UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – For the third match in a row, and fourth in the last five, the Northern Michigan University volleyball team won in five sets. On Friday (Sept. 14), the Wildcats won their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener over Saginaw Valley State, 3-2 (25-17, 16-25, 20-25, 27-25, 15-13).
NMU (8-2, 1-0 GLIAC) took set one before losing the second and third. The ‘Cats answered, winning the last two sets to take the match.
“Our key to success in these five-set matches is playing with lots of heart and leadership to not let the ball hit the floor,” NMU coach Dominic Yoder said. “It seems like every match somebody else finds a way to keep the ball in play.”
Juniors Lina Lopes and Kalli Herron provided veteran leadership, as Lopes led the team with a season-high 18 kills. She also had 14 digs, two service aces and a block assist. Herron had 14 kills, two solo blocks and two block assists.
Freshman Lisa Studnicka had 15 kills and 12 digs. Junior setter Kellisha Harley had season-high 50 assists. She also contributed with 14 digs.
Freshman Alex Berger had 13 digs while senior Kalin Zimmerman had eight. Senior Jasmine Calhoun added two block solos and four block assists.
The ‘Cats had a .136 hitting percentage and had 10 team blocks. The Cardinals had seven team blocks and hit .127 percent.
SVSU (4-6, 0-1 GLIAC) was led by Kelsey Ferla with 17 kills. Sam Breault had 36 assists and 16 digs.
“We need to get rest for another match tomorrow and wake up ready to play with lots of confidence,” Yoder added.
Northern continues its 13-match road trip at Lake Superior State on Saturday (Sept. 15). Michigan Tech defeated the Lakers 3-1 on Friday.
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