UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. -The Northern Michigan volleyball team fell in four sets tonight to Saginaw Valley State 3-1 (15-25, 26-24, 17-25, 16-25.
With the loss, the ‘Cats fall to 12-9 overall and 9-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Cardinals improve to 11-8 overall and 9-3 in the GLIAC. With the win, SVSU also takes over second place after sweeping the ‘Cats in two regular season meetings.
The loss also puts NMU on a three match losing streak, its longest of the season.
The Cardinals opened the first set with a commanding 17-9 lead, thanks to numerous errors by the ‘Cats offensively. A strong service performance by the Cardinals’ Annie Buxton contributed four straight points and a serve for match point, up 24-13. The ‘Cats attempted to claw back with two straight points of their own before a Kalli Herron attack error sealed the first set and match lead for SVSU.
NMU played strong throughout the second set, playing catch up with the Cardinals yet staying within striking distance. The ‘Cats trailed by just three, 19-16 but a service error by Buxton allowed NMU back into the set and gave them the momentum needed to take a late lead. After fighting off a match point at 24-23, two straight kills from Kalli Herron and Danielle Kowalski allowed the ‘Cats to take the set.
SVSU came out of the break on a mission after dropping the second set, commanding an early lead. The ‘Cats were able to fight back and tie the set at 14-14 before an attack error by the ‘Cats’ Sami Vierk prevented NMU from being able to grab a late lead.
The fourth and final set proved once again to be all Cardinals, as SVSU trailed only once during the opening of the decisive set. NMU played back-and-fourth early with SVSU before the Cardinals broke free after a Wildcat timeout at the midway point. Setting errors prevented the ‘Cats from getting back within less than six points, as SVSU cruised for the set and match win.
Offensively, senior left-side hitter Emma Wolfe led the ‘Cats with 12 kills. Junior setter Abby Lovell established the offensive front with 35 assists.
NMU was led defensively by junior libero Kalin Zimmerman with 24 digs.
Errors proved costly for the ‘Cats, as they committed 37 attack errors and nine service errors.
NMU continues its road trip at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 22) at Grand Valley State.
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