Spikers endure first GLIAC loss of season

Rebecca Morstad

The NMU volleyball team had back-to-back home games this past weekend, resulting in one loss and one win for the Wildcats.The Wildcats played a GLIAC matchup at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27 at the Vandament Arena against Lake Erie College. They defeated the Storm with a 3-0 sweep.

Senior middle hitter Sarah Hamilton (8) and senior left side/middle hitter Kalli Herron (17) go for the block. (Anthony Viola/NW)
Senior middle hitter Sarah Hamilton (8) and senior left side/middle hitter Kalli Herron (17) go for the block. (Anthony Viola/NW)

Coach Dominic Yoder said the Wildcats played well against Lake Erie.

“We executed our game plan flawlessly,” Yoder said. “Kellisha Harley, our setter, distributed the ball really well for us, and both Lina Lopes and Sarah Hamilton did a great job attacking throughout the game.”

The first set began with an NMU lead of 3-0. Freshman right side hitter Alex Larsen led NMU with six kills. Senior left side hitter Kalli Herron, co-captain of the Wildcats, assisted with five kills. NMU won the set 25-14.

In set number two, freshman left side/middle hitter Bridget Bussell and Herron each had consecutive kills to make the score 24-18. Senior outside hitter Lina Lopes, team co-captain, took the game with a kill.

The third and final set began with a 4-0 Wildcat scoring streak off the opening serve of sophomore libero/defensive specialist Alex Berger. Senior setter Kellisha Harley served seven consecutive points, giving the ’Cats an 18-6 lead. The game ended in a 25-12 NMU victory.

Herron said she was happy with the Wildcat performance against the Storm.

“We came out focused and all played our positions very well,” Herron said. “We held a high level of energy and discipline, which in the end lead us to a great win.”

The Wildcats played at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 in the Vandament Arena against Ashland University, for the team’s first GLIAC loss in the 2013 season.

The Eagles tied the score 12 times and were up 23-22 before NMU took the first set win. Herron scored the last point of the set for a 25-23 victory.

Five points from freshman Meghan Supple’s serve gave the Wildcats an early 7-2 lead in the second set. The Wildcats scored four points on Herron’s serve to lead the Eagles by 10 (18-8), and NMU took the 25-11 victory.

Herron said the ’Cats started this game well.

“We came out very strong against Ashland,” Herron said. “We all played with a high level of intensity when we took the first two sets from them.”

The Eagles flew back at the ’Cats, claiming the third set 25-21. The Eagles went on to win the fourth set 25-18, maintaining at least a seven point lead throughout the match.

The Eagles won the fifth and final set, closed on a kill by Alli Cudworth, who led with 18 kills.

Yoder said the Eagles’ changing strategy was the beginning of the difficulty in the final sets.

“The Eagles changed, and we had trouble adjusting to them in the third set,” Yoder said. “We didn’t play as well in the final two, and Ashland did very well passing and serving.”

NMU was led by Lopes, who had 14 kills and 13 digs. Hamilton added 12 kills. Harley finished with 41 assists.

Herron said the last three sets were a struggle for the Wildcats.

“Ashland came back the third set and changed their game plan, and we struggled to make changes to ours to fight back with them,” Herron said. “Overall it was great match and learning experience for us as a team; we know what we need to improve on.”

The Wildcats played Michigan Tech at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1 in the SDC Wood Gym. The ’Cats defeated the Huskies in four sets.

MTU maintained an advantage for the majority of the game to  take the first set 25-20.

A kill by Hamilton in set two secured a Wildcat lead 17-9, and they won 25-15 off Larson’s kill.

In the third set, the score never differentiated by more than two. A kill by Hamilton grasped a 24-23 lead for the Wildcats. An attack error by the Huskies led to an opportunity for Hamilton to block the ball, and it resulted in the 25-23 victory.

In set four the ’Cats claimed their 25-15 victory off an attack error by Husky Aubrey Ficek.Hamilton led NMU with 18 kills.

The Wildcats have an overall record of 10-4 and 4-1 in the GLIAC. The team travels to Wayne State University for a 7 p.m. game Friday, Oct. 4.