Volleyball sweeps foes


Photo by Lindsey Eaton: In an earlier game against Ashland, senior setter and co-captain Jami Hogeboom sets the ball for an attack. The team is tied with Michigan Tech for second in the GLIAC.

Ryan Spitza

The Northern Michigan Volleyball team continued with its winning ways last week after returning home to defeat GLIAC foes Purdue Northwest and Davenport by set scores of 3-0.

The Wildcats now have four straight wins as the regular season nears its end, with an overall record of 16-6 and 8-3 in the GLIAC.

NMU head coach Mike Lozier said despite the two opponents having not-so-good records, they still had to bring their A-game because no team is overlooked.

“It’s always good to defend your home court,” he said. “Purdue has been struggling all year, so I don’t want to say that win was expected, but if we took care of the ball we were going to be okay. Davenport just knocked off Grand Valley and they’ve played well, especially early on in the season so we really had to be on our game and it was nice to see the team play a complete match from beginning to end.” 

In Friday’s match against Purdue Northwest, the Wildcats pulled out set one with ease, winning 25-14 on a kill from junior outside hitter Autumn Monsma. Sets two and three were much closer, with the Wildcats edging out PNW with 25-21 set victories. Despite PNW pulling within one in the third set, the Pride never saw a lead in the match. NMU sophomore defensive specialist Cheyanna Pyka had five aces in the contest.

“On Friday the momentum of our game was really uphill,” Pyka said. “Then we stooped down a little bit, but we came back up and the momentum of the team felt on the court was very strong. It was a really fun match to play, probably one of the better ones this year. We were playing as a team and it was a good flow.”

On Saturday, the Wildcats jumped out to a 5-0 lead in set one before the run was ended by DU’s Ashley VanderHorst. The Wildcats took set one in dominating fashion by a score of 25-11. Set two wasn’t much different, with NMU taking it 25-14. Davenport pulled closer in set three, but eventually fell 25-21.

Monsma said the season has been successful due to each player showing strong communication in practice.

“We’re working hard in practice and I think the overall feel in practice is that everyone is on the same page,” she said. “We want to win and we want to be on top so we’re doing everything we can to get there.”

The Wildcats are still deadlocked in a three-way tie for second place in the GLIAC standings with Michigan Tech and Wayne State as the team approaches the final road trip of the season this weekend with matches against Lake Superior State and Saginaw Valley State. League leader Ferris State is one game ahead of the three second place teams.

LSSU and SVSU have a combined eight wins the season, a total the Wildcats have doubled.

Lozier said despite their records, he believes those teams are on the upswing.

“Their records aren’t great but they have been on the verge of winning a lot of sets and a lot of matches,” he said. “They’re going to get wins and they’re going to steal a win from somebody good, so we’re just going to work really hard to make sure we’re not that team that they get that win from.”

The Wildcats take on LSSU on Friday night before traveling down to Saginaw for a 1 p.m.
match Saturday.