Wildcats Bounced from NCAA
HILLSDALE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University volleyball team lost to Indianapolis for the second time this season. The Greyhounds defeated the Wildcats Oct. 16 to end NMU’s 17 game win streak. This time the Greyhounds ended the Wildcats season with a 3-1 victory at the NCAA Midwest Regional from Hillsdale College.
The Greyhounds took the first two sets (25-16, 25-18) before the Wildcats rallied to win set three (26-24). UIndy was once again too strong in set four to put the match away (25-22).
The story of the first set was the inability of NMU’s blockers to get touches on UIndy’s attacks to help out the back row defenders. The Greyounds won 25-15 with nine kills and only three errors compared to the Wildcat’s nine kills and five errors. UIndy also hit a .444 hitting percentage while NMU hit .133. Ana Lopes led the way with five kills for the ‘Cats.
“We wanted to focus on our right side blockers taking their cross. Number seven and eleven hit the ball well across our right side blockers.” NMU head coach Dominic Yoder said. “We didn’t execute the game plan. We practiced it all week. When we did execute we were successful, but when we didn’t, there was no chance.”
Emma Wolfe got the Wildcats started off in the right direction in the second set with a kill. The Wildcats had a 4-1 lead before the Greyhounds came back to take the lead at 9-8 and hold on to win 25-18 and take the 2-0 lead. Errors again hurt the ‘Cats, as they committed nine and only hit a .048 attack percentage. Wolfe had four kills in the second set.
Yoder was happy with Wolfe on the offensive end, “Emma performed well on the right side. She had some big swings and performed well offensively.”
NMU came out firing in the third set to take the 9-6 lead. NMU held the lead to 20-18 before UIndy battled to tie it at 22. At match point for the Greyhounds, (24-22) NMU reeled off four straight points to take set three. Wolfe again had four kills. Sami Vierk and Lopes also had four kills. UIndys seven errors helped the ‘Cats. There were eight ties and four lead changes.
The ‘Cats started the fourth set by taking the lead but the Greyhounds again fought back and held the lead for most of the set. The ‘Cats made it interesting down the stretch and trailed 24-22 but a service error by the ‘Cats put the set and match in favor of UIndy.
Ana Lopes (18) and Emma Wolfe (13) led NMU in kills. Lopes added 14 digs while Kristin Wetzel had 12 and Becca Feuerherd added 11. Abby Lovell had 42 assists.
NMU committed 28 attack errors and nine service errors while hitting a .136 attack percentage. The Greyhounds had 21 attack errors and hit a .243 attack percentage. NMU had 10 total blocks compared to the Greyhounds eight. There were 22 ties and eight lead changes throughout the match.
Senior captain, Katie Twardzik played in her last game as a Wildcat. She had two kills, two assists, four block assists and a single block.
“Katie’s been a really good leader all season long. She’s had some up and down games but has turned it up on the defensive end here at the end of the season. I want her to look back on the season and focus on the Winona State match and how she felt after that match.”
Twardzik had 48 assists in the match against Winona State (Sept. 3) as she stepped in for setter Abby Lovell. She also had six kills, three block assists and 17 digs.
Indianapolis advances to the regional semifinal against the winner of the nightcap between No. 1 seed Hillsdale and No. 8 seed Southern Indiana.
NMU finishes the season with a record of 22-7 and UIndy moves to 26-8.
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