The Northern Michigan University volleyball team had a number of goals they wanted to accomplish when the season began back in September. NMU wanted to make a postseason run all the way to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
NMU finished in a three–way tie for second place in the GLIAC, with a 15-3 conference record. That earned the ‘Cats the No. 3 seed in the GLIAC tournament.
They will host the No. 6 seed, Findlay, in a quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Vandament Arena. The Wildcats and Oilers met once this season at Findlay.
NMU came away with the three set victory, but all three sets were close. The Wildcats won the match 27–25, 25–21, and 25–17. In order to achieve their goal of making the NCAA tournament, NMU must take care of business in the conference tournament.
“The biggest thing for us right now to reach that goal of obtaining an NCAA birth is to win one match at a time,” said Wildcats head coach Dominic Yoder. “We have an opportunity to get into the NCAA Tournament, but we have to win some matches. We’re really looking for a scrappy match from Findlay. It’s going to put a lot of pressure on our seniors to really fight and get what they want, and that is an opportunity to play another match.”
“We played really great against Findlay,” said Wildcats senior Kalli Herron. “We all really played well as a team and individually, so we’re hoping we can come back with the same intensity and same energy. Hopefully we can have another successful match like we did earlier in the year.”
“It’s really exciting that we have the opportunity to play here again,” said Wildcats senior Kellisha Harley about playing at Vandament Arena. “We’ve worked really hard this season, so it’s rewarding that we’re able to come back and give the audience another round. We’re just going to keep working hard and take it one day at a time. Hopefully we will be rewarded for that.”
The quarterfinal matchup between the Oilers and Wildcats begins tomorrow at 7 p.m. NMU’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament was back in 2010.
Grand Valley State is the #1 seed in the GLIAC Tournament. The highest remaining seed after quarterfinal play will host the GLIAC semifinal and final matches.