CANTON, Ohio – Northern Michigan volleyball was able to finish strong in the opening two sets with victories of 25-23 and 25-22 before cruising to the sweep with a third set win of 25-15. The Wildcats hit .219 for the match with 10 blocks at the net. The back row was also solid for NMU with 47 digs on the night and only four serve reception errors.
The victory put NMU above .500 once again with an overall record of 7-6 and 7-1 in the GLIAC. Malone fell to 5-10 overall and 3-5 in conference with the loss.
“It was a good team win,” commented Head Coach Dominic Yoder following the match. “Malone put a lot of pressure on us, and we had to dig deep to pull it out. I’m really happy with our young players resolve.”
Malone was able to start the match with the first big lead when they used a 6-1 run to jump ahead 9-3. Northern Michigan immediately answered with a 5-1 run to cut the deficit down to two at 10-8. The Pioneers were able to stay in control to a 16-14 lead when NMU was able to take their first lead of the set at 18-16 with a 4-0 run. From there on, however, the teams played extremely tight with ties at 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23. A pair of clutch Wildcat kills from sophomore middle hitters Anna Aycockand Bridget Bussell gave NMU the first set at 25-23. Northern Michigan was able to out-hit Malone .231 to .108 in the opening set victory.
Northern Michigan started the second set with a tight 11-10 lead. This meager advantage didn’t last long as the Pioneers used a 5-0 run to go ahead 15-11. Similarly to the first set, Northern Michigan answered with a 6-2 run to knot the game up at 17-17. The set would once again end in a tight finish with ties at 18, 19 and 20. Malone went on a late 3-0 run to take a 23-20 near the end of the set. Northern Michigan then went to work and was able to comeback in convincing fasion with a 5-0 run to end the second set at 25-22.
The Wildcats used the momentum from the comeback to jump out to a quick 10-1 lead in the third set. NMU would continue to dominate the set as they built their lead to as large as 12 at a 22-10 score. Northern Michigan was able to cruise to an easy 25-15 set win clinching a sweep. The Wildcats only committed three attacking errors in the final set for a hitting percentage of .318.
Freshman middle hitter Madison Whitehead led the offense for NMU with a game high 12 kills. Fellow freshman middle hitter Kayla Chosa had eight kills on the night, while producing a hitting percentage of .500. Chosa also had three solo blocks and two assisted blocks at the net. Junior libero Alex Berger had a game high 22 digs in the back row for the Wildcats. Freshman setter Meghan Seymour had a productive night assisting on 25 of the 38 Wildcat kills.
Northern Michigan will be back in action tomorrow, Saturday, October 4th when they travel to Walsh with first serve scheduled for 4 p.m.
(Information Courtesy of NMU Athletics)