MARQUETTE - GLIAC play opens tonight for the Northern Michigan University volleyball team when the Wildcats host Saginaw Valley State at 7 p.m. at Vandament Arena.
As part of Homecoming weekend, NMU also faces Lake Superior State in another league match at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Northern (6-3) lost its last match in five sets at Wisconsin-Parkside on Tuesday, which followed a four-match sweep and the title at its own Superior Oasis Wildcat Open last weekend.
Senior Lina Lopes leads coach Dominic Yoder's squad with 125 kills and 123 digs, among them her 1,000th collegiate kill on Sept. 7 against West Florida. Fellow senior Kalli Herron is second in kills for NMU with 107 as she and Lopes were named to the Wildcat Open all-tournament team.
Sophomore Alex Berger is second on the team in digs with 120, while senior Kellisha Harley sets up the offense and has 351 assists.
SVSU (5-3) is on a five-match winning streak, four coming at the Urbana (Ohio) Invitational last weekend when the Cardinals beat St. Joseph's, Ind., and Lake Erie in four sets and Urbana and Bellarmine, Ky., in five sets.
Northern has a dominating 52-9 all-time series lead on Saginaw Valley, including wins in both matches last season, 3-2 at University Center and 3-1 at home.
The entire season so far for LSSU (0-4) came at the Wildcat Open, where the Lakers were swept 3-0 by NMU, Michigan Tech, Minnesota-Crookston and Bemidji (Minn.) State. Lake State plays at MTU tonight before coming to Marquette.
The Wildcats have a similar 72-16-1 record vs. LSSU, with Northern winning the last 15 meetings. The teams play again in Sault Ste. Marie to close the regular season on Nov. 16.
NMU SOCCER STILL SEARCHING FOR FIRST WIN OF SEASON
The Wildcats will go for their first victory of the season at noon Sunday when they host Lake Erie College to open the GLIAC part of its schedule.
The Wildcats fell to 0-5 after losing to Michigan Tech in nonconference play, 5-0, on Sept. 12 and Bemidji State, 3-1, on Sunday.
Northern's lone goal in those two games, and only its second this season, came on freshman Carmen Villarruel's first collegiate goal. Sophomore Ashley Katers has the team's other score - a goal at Minnesota Duluth in a 2-1 season-opening loss on Sept. 5.
Wildcat freshman netminder Caroline Glantz has 12 saves in four games, while freshman Alexandra Simmons has stopped six shots in three games.
Lake Erie (1-3) has had similar struggles after losing three in a row, most recently a 4-0 shutout at Edinboro (Pa.).
Elizabeth Awuah and Grace Ferut have the Storm's only goals this season, while keeper Sarah Strope has 14 saves in two games and Samantha Wiles 11 in three contests.
NMU has beaten Lake Erie all three times they've met, including a 2-1 victory in Painesville, Ohio, on Sept. 16, 2012.