NMU Volleyball back home to wrap up regular season, honor seniors


Chris Anderson/NW

HONORED — The ’Cats will be honoring their group of seniors this weekend at home. Lizzy Stark, Ali Yacko and Maddie Crowley have been with Coach Mike Lozier since he started at NMU.

Chris Anderson

The women’s volleyball team will finally be back home to honor their seniors after being on the road 11 of the last 13 matches. They have fared well with a 9-5 record over that span, being swept only once in conference play to longtime rival Michigan Tech. This loss came after five matches played in seven days.

“Let’s learn from it. Let’s get better. And let’s turn it around,” Coach Mike Lozier said. “That’s what we did. This time of year, the one thing I value more than anything is recovery time.”

NMU seems to be peaking at the right time as they have now won four of the last five games with the last two wins coming in dominating fashion. The ’Cats traveled to face off against Saginaw Valley and Wayne State last weekend and came up with back-to-back sweeps over the GLIAC opponents pushing their overall record to 20-7, 12-4 (GLIAC).

“We were ready to go on Friday and we did a really nice job,” Lozier said. “Saginaw didn’t perform particularly well on Friday, but we took advantage of that.”

The ’Cats turned around and did the same thing to Wayne State with a 3-0 sweep as NMU’s Rayne Thompson, Jacqueline Smith, Meghan Meyer and Lizzy Stark all had over 8.5 points in the match.

“It was Wayne State’s senior day and they graduated six seniors and I think there was a little bit of extra nerves for them,” Lozier said. “We came in, we were laser focused … [and we are] super happy with those results and the way they performed.”

NMU will honor their seniors this weekend at home to finish off the regular season against Purdue Northwest and UW-Parkside. The ’Cats sit tied for second in the GLIAC at 12-4 with Davenport University.

“You know, we’re celebrating our senior day on Saturday and there are huge, huge implications for the results this weekend and we have to take care of business on our side of the net,” Lozier said.

There will be three players honored for senior night as Lizzy Stark, Maddie Crowley and Ali Yacko will be graduating this year. Lizzy Stark was able to reach the 1,000 kills mark this season and Ali Yacko did the same on the defensive side with 1,000 digs on their respective careers. You can see them play in their final home matches this weekend in the Vandament Arena on Nov. 4 and 5.

“They’ve been really special athletes and really great ambassadors for what it means to be a student at Northern Michigan, great grades, extracurricular activities across a broad spectrum of issues and topics that they are passionate about,” Lozier said. “They’re going to do great things because of their work ethic and the way they grind through things.”