AURORA, Ill. – The No. 25 Northern Michigan volleyball team split a pair of five-set matches today (Oct. 14) at the Great Lakes Valley Conference/Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Crossover.
NMU started the day in exciting fashion, defeating the No. 8 seed Bellarmine 3-2 (29-27, 21-25, 19-25, 25-23, and 15-13).
All five sets were closely contested, with both teams trading points. After dropping the fourth set, the ‘Cats were able to regroup and lead the entire way of the fifth set, thanks to a solid service performance from sophomore Lina Lopes and the attack combination of Abby Lovell and Sami Vierk.
Junior middle hitter Sami Vierk had 20 kills, eight blocks and one service. Junior libero Kalin Zimmerman contributed 14 digs and junior setter Abby Lovell established the offense with 48 assists.
NMU had 12 team blocks and limited the Knights to a .156 attack percentage.
The ‘Cats concluded the first day of competition dropping a five-set match to No. 4 seed Missouri S & T 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 12-25, and 15-17).
After the two teams traded lopsided sets, NMU came into the fifth set determined to put the Miners away for good. After a back-and-fourth style of play, Kalin Zimmerman was serving for the set and the match at for the ‘Cats at 15-14 but an attack error by Lina Lopes proved costly as the Miners took the next three points to take the match.
Offensively, senior Emma Wolfe led the way for the ‘Cats with 18 kills, three digs and two total blocks. Junior setter Abby Lovell established the offensive front with 40 assists.
Defensively, the ‘Cats were led by junior libero Kalin Zimmerman with 18 digs.
The closely contested match saw 15 lead changes and 32 ties.
The win by Missouri S & T was the programs first ever against a ranked opponent.
With the split the ‘Cats are now 12-7 overall and remain 9-2 in the GLIAC.
NMU is back in action tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. against No. 2 seed Northern Kentucky.
# # # NMU # # #