Volleyball hopes to continue their success, starts season 14-3


Chris Anderson/NW

BACK HOME – The Cats are back home and, in the gym, as they prepare for Wayne St. and Saginaw Valley.

Chris Anderson

NMU’s Women’s volleyball team is off to a red-hot start for the first half of the season as they are boasting a 14-3 record while seven of those wins are 3-0 sweeps of their opponents.

NMU’s Jacqueline Smith is leading the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in kills per set (4.66) and total kills (303), and middle blocker Meghan Meyer is leading the conference by a wide margin with a .452 hitting percentage. The next closest is Jaelianna Primus out of Grand Valley State with a .336.

“Those first three sets were Ferris, giving a lot of body blows like in a boxing match. They are not going to have an immediate impact, but if you do it enough over time, it becomes an issue,” coach Mike Lozier said. “Our Achilles heel all year is not starting the match well.”

The slow starts followed them down to Big Rapids as NMU dropped the second match to Ferris State this season 3-1. NMU started out each of the first three sets in the second match down by at least four points, even being down 11-5 in the beginning of the second set. 

“We just didn’t have enough in the tank mentally, to persevere. I don’t think it was a physical thing. I think the exhaustion mentally of constantly having to fight got to them,” Lozier said.

NMU made it tough for the Bulldogs in the first three sets, winning the third but the Bulldogs broke it open in the fourth to win the set by 12 points. Ferris State has handed the Wildcats two of their three losses this year as they seem to struggle against the Bulldogs.

“Of course, we played very poorly, but I understood why we were able to identify right away after the match and talk about how important starting matches on time is because it gives you an opportunity to pull away from your opponent,” Lozier said.

The team quickly moved on to face off against another U.P. rival, Lake Superior State. After another slow start, the ‘Cats were able to battle back and take over in the fourth set winning the match in the fifth set 15-8.

“Lake State is making some good strides … but they just don’t have it yet. So, we’re again able to kind of mask this glaring issue we have in our gym right now. Very proud of what they did in the fourth set, and I think that was a back against the wall,” Lozier said.

The Wildcats will be watching film and working hard in order to fix some of these issues. The second half of the season is under way, and with such a promising roster, NMU could be dangerous once these small issues are resolved as they have shown the potential. 

“This is going to sound cocky, but I don’t think we are where we should be. We should have taken that win on Friday at Ferris. I think we were a better team. We just made some stupid mistakes,” Lozier said. “There are a lot of things to shake out from the results this weekend and it really puts us in a really good place going into the second half of the season.”