BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University volleyball team got the 2012 season started in the right direction with two victories on Friday (Aug. 31) at the Ferris State Volleyball Invitational. The Wildcats defeated the University of Minnesota Crookston in their 9 a.m. match, 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23) and swept Mercyhurst (Pa.) College 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 28-26) in the 2 p.m. match.
NMU coach Dominic Yoder was pleased with his team’s performance, “I’m very excited with our play today. Our serving was the key to both wins.”
The ‘Cats only tallied eight service aces in the two matches but well placed balls led to NMU points.
Against Crookston, juniors Lina Lopes and Sarah Hamilton led the offense for Northern. Lopes had 15 kills, including six in the final set. Hamilton had 12 kills with five of them coming in the second set. Senior Andree Ring chipped in with nine kills while junior Kalli Herron had eight and freshman Lisa Studnicka had seven. Junior setter Kellisha Harley set up the offense with 43 assists.
Defensively, freshman Alex Berger led the ‘Cats with 21 digs and Lopes added 10. Hamilton and Ring had two block assists each while Herron and Studnicka each had one.
Lopes led the ‘Cats in the afternoon match with 13 kills. She had eight in the decisive final set. Hamilton and Ring each had seven. Harley had 31 assists.
“Kellisha was really clicking with our hitters today,” Yoder added. “Our serve reception was good but our blocking can still improve.”
Berger led the ‘Cats defensively against the Lakers with 11 digs. Studnicka added seven and Lopes six.
“Our team defense played really well lead by Alex who played great all day,” Yoder added. “I’m looking forward to our two matches on Saturday and finishing strong at this tournament.”
The invitational wraps up on Saturday (Sept. 1) with matches against West Virginia state at 9 a.m. and Glenville State (W. Va.) at 3 p.m.
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