MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan volleyball team battled through their second straight five-set match to defeat the Ferris State Bulldogs 3-2 at Vandament Arena on Sunday (Sept. 11).
The ‘Cats took the match in five sets, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 18-25 and 19-17.
With the win, NMU improves to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference. Ferris State falls to 5-1 and 1-1 in the GLIAC.
The Bulldogs controlled the opening set early, leading 14-9 before the ‘Cats rallied to tie the score. Ferris State then came out of a timeout energized and took the first set by five, 25-20.
“The energy level of the team was lacking in the Saginaw Valley loss and we were able to regain the energy and confidence we need in order to win in the victory over Grand Valley,” head coach Dominic Yoder said. “The right energy level was their again today to rally with Ferris State in the fifth set.”
The ‘Cats led the entire way during the second set, leading by as many as eight points to take the set 25-19.
NMU came back from the break to win a closely contested third set. The ‘Cats led 20-15 and looked poised to cruise to an easy set victory before the Bulldogs fired back with a late rally to cut the lead to two before NMU finished off the set.
The fourth sent went to the visiting Bulldogs who led the entire way taking a seven point, 25-18 win.
The fifth set proved to be the most exciting of the day, as the Bulldogs fought off four NMU match points to take the lead and control at 15-14. After three more ties and two more match points between the squads, the ‘Cats finally iced the match with a kill from Lina Lopes.
The ‘Cats were led offensively by sophomore Lina Lopes, who had a match best 24 kills. Junior Abby Lovell established the attack with 60 assists, while junior Kalin Zimmerman controlled the defensive front with 27 digs.
“Emma Wolfe and Lina Lopes came up big for us again today,” Yoder said. “After the disappointing loss on Friday night, the team regrouped and those two players led the way.”
The Bulldogs were led by offensively by Anne Sutton with 19 kills and Samantha Fordyce with 41 assists. Defensively, Ferris State was led by Lisa Tobiczyk with 21 digs.
The ‘Cats are on the road for the remainder of the month, playing a pair of GLIAC South foes in Ohio next weekend. NMU returns home to Vandament Arena on October 4 in a non-conference match against Minnesota-Duluth at 7 p.m.
# # # NMU # # #