Wildcats’ homecoming recap: Volleyball earns split, swim and dive breaks three pool records


HOME SWEET HOME— The NMU Volleyball team huddles up after scoring a point while the bench celebrates behind them. A few of NMU’s sports teams had an eventful weekend at home for homecoming. Photo courtesy of NMU Athletics

Dallas Wiertella, Staff Writer

Homecoming at Northern Michigan University is always sure to bring out the best and most prideful performances from our athletes. The student attendance is high and the spirit that the fans give is tangible. Both the NMU Volleyball and Swim and Dive teams held home events this past weekend.

Volleyball started off its weekend by taking down Saginaw Valley State 3-2. This ended the team’s four-match losing streak heading into the Wildcats’ second game of the weekend against Wayne State on Saturday. The ‘Cats fell 3-0 to Coach Mike Lozier’s former team, and the loss put NMU at 2-3 at home on the year. 

“To lose in front of a crowd is never good, especially when we were undefeated at home last year,” Lozier said. “We appreciate the people who come to support us but ultimately they come with expectations.”

The Cats showed promise in every set, taking early leads and holding their own against Wayne State early. However, they would slowly lose their lead and ultimately the set in all three.

“We won every race to 15 but couldn’t quite finish after that,” Lozier said. “That’s a sign of a team that is not quite there yet but we are making progress. We had lofty goals coming into the season and they obviously need to be adjusted.” 

The Swim and Dive team, on the other hand, faced off against themselves with an internal challenge, the Green and Gold Intrasquad meet on Saturday. Despite splitting NMU’s athletes into two teams against each other, three PEIF pool records were broken in the event. 

All three records came from members of the green team. Thibault Auger broke the men’s 50-yard backstroke record with a time of 23.19. Ondrej Zach took home the 500-yard freestyle with a mark of 4:30.27, and Erikas Kapocius captured the 200-yard individual medley record of 1:52.31.

The green team was knocked off the gold team by a combined men’s and women’s score of 221-204, and it was a proud day for all of the athletes who got to show their abilities to the spectators.

“The green team won and it is just bragging rights,” Coach Heidi Voigt said. “The ultimate goal of these meets is to be pushing each other every day to get better and better. We got to know what our new freshmen can do and where our returners are at.”

The team holds its first home meet this weekend against Davenport and St. Cloud State on both Friday and Saturday. The Wildcats will use this chance to see where the team is at in a competitive setting.

“This is the fastest we have had a meet after an intrasquad in a while,” Voigt said. “Just to see them race is very important, shake out the cobwebs and just get ready to go.”

With the start of the season for the Swim and Dive team underway and a rocky climb ahead for the Volleyball team, the Wildcats are sure to learn from every experience and continue to put on a show for their fans.