Not seen in a decade

Lozier leads NMU?volleyball to best GLIAC?finish since ‘07

MARQUETTE — Success not seen in a decade could best sum up the first year under Northern Michigan University volleyball coach Mike Lozier.

The season officially ended Monday when the selection committee left the Wildcats out of the NCAA Division II tournament.

Michigan Tech got the eighth and final seed in the Midwest Regional, probably because of the Huskies’ victory over NMU in the GLIAC Tournament semifinals on Saturday in Big Rapids.

The two Upper Peninsula rivals had identical conference records as each won on the other’s floor during the regular season.

Northern had its best finish in the GLIAC regular season, a tie for second place, since 2007. Overall, the Wildcats were 21-8 with a pair of six-match winning streak to go with 11 sweeps for victories, according to a news release from NMU Sports Information.

Even in their eight defeats, three of the seven teams reached their conference finals and just one had less than 20 wins.

Northern kicked off its season winning three of four matches at the Ferris State Invitational as Kayla Chosa earned GLIAC Player of the Week honors.

It portended greater success for the senior, who was named conference Blocker of the Year when postseason awards were handed out last weekend.

Second up on NMU’s agenda was another 3-1 performance at the Keweenaw Classic in Houghton as senior Madison Whitehead made it two straight by winning another GLIAC Player of the Week laurel, her first of two this season.

Sophomore Sarah Kuehn also was named a league Player of the Week at the end of the regular season following the Wildcats’ upset of league champion and 17th-ranked Ferris State.

In addition to her special league award, Chosa joined Whitehead on the GLIAC First Team, while freshman Leticia Antunes was one of two freshmen to earn postseason league honors on the Second Team. Kuehn made honorable mention.

A different award went to senior Jami Hogeboom, who was named to the NCAA Division II District 4 Academic All-District Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America. That honor has made her eligible as a finalist for the Division II Academic All-American Team.

The Wildcats finished ranked first nationally with 2.94 blocks per set and 317.5 total blocks.

Kuehn is ranked sixth in Division II with 1.36 blocks per set and is eighth with 147 total blocks, which is also tops in the GLIAC.

Chosa is 16th nationally with 1.3 blocks per set and 17th with 140 blocks, putting her second to Kuehn in the GLIAC.

Hogeboom is 28th with 11.04 assists per set, while her 1,192 assists are first in the GLIAC. NMU is also ranked No. 1 in the conference with 162 aces, averaging 1.5 aces per set.

Whitehead moved up to third in NMU history with 1,323 career kills, posting 326 this season. She also finished fifth in total blocks with 354 and fourth with 314 block assists.

Chosa will finish her career in second place at NMU in each blocking category, totaling 112 solo blocks, 341 block assists and 453 total blocks.

Hogeboom became the sixth player to reach 3,000 assists and will finish her career fourth all-time.

Junior Autumn Monsma reached 100 aces this year and led the GLIAC for a majority of the season.

Finally, junior Rachel Braunschweig finished with a total of 460 digs, giving her the ninth-best single-season performance in school history.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.