NMU volleyball outlasts ODU in four sets

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University volleyball team came out fast winning the first two sets of the night and were able to hold off the Ohio Dominican Panthers in a 3-1 victory with scores of 25-22, 25-17, 23-25 and 25-20. The victory puts NMU at 9-6 overall with a 9-1 mark in GLIAC action.

The Panthers started the match coming out fast taking advantage of Wildcat mistakes as Ohio Dominican held an early 13-8 lead. Northern Michigan was able to bounce back, however, as they were able to go on a 9-4 run putting the set at a 17-17 stalemate. From there, Northern Michigan was able to continue their momentum with a 5-1 run to put them ahead 22-18. Ohio Domican answered right back, though with a 4-0 run that put the game at a 22-22 tie. The run forced a Wildcat timeout, which proved to be the difference in the set as NMU came out of the break to score three straight points to win the set at 25-22.

Freshman setters Meghan Seymour and Jami Hogeboom did a good job of spreading out the offense as the Wildcats had five different players record three kills in the set. Sophomore outside hitter Alex Larsen led the charge in the set with a .429 hitting percentage. The back row also did their job as NMU was able to side out the Panthers 14 of a possible 23 times, or 60%.

NMU was able to take an early advantage to open the second set as the Wildcats held an early 11-6 lead. Ohio Dominican was able to stay in the set and cut the deficit down to one with a 7-1 run. The front row then went to work as they recorded four kills as part of a 5-0 run to extend the lead out to 18-12. This advantage proved to be enough as NMU was able to cruise to a 25-17 set win.

The offense did well in the second set with a hitting percentage of .333 with Larsen leading the way once again with four kills on six attacks for a hitting percentage of .667. The Wildcats did a great job of getting side outs as well with 70% efficiency.

Ohio Dominican came ready to play in the third set hoping to avoid a sweep. The Panthers capitalized quickly with three service aces as they jumped out to a 12-6 lead. NMU was able to keep pace with ODU, but the Panthers were able to hold a comfortable 22-15 lead shortly later. The Wildcats were able to get back into the set from there with a 5-0 run that brought the deficit down to two at 22-20. Northern Michigan was able to cut the lead down to one at 23-22 and 24-23, but the Panthers were able to take advantage of a set point opportunity and take the set 25-23.

The fourth set was a tight affair that saw 12 different ties up to a 19-19 score. Northern Michigan was able to finish the match strong, however, and quickly ended what proved to be the final set with a 6-1 run to put the final tally at 25-20.

Junior outside hitter Lisa Studnicka produced a double-double on the night with 10 kills and 20 digs. Studnicka also did a good job in serve receive as Ohio Dominican went after her all night but was able to cleanly receive 39 serves with only two errors for a .951 percentage.

Freshman middle hitter Madison Whitehead led the way for the offense with 13 kills and a hitting percentage of .333. Larsen was right behind Whitehead with 12 kills finishing with a hitting percentage of .393, while sophomore middle hitter Anna Aycock also had double digit kills with 10.

Junior libero Alex Berger was great in the back for NMU once again as she had a game high 33 digs on the night.

Head Coach Dominic Yoder said after the match, “We knew it was going to be a tough battle. ODU has been playing really well in our conference and they wanted to climb a spot. We knew they were going to give us a battle and their middles were really tough tonight.”

Northern Michigan returns to action tomorrow, Oct. 11, with a 4 p.m. match against Tiffin.

(Information Courtesy of NMU Athletics)