Regular season games to close Volleyball team

Rebecca Morstad

The NMU volleyball team traveled downstate last weekend to take on two GLIAC teams.

The first game was played at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 in Jesse Phillips Arena against Hillsdale.

Head coach Dominic Yoder said Hillsdale came out strong.

“[I give] lots of credit to our serve receivers for keeping us close,” Yoder said. “Our attackers really capped off our runs in sets two, three, and five.”

NMU won the match 3-2 over the Chargers. The Chargers scored seven consecutive points in set one to steal the lead 14-6. The Chargers kept control of the lead, winning the set 25-13.

The second set was claimed by the ’Cats. After two kills by senior middle hitter Sarah Hamilton and senior left side/middle hitter Kalli Herron, NMU took a 22-13 lead. The Wildcats captured the set, 25-15, on a kill by freshman right side hitter Alex Larsen.

In set three NMU closed the set 25-20 on back-to-back kills by Larsen and senior left side hitter Lina Lopes.

The Chargers took an early 8-4 lead in set four before the Wildcats brought the game to within one point, 8-7. NMU never captured the lead. Hillsdale took the set 25-18 to tie the match 2-2.

The Wildcats claimed set five 15-9. A kill by Lopes and a service ace by sophomore libero/defensive specialist Alex Berger closed out the set and the match.

Hamilton finished the night with 14 kills of 23 attempts for a .522 kill percentage. The Wildcats had a consecutive 52 kills and a .211 attack percentage. The defense was led by Berger with 18 digs. Senior setter Kellisha Harley set up 39 assists.

Herron said the game against Hillsdale started off very poorly.

“There was not energy,” Herron said. “We came back strong to win the match. We saw how we play when we do not play as a team and with no intensity, and we were able to turn it around and win the match.”

NMU continued their weekend at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 against Northwood University. The Timberwolves claimed the GLIAC matchup 3-1.

In set one, a kill by Herron tied the game 16-16 before Northwood pulled away to win 25-20.

The Wildcats turned around to claim set two. NMU was trailing 18-13 before Herron served the Wildcats to a 19-18 lead, which included two service aces. She closed the set 25-23 with a kill.

The Timberwolves closed the final two sets with a 25-21 victory, followed by a 25-23 victory.

Herron led the Wildcats offensively with 16 kills. Berger led defensively with 19 digs and Harley set up 39 assists.

Herron said the match against Northwood was good overall.

“We fought hard and in the end we fell short,” Herron said. “We are hoping to see them again this year so we can take the win.”

Yoder said Northwood was more consistent offensively.

“Our players fought and played well at times, especially defensively, blocking and serving,” Yoder said. “Just too many unforced errors for the match.”

The Wildcats close out their regular season games next weekend in two GLIAC matches. The first game is at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 at Saginaw Valley. The second will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at Lake Superior State. NMU is currently in a three-way tie for second place in the GLIAC with a conference record of 13-3, and an overall record of 20-9.