A nice mix of experienced veterans and fresh new faces makes up the Northern Michigan University volleyball team this season. NMU will lean on its five seniors to lead the way in 2013.
Lina Lopes and Kellisha Harley were both first team All-GLIAC selections a year ago. Along with fellow seniors Sarah Hamilton, Kalli Herron, and Suzanne Solin, the Wildcats are aiming to get back to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time since 2010.
If the ‘Cats have any chance of making a postseason push, they know their defense must be better than it was a year ago.
“Well that’s what we are working on the most,” said Dominic Yoder, the head coach of the NMU volleyball team. “We want to make that our strength. In previous years, we could score with the best of them. Just stopping or slowing down an opponent is going to be our focus this year.”
“I’m really enjoying this group of seniors. Our sophomores that are coming back from last years freshmen class are seasoned, they’re ready to come back and contribute even more their sophomore year. Then we have a great group of freshmen that just work extremely hard, so we are really excited about this year,” added Yoder.
“Our defense this year has a lot of potential,” said senior Lina Lopes. “Our left side (hitters) are good on the back row, so I’m hoping that our defense is going to be great this year.”
“The GLIAC is always good competition all the way around,” said senior Suzanne Solin. “Northwood was really good last year. Ferris (State) and Hillsdale are always good, so we are looking forward to it.”
“We’re getting after it really hard in the gym, between blocking because that’s what our front row does and our floor defense. We’re really working on movements, reading the blocks, and reading the hits. The younger kids will help us out and our experience can help them out,” said senior Sarah Hamilton.
The Wildcats play their annual ‘Green vs. Gold’ scrimmage on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at Vandament Arena.