Volleyball: Critical 5 game road trip coming up for the ‘Cats


Chris Anderson/NW

UP NEXT – NMU will travel to Grand Rapids this weekend to start a 5-game road trip. NMU swept Davenport 3-0 earlier in the season at home.

Chris Anderson

The NMU Women’s Volleyball team had a tough time in the Midwest Regional Volleyball Crossover last weekend as the ‘Cats went 1-2 in the tournament. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to put together a full set as they lost 3-0 against University of Missouri-St. Louis in the first match. NMU jumped out to an early lead in the first set but trailed the rest of the way.

“It doesn’t mean you don’t ride the highs of momentum, but it also means you have to fight a little bit harder against the lows and against Missouri St. Louis in particular, I just felt like we let the low moments affect us too much,” Head Coach Mike Lozier said.

NMU showed up in the second match of the night against Northwood University as the ‘Cats bounced back with a 3-1 victory over the old conference foe. NMU’s Lauren Van Remortal recorded 46 assists on the night for the ‘Cats, helping set them up for a matchup against Hillsdale University the next day.

“Earlier in the year we talked a lot about starting on time, then the last little bit it’s been about finishing. The thing I talked about on the ride home,” Lozier said. “Maybe transitioning from starting or finishing strong to consistent play.”

The ‘Cats struggled to gain traction against the Chargers as the team was playing from behind most of the match. Although NMU lost the match 3-0 there was a bright spot in the match for the ‘Cats in the third set as they were tied 10-10 and down two sets.

“We didn’t get it done but we went from a team that was kind of rolling over and letting another team push us around, to a team playing inspired, playing like their life depended on it,” Lozier said.

NMU battled in the last set pushing it all the way to 27-27 before the Chargers took advantage of a couple bad plays at the end and won the set 29-27, completing the sweep. Freshman Rayne Thompson posted 10.5 points with a .381 hitting percentage for NMU.

“We’re better than Northwood right now, so the fact that we beat them 3-1 does not surprise me,” Lozier said. “What surprised me was our inability to show up against those other two opponents, but again, when they got challenged to step up, I was really proud of the way they stepped up.”

NMU 16-6, 8-3 GLIAC, is sitting at third in the conference right behind Davenport, second, and just in front of Grand Valley State, fourth. The Wildcats will be starting their five-game road trip against both teams this weekend with the Panthers on Friday Oct. 21 and GVST on Saturday Oct. 22. This will be a huge test for the Wildcats as they wrap up the season in a few weeks, as there are seven matches left before the conference tournament starts.

“Every single match, regardless of our opponent, is huge,” Lozier said. “Coming down the stretch momentum is huge, seeding is huge. You want to be in the top four so you can at least host the first round of the conference tournament.”