MIDLAND, Mich. – Behind a balanced offensive attack and a stonewall defensive, the Northern Michigan volleyball team cruised to their third straight match victory, defeating Northwood 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-21) Saturday afternoon (Sept. 24) in Midland.
With the win, the ‘Cats improve to 6-5 overall and 5-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference. The Timberwolves fall to 5-7 overall and 3-4 in the GLIAC. The victory was the third straight three-set victory for the ‘Cats.
The dynamic combination of senior left-side hitter Emma Wolfe and junior setter Abby Lovell combined for 13 kills and 32 assists respectively. Junior libero Kalin Zimmerman led the NMU defensive front with 15 digs.
NMU took control of the match early, taking an 8-0 lead to begin the first set. Sophomore Lina Lopes served eight straight points, contributing one service ace during the opening stretch. After a brief rally by the Timberwolves, the ‘Cats struck back leading by as many as 11 points to take the set.
NMU led early in the second set 17-10 before Northwood fired back after a timeout to get within two points. An attack error by the Timberwolves Angie Sparling sealed the set victory for the ‘Cats, holding on for the three point win.
The ‘Cats opened the third and final set, up 7-1 before the Timberwolves took a timeout and regrouped to battle back and cut the lead to three. That was as close as Northwood would get though, as NMU sailed through the rest of the set behind a strong offensive performanace from middle-hitter Sami Vierk. The junior contributed ten kills in the match victory.
The NMU defensive front once again held strong throughout the match, never surrendering the lead and limiting the Timberwolves to a .151 hitting percentage. The ‘Cats also had four team blocks and 38 digs.
The ‘Cat’s conclude their six-game road trip next week in the Upper Peninsula when they travel to Finlandia Thursday night (Sept. 29) and Michigan Tech on Friday night (Sept. 30). Both matches start at 7 p.m.
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