Championship hopes alive


Senior outside hitter Autumn Monsma spikes the ball while her opponents set up a block during last season. Photo by: Neil Flavin

Alex Skinner

Following last season’s success,

the Northern Michigan University Women’s Volleyball team

looks poised to make another run
towards the GLIAC Conference

The Wildcats finished second

place in the regular season, finishing behind conference and tournament champions Ferris State

University. NMU finished with
a 12-4 record and made it to the

conference semifinals before falling to the Michigan Tech University Huskies in four sets.

There are holes to fill up front
as the Wildcats lose their top two
point-getters in senior right-side
hitter Madison Whitehead and

senior middle blocker Kayla Chosa to graduation.

Offensively for the Wildcats

players are going to need to step-up if they can expect to close

out games and put points on the

scoreboard. Whitehead and Chosa both scored over 380 points

each last season with the next
closest Wildcat being freshman

outside hitter Leticia Antunes,
who finished the season with 328

points. Antunes returns as a sophomore and will look to anchor

the scoring for the Wildcats along
with junior middle blocker Sarah

Kuehn finished the season tied
with four other Wildcats with 108

blocks on the season. Senior outside hitter Autumn Monsma will

join Kuehn up front, who finished
last season with 286 points and
108 blocks.

Defensively for NMU, senior defensive specialist Rachel

Braunschweig returns to fill her
role in the middle of the court.

Braunschweig’s 460 digs last season were far and away the most

on the season, followed next by
Antunes with 359.

Senior setter Lynzi Svoboda
takes over for departing senior
setter Jami Hobeboom. Svoboda
played in eight games out of 25
last season while setting up 19
assists compared to Hobeboom’s
1,192 assists. If the Wildcats are
to able to find success, expect
Svoboda to be in the middle of
every play.

The Wildcats are coached by
Mike Lozier who is entering his

second full season at NMU. Lozier is known for his ability to lead

his programs to success, having
previously been the head coaches
at Wayne State University (WSU)

and Grand Valley State University (GVSU). In 2016 while coaching WSU, Lozier led the team to

its first winning season since 2012
before being hired to the same
position at GVSU.

While with the Grand Valley
State University Lakers, Lozier
finished the 2013 campaign first

in the GLIAC conference regular season and then to a GLIAC

Conference Championship title.

Lozier took over a season ago
from a NMU team that finished
17-14 in the regular season and
transformed them into a potential
championship team that nearly
played for a championship last

Expectations are high for the

Wildcats this season with six seniors on the roster. The Wildcats

open their 2018 season with a

matchup against McKendree Friday, August 24 at 12 p.m.