Spring volleyball

AnnMarie Kent

The winter blues are soon to be in the past, and spring seems to be on the way with rising temperatures and the announcement of the spring schedule for the Wildcat volleyball team.

Head coach Dominic Yoder announced that spring practice will officially begin on Monday, March 8 before the team competes in four matches during the five-week season.

“Really it’s an opportunity for them to go out and compete,” Yoder said, “and really work on some of the things they have been developing in January and February in individual practices, really to prepare themselves for what the team should look like in the fall.”

While the spring season is focused on building the team for the fall season, senior players will be able to participate with the team, including senior libero Alex Berger who carried the team in digs almost all season.

NMU grabbed a spot in the GLIAC playoffs only to be knocked out in the quarterfinals in a 3-1 loss to the Findlay University Oilers, the second seed team in the GLIAC at the time. The fall season ended for the Wildcats on Wednesday, Nov. 18 with a final record of 10-8 within the conference and 21-10 overall.

“Our team has grown individually and as a team,” junior defensive specialist Megan Dahl said. “I think it’s going to be a spectacular spring season.”

The matches kick off March 19 with a trip to play the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. The season will continue in April with trips to Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Each trip will include play with multiple opponents.

The Wildcats will face some regular GLIAC teams but will also come up against teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, as well Division I teams from the Big Ten, Horizon League and Mid-American Conference.

Junior middle hitter Bridget Bussell is confident in the team’s progress in the off-season.

“We were working really hard in January and February with our strength and conditioning coaches,” Bussell said. “We’ve all improved tremendously in our physical ability, so hopefully that will be proven in our competition coming up.”