Volleyball team heads to crossover tournament

Julie Goldberg

The Northern Michigan volleyball team competes in the Midwest Region Crossover in Aurora, Illinois on Friday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15. The Wildcats fell to the Urbana Blue Knights in nonconference play in four sets on Friday, Oct. 7.

re-volleyballvstech3-cd“It was a tough loss for the team,” head coach Dominic Yoder said.

Junior outside hitter Madison Whitehead led the ’Cats with 16 kills while senior left setter Marta Fraga Guntin recorded nine. Senior liberos Megan Dahl and Meghan Supple each posted 10 digs.
Senior middle hitter Bridget Bussell contributed five blocks for the ’Cats.

On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Wildcats played the Walsh Cavaliers and swept them in three sets.

“The win was really important for us,” Bussell said. “We were able to bounce back from the loss the night before and really prove ourselves.” After the Wildcats won the first set, the two teams battled in a tight second set. The teams were tied 11 times, including at 23 when Maggie Liebeck recorded a kill and a service ace by Autumn Monsma.

“We ended the weekend on a high note,” junior setter Jami Hogeboom said. “We knew going into the match that we really had to pick things up.”

Liebeck led the ’Cats with 13 kills while Rachel Braunschweig had a team-high 14 digs.

“It was a well played match,” Yoder said. “The energy and confidence were extremely high.”

This weekend they’ll play teams from several conferences in the Midwest Region Crossover.

“We’re going to start looking at film of our opponents and see what we need to do, what things we need to emphasize that our team normally does to get prepared for those opponents,” Yoder said.
On Friday, Oct. 14, the Wildcats start the crossover by playing the Maryville University Saints.

Maryville is 2-16 this season with a 1-8 record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Leading the Saints this season is freshman outside hitter Allison Lakin, who has recorded 180 kills while junior libero Makayla Campbell leads Maryville with 205 digs.

“We’re going to prepare like we do every week,” Hogeboom said. “Taking it day by day and going as hard as we can in practice. We’re going to go through the strategies that we have to put forth to win.” In their second match on Friday, Oct. 14, Northern Michigan plays the Malone Pioneers.

The Pioneers are 4-17 this season with a 1-4 record in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Northern Michigan and Malone have faced each other four times all-time, with the Wildcats winning every matchup. The last meeting between the teams was last year with Northern Michigan winning in four sets.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, the Wildcats play the William Jewell Cardinals.

William Jewell College is 9-10 with a 3-6 record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference this season.

“They’re three competitive opponents that we don’t know much about,” Yoder said. “It’s going to be a learning process for us, but I think our players are really excited and motivated to get to play.”