MARQUETTE, Mich. – After playing its last three matches on the road, the Northern Michigan University volleyball team returns to Vandament Arena for its final four contests of the regular season. The Wildcats kickoff the home stand hosting Hillsdale College and Northwood University this weekend in two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matches.
Northern (17-10, 9-5 GLIAC) enters the weekend fresh off of a sweep over GLIAC and U.P. rival, Michigan Tech. The ‘Cats defeated the Huskies 3-0 in Houghton on Tuesday (Oct. 30). Kalli Herron had a match-high 13 kills, while freshman Lisa Studnicka had 11. NMU finished the night with 48 total kills, good for an attack percentage of .300. Senior Kalin Zimmerman tallied 16 digs, while junior Lina Lopes had 14.
“We really just need to go and compete against both teams this weekend,” stated NMU coach Dominic Yoder. “The pressure is more on Northwood and Hillsdale to beat us, and not necessarily for us to beat them.”
Hillsdale (15-10, 11-3 GLIAC) has won 11 of its last 12 matches. The loss was against Northwood on Tuesday (Oct. 30). The Chargers shutout Saginaw Valley on Friday (Oct. 26) and Lake Superior State on Saturday (Oct. 27) from Hillsdale.
The ‘Cats lead the overall series with the Chargers, 33-12, but have only taken one of the last eight meetings. The two teams last faced each other a season ago, when Hillsdale came out on top, 3-0 in Marquette.
Northwood is a perfect 14-0 in the conference for first place. The Timberwolves defeated Lake Superior State (Oct. 26), Saginaw Valley (Oct. 27) and Hillsdale (Oct. 30) all in straight sets over the last week. Juliia Pakhmenko is the GLIAC North Division Player of the Week. She averaged 3.8 kills and 2.2 digs per set last weekend and currently ranks second in the GLIAC in kills per set (4.01).
NMU also leads the all-time series against Northwood, 35-23. Northwood came to Marquette last year, when the ‘Cats took the match, 3-1.
Friday’s (Nov. 2) matchup with Hillsdale will begin at 5 p.m. with Saturday’s (Nov. 3) at 4 p.m. against Northwood.
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