MARQUETTE, Mich. – The No.25 Northern Michigan volleyball rebounded from a disappointing loss earlier this week to defeat the visiting Ohio Dominican Panthers tonight (Oct. 7) 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-14).
With the win, the ‘Cats improve to 9-6 overall and 7-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Panthers fall to 9-7 overall and 3-6 in the GLIAC.
The ‘Cats controlled the entire first set, from start to finish. The Panthers were able tie the set twice and take the lead once in the early stages before NMU pulled away for good, thanks to strong service performance by Becca Feuerherd.
The second set went to the visitors, with the Panthers finally pulling away from the ‘Cats at the end after back and forth play throughout almost the entire set. Ohio Dominican capitalized on NMU’s service reception errors to pull away in the end after a 19-19 tie.
Both teams came out of the break continuing the back and forth style of play that played in the Panthers favor in the second set. The ‘Cats held strong throughout the set, never trailing by more than three points. As it looked like the Panthers might take the third set and control of the match, the ‘Cats fired back. Trailing 21-18, NMU rallied to take a 23-21 lead and never looked back, taking the set.
NMU opened the fourth set on a mission, taking a commanding 17-8 lead at the mid-way point, after taking six straight points. After an Ohio Dominican timeout, the ‘Cats took a 24-10 lead serving for match point before the Panthers were able to fend off four straight match points. An attack error by Ohio Dominican’s Emily Post put a halt to the late rally, sealing the match victory for NMU.
“Sami Vierk, Emma Wolfe and Lina Lopes really held us together tonight,” head coach Dominic Yoder said. “Lina especially came on in the fourth set and that is what propelled us to finish the match on a strong note.”
The ‘Cats were led offensively by junior middle-hitter Sami Vierk and senior left-side hitter Emma Wolfe. The two combined for 39 kills, with 21 and 18 respectively. Vierk’s 21 kills were a career high. Junior setter Abby Lovell established the NMU threat with 48 assists.
Defensively, junior libero Kalin Zimmerman controlled the defensive front with 14 digs.
The ‘Cats continue their home stand facing Tiffin at 4 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 8).
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