been really nice to have (the five seniors), especially being good leaders.”

This upcoming season the team members said they hope to focus on the end of the season, with the goal of finishing at the top of the conference and keeping their eyes on the prize.

Senior setter Kellisha Harley said the team is expecting a lot for the fall 2013 season.

“It’s good having experience,” Harley said. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but overall we have figured out what we need to have and expect a ton of energy.”