Volleyball finishes third in Big Rapids

Trevor+Drew

Trevor Drew

Trevor Drew

The Northern Michigan Volleyball team walked away from the Ferris State invitational with a 3-1 record, posting victories over formidable foes including Northwest Missouri University, who won their first 15 matches of the previous season, earning them a spot among NCAA Division II top-25, and only falling to nationally ranked Upper Iowa.

The Wildcats’ effort not only placed them third in the tournament, but also earned senior captain Kayla Chosa, junior Autumn Monsma and freshman Leticia Antunes all-tournament team honors.

Chosa was also named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Volleyball North Player of the Week, leading the Wildcats with 46 total kills and a hitting percentage of 0.411.  She also led the team with 17 total blocks, posting two solo blocks and 15 block assists.

“It’s a really big honor and I’m really thankful [to be named player of the week] and I honestly couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Chosa said. “Being a middle, it’s hard to get that award because you need everything to be perfect like passing and setting, and we had that this weekend.”

Chosa gave “props” to her teammates on defense for their digs and their passing along with fellow senior captain Jami Hogeboom for her setting.

On Friday, the team knocked down the Northwest Missouri Bearcats 3-2 in a back and forth match that went all the way to the fifth set and went on to topple Quincy University 3-1 to cap off the first day of competition.

Their momentum carried on into Saturday as the ’Cats tallied another 3-1 victory over Western Missouri State but lost their hot-streak in their fourth and final game of the weekend against Upper Iowa, who shut the Ladycats out of the win column in a decisive 3-0 victory.

“It’s important for us to build on what we did the first weekend and where we had a lot of success,” head coach Mike Lozier said. “You never want to lose, but being able to reflect on that loss and expose what needs to be worked on early was good, so now we can identify what those weaknesses are.”

Lozier has identified service receiving as the main area the team needs to work on, also noting that their offense is their biggest asset.

The Volleyball squad returns to action Friday at the Michigan Tech Invitational. NMU will take on Mary University and the 7th ranked University of Minnesota-Duluth on Friday, then Saturday they face off against St. Cloud State University and Bemidji State University.

“Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud State have both started their season very well so those are going to be really good measuring sticks for us as a team to know where we stand,” Lozier said.

The Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs stand with a 3-1 record after opening their season with three shutout victories and only falling to Saint Leo University while the St. Cloud Huskies have blown out every team they’ve played in the 2017 campaign and are currently rocking a five-game shutout win streak.

Chosa said that despite their foes’ intimidating record, she and the team are ready to see how they compare and prepared to give it their all.

“I know that we are going to bring our A-game no matter what,” Chosa said. “Even though we know they are good teams, we are a very good team as well and we can stand right alongside Duluth, who is one of the top 10 teams in the nation.”