HILLSDALE - Northern Michigan University opened a four-match road trip that will end the regular season with a victory on Friday night at Hillsdale, 3-2.
Winning with a score of 13-25, 25-15, 25-20, 18-25, 15-9, the Wildcats improved to 20-8 overall and 13-2 in the GLIAC. Northern held onto second place in the North Division, a game behind Grand Valley State and a game ahead of both Ferris State and Northwood.
Today, NMU travels to Midland to face Northwood at 4 p.m. before concluding the season at Saginaw Valley State and Lake Superior State next weekend.
In the opening set, the Chargers went on a 7-2 run to open a 14-6 lead before winning.
In Set 2, the Wildcats built a lead of 22-13 following kills by seniors Sarah Hamilton and Kalli Herron, then closed out the set with a kill by freshman Alex Larsen.
The score was tied nine times in the third set before NMU pulled ahead 20-17 and ended it with back-to-back kills by Larsen and senior Lina Lopes.
Hillsdale evened the match in the fourth set, taking control after Northern pulled to within 8-7.
The Wildcats jumped out quickly in the decisive fifth set, taking a 9-3 lead, with four points coming on sophomore Alex Berger's serve. A Lopes kill and service ace by Berger ended the match.
Hamilton led all players with 14 kills on 23 attempts for a .522 kill percentage, while Lopes and Herron added 10 kills apiece of NMU's 52 total.
Berger led the Wildcats' defense with 18 digs while Lopes had 14. Senior teammate Kellisha Harley set up the offense with 39 assists.
For Hillsdale (14-12, 9-6), Caitlin Kopmeyer tallied 11 kills as the Chargers had 53 kills.