MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan volleyball team returns home this weekend to begin the 2011 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season.
The ‘Cats finished (1-3) a weekend at the Wildwood Lodge Volleyball Classic at Concordia-St. Paul. NMU fell to three top ten ranked teams and swept Pittsburgh State.
NMU begins the weekend on Friday (Sept. 9) at 7 p.m. against Saginaw Valley State. The Cardinals are (1-3) after competing last weekend at the University of Indianapolis Tournament. SVSU is led by outside hitter Annie Buxton with 55 kills. The ‘Cats swept last season’s series and are 50-7 all-time versus the Cardinals.
“This is a big weekend because we are facing the preseason second, third, fourth place schools in the north division,” Yoder said. “Last weekend was a litmus test for us to see where we stand on a national level and I think those matches really prepared us for conference play.”
On Saturday, NMU faces No. 13 Grand Valley State University at 4 p.m. The Lakers come in at (3-1) after competing in two southern Florida tournaments this past weekend. GVSU is led by outside hitter Stacey Catalano with a team best 64 kills. The teams split their meetings last season, with both teams winning on the road. The Lakers defeated the ‘Cats in last season’s GLIAC Tournament. The ‘Cats lead the closely contested series all-time 47-44-2.
“The Grand Valley match is the biggest of the weekend for us,” Yoder said. “They’re a nationally rank team that we can contend with.”
NMU finishes the weekend on Sunday when they face undefeated Ferris State at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs enter the weekend a perfect (4-0) after sweeping the Ferris State Invitational last weekend. Ferris State is led by outside hitter Ashley Huntey, who has a team best 53 kills. The ‘Cats took both matches last season against the Bulldogs. The ‘Cats lead the series 44-40.
All home games are at Vandament Arena. Admission is $7 for the general public, $5 for seniors, and free to students with an id.
Live stats will be available at: http://livestats.prestosports.com/northernmichigan/
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Sports Information Assistant