Streaking Wildcats

NMU?volleyball sweeps for 4th straight win and 24th in a row over Lake State

From left, Northern Michigan University’s Jami Hogeboom jumps to make a set with teammates Kayla Chosa and Rachel Braunschweig watching the play during a match against Lake Superior State on Saturday afternoon at Vandament Arena. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

By RYAN SPITZA

Journal Sports Writer

MARQUETTE — Kayla Chosa made 10 kills for a Wildcats volleyball team that was too tough to tame on Saturday afternoon at Northern Michigan University’s Vandament Arena.

NMU improved to 8-2 this season by chalking up a sweep of visiting Lake Superior State (1-7) with its fourth straight victory, winning 28-26, 25-15, 25-21. Saturday also marked Northern’s 24th consecutive victory over the Lakers.

The Wildcats, 2-0 in the GLIAC, had to adjust to LSSU’s game plan as the match went on, according to first-year head coach Mike Lozier.

“Before the match, we talked about what they were going to do, which was serve us tough, play scrappy defense and try to force errors out of us. And that’s exactly what they did,” he said. “A couple of times we kind of got caught off-guard with that, where we forgot that was what their game plan was and we allowed them to execute it, but once we talked about it, we turned it around and it was nice to get the win in three (sets).”

LSSU head coach Dave Schmidlin said he was happy with his team’s performance. It came down to grit at the end.

“We battled. We’re physically outmatched in the middle and on the right side,” Schmidlin said. “We served tough; I thought we gave ourselves opportunities to be successful. They’re (NMU) just a big team and they’re physical and I thought that physicality took over at the end.”

The first set was the closest with the Wildcats and Lakers trading the lead six times. LSSU gained the biggest lead of the set at 17-11, but at that point, NMU went on an 8-2 run to tie it 19-19.

More back-and-forth scoring ensued, with the Lakers going up 20-19, then Northern getting three straight points that included a Leticia Antunes kill to go back ahead 22-20. The score was tied 22-22, 23-23, 24-24, 25-25 and 26-26 before an LSSU attack error and successful kill by NMU’s Autumn Monsma ended the set.

LSSU also kept the second set close in the early going. Tied at 7-7, the Wildcats took the lead on a kill by Chosa and went up 10-7. They never relinquished the lead, though the lead only slowly grew the rest of the set.

The third set proved to be close once again, with the teams never separated by more than three points till the day ended with an attack error by LSSU. It was 19-19 before a Chosa kill set up match point.

With Chosa contributing four total blocks, Antunes finished with eight kills and 14 digs, Monsma seven kills and 10 digs and teammate Jamie Hogeboom 32 assists.

Brooke Williams led the Lakers (0-2 GLIAC) with 11 kills and three digs, while Amanda Reid had 10 kills and six digs.

The Wildcats finish off September with a five-match road trip that begins at Michigan Tech, with the match to be televised by Fox-U.P. at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Later this week, NMU is at Northwood on Friday night and Ferris State on Saturday afternoon.

Email Ryan Spitza at sports@miningjournal.net.