ROLLA, Mo. – The Northern Michigan University volleyball team finished its weekend at the Missouri S&T Middle of Everywhere Classic with a pair of five-set match victories on Saturday (Sept. 8). The Wildcats defeated Southern Indiana 3-2 in the morning and Missouri-St. Louis 3-2 in the afternoon. NMU is now 7-2 overall after the weekend and begins conference play next week.
“We played with tremendous heart all weekend,” NMU coach Dominic Yoder said. “I love the way we competed. This team may not be the most talented group but we play so hard and with so much passion. It’s been fun to be a part of.”
Against Southern Indiana (19-25, 25-15, 25-22, 23-25, 15-10), juniors Lina Lopes and Kalli Herron led the offensive with 16 kills each. Freshman Lisa Studnicka added 14 kills. Junior setter Kellisha Harley had 47 assists and 14 digs. Freshman Alex Berger led the defense with 21 digs. Lopes also had 14 digs.
As a team, Northern had 17 team blocks. Junior Sarah Hamilton had 10 block assists while Herron had eight block assists. Freshman Alexis Nelson had a solo block and five block assists.
“We had some of the best team blocking I’ve ever seen this morning,” Yoder added. “Kalli and Sarah were really forces at the net.”
Studnicka had 18 kills against Missouri-St. Louis (26-24, 21-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-13) to lead the offense in the afternoon match. Herron had 17 kills while Lopes had 16. Harley setup the offense with 50 assists and had 12 digs, defensively. Berger again led the team with 18 digs while Studnicka added 14. Senior Kalin Zimmerman chipped in with 12 digs.
“Kellisha and Alex have been defining the character of our team,” Yoder added. “They’re resilient and won’t let us get down.”
Northern begins Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play next week with a pair of matches on the road. The ‘Cats travel to Saginaw Valley State on Friday (Sept. 14) and Lake Superior State on Saturday (Sept. 15).
2012 Days Inn&Suites/Super 8 Middle of Everywhere Classic All-Tournament Team
Alison Cole Southwestern Oklahoma MH Junior
Melanie Bahnke Upper Iowa OH Junior
Meg Schwartz Emporia State L Senior
Stephanie Hattey Missouri Western S Junior
Devin Diedrich Southwest Minnesota State MH Senior
Lisa Studnicka Northern Michigan OH Freshman
Fawn Ryan Southern Indiana OH Sophomore
Brooke Bartosh Northwest Missouri State RS Sophomore
Abby Thissen Southwest Minnesota State RS Freshman
Tournament Most Valuable Player
Krista HaslagMissouri S&T MH Freshman
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