Wildcats sweep Grand Valley, Davenport over the weekend


Chris Anderson/NW

NMU DOMINATES – GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week Meghan Meyer gets match point as the third set 25-23 to sweep the second GLIAC opponent of the weekend 3-0. Jacqueline Smith, Lizzy Stark and Meyer each recorded double digit points in the 3-set match.

Chris Anderson, Sports Editor

The Wildcats (9-1, 2-0 GLIAC) started Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play this weekend as they faced Grand Valley State (7-3, 1-1 GLIAC) on Friday, Sep. 9 and Davenport University (8-3, 1-1 GLIAC) on Saturday, Sep. 10. Last year in a mid-season matchup against GVST, the Lakers swept the Wildcats 3-0 in Vandament arena. 

“Every team you play has talent, they have different ways to beat you and for us to have two huge wins against opponents that are receiving votes in the national poll, historically have been very successful, especially Grand Valley,” Coach Mike Lozier said. “They actually kind of kicked us around in our gym last year, and I had not forgotten about that.” 

The Wildcats went on to sweep Grand Valley 3-0 on Friday night. The first two sets went back and forth with NMU winning 25-23 each time. In the third set GVST seemed to be making a comeback pushing their lead to 14-7 forcing the Wildcats to call a timeout.

“During the timeout, you can just feel the energy in the huddle was different than it had been before where they did not feel any pressure,” Coach Lozier said. “They felt like they were capable of coming back. They did not have to think about it. They were just going to go out and do their job. And they were able to do that.”

NMU went on a 18-7 run after that timeout in order to win the set 25-21 with all 3 sets being won by 4 points or less. Junior Jacqueline Smith recorded 22 kills on the night, just one shy of her career high.

“So, you are talking about the slimmest of margins that led to our success. And when you get into those thin of margins, the little things matter, the little details matter how you are creating energy for your team,” Lozier said. “All these things that we are doing. It is not individuals just doing it on their own. We are doing it as a team.”

The following day the ‘Cats faced off against Davenport University, another tough conference opponent. NMU showed again how resilient they are, sweeping the Panthers 3-0 and earning a second conference win early in the season.

“We were not as clean Saturday as we were on Friday, but we still found ways to win. And that was super important for us this weekend,” Lozier said. “But our focus is in our locker room and what we have to do to get better… those wins do not give you the right to coast. In fact, it is more pressure to work harder and get better because everyone that walks in the gym against us is going to be ready for us and prepare.” 

Over the weekend, post baccalaureate senior Lizzy Stark made her 1,000th kill as she recorded 15 kills and just 1 error against Grand Valley. Post baccalaureate junior Alli Yacko also passed a milestone as she recorded her 1,000th dig over the weekend. The Wildcats played great team volleyball as three players, Meghan Meyer, Alli Yacko and Lauren Van Remortel, all earned GLIAC player of the week honors in their respective categories.  

Next weekend the Wildcats continue conference play at Vandament Arena against Lake Superior State (1-9, 0-2 GLIAC) on Friday, Sep. 16 at 7 p.m. followed by Ferris State (4-6, 2-0 GLIAC) on Saturday, Sep. 17 at 3 p.m.