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Northern Michigan University volleyball has big matches tonight, this weekend

Northern Michigan University’s Lizzy Stark serves during the second set against Glen Oaks in their college volleyball exhibition match played at Vandament Arena in Marquette on Aug. 21. The Wildcats go to Michigan Tech tonight before returning home for their first regular-season matches Friday and Saturday. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University volleyball team has one of their highlight weeks of the season with a trip to big Upper Peninsula rival Michigan Tech tonight and their first two regular-season matches at their home Vandament Arena later this week.

The Wildcats host U.P. and GLIAC foe Lake Superior State at 7 p.m. Friday and league opponent Saginaw Valley State at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Tonight’s match in Houghton will be televised by Fox-U.P. at 7 p.m., with a planned switchover to Grit TV at 8 p.m.

NMU won its first two conference matches of the season to even its overall record at 5-5 with victories in the Grand Rapids area at Grand Valley State on Friday and at Davenport on Saturday.

The Wildcats have two players already exceeding 100 kills this season — sophomore Lizzy Stark has 147 and is averaging 3.67 kills per set, her total third in the GLIAC and set average fourth. Fellow sophomore Hailey Wickstrom of Calumet had 104 kills for a 2.54 per-set average.

Northern Michigan University sophomore Lauren Caprini serves against Glen Oaks in the first set of their college volleyball exhibition match played at Vandament Arena in Marquette on Aug. 21. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

In addition, senior Sarah Kuehn and freshman Abigail Durecki each have 82 kills.

Durecki also leads the team with 16 service aces, with Stark and freshman Lauren Van Remortel having 10 apiece. As a team, Northern’s 57 aces is tied for third in the GLIAC.

Sophomore Lauren Caprini paces NMU with 155 digs this season, a 3.69 average per set. Her total digs places her fourth in the GLIAC. Stark is second at NMU with 107 digs, while Van Remortel and sophomore Alli Yacko add 91 apiece.

The Wildcats hold an 85-22 all-time advantage over Michigan Tech in a series dating back to 1976. The Huskies are 7-3 this season after also winning twice last weekend.

NMU has a big 85-16-1 advantage over LSSU dating back to 1974, including winning 62 of the past 63 matches dating to 1990. The Lakers are 3-7 this season, including losses to Ferris State and Northwood last weekend.

And the Wildcats also lead SVSU all-time 58-12 as the Cardinals are 7-3 this season, most recently with a win over No. 10 Ferris State on Saturday.

To keep up with the Wildcats online, follow them at @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter.

In addition, video, audio and live statistics will be available for each match this week.

Tonight, find video at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/mtu/, audio at https://streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/ce/wupt and live stats at http://www.nmuwildcats.com/sports/wvball/2019-20/boxscores/20190924_yyvj.xml.

On Friday, video is at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/nmu, audio at https://streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/ce/wupt and live stats at http://nmuwildcats.com/sports/wvball/2019-20/boxscores/20190927_bohd.xml.

For Saturday, see video at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/nmu/, audio at https://streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/cirruscontent/WUPZ and live stats at http://nmuwildcats.com

/sports/wvball/2019-20/boxscores/20190928_c6vh.xml.

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