Northern Michigan University Wildcats volleyball team splits 4 matches over weekend at University of Indianapolis Tournament

INDIANAPOLIS — The Northern Michigan University volleyball team split four matches at the University of Indianapolis Invitational over the weekend, losing twice on Friday but winning its two Saturday matches.

The Wildcats lost to former GLIAC member Ashland (Ohio) and to No. 14 Winona State (Minnesota) in three sets each, then defeated Bemidji State (Minnesota) in three sets and Cedarville (Ohio) in four sets.

NMU (3-5) now will concentrate on conference play with all but one weekend being GLIAC matches until the end of the regular season.

The Wildcats host Ferris State at 7 p.m. Friday in their season home opener at Vandament Arena, then entertain Grand Valley State at 4 p.m. Saturday and Davenport at 2 p.m. Sunday.


Ashland 3, NMU 0

In Friday’s first match that the Eagles won 26-24, 25-21, 25-21, sophomore Jacqueline Smith led Northern with 14 kills and 10 digs, while Meghan Meyer added 10 kills and two blocks and Caylie Barlage had 35 assists.

The opening set was close early with numerous ties before NMU took a 10-9 lead. Ashland then went up 14-11 and still led 24-21 before the Wildcats averted three set points to tie it 24-24.

Ashland led for most of the second set, including at 18-13 before NMU clawed back within 24-21.

NMU led 3-1 early in the third set before the Eagles took control for most of the rest of the way.


Winona St. 3, NMU 0

In Friday afternoon’s match, the Warriors prevailed 25-19, 25-16, 25-20.

Lizzy Stark led Northern with 12 kills and two blocks while adding 10 digs. Smith had 10 kills, Madeline Crowley a team-high 11 digs and Barlage 27 assists.

NMU scored the first point of the match as the opening set was tied nine times, the final time at 11-11 on a Stark kill assisted by Barlage. Northern was as close as 19-17 late in the set.

Winona jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the second set, though NMU got within 17-14 before the Warriors pulled away with the final six points.

The Wildcats trailed 9-3 in the final set before calling a timeout, then clawed back to within 14-10 and finally within 21-20 before Winona scored the final four points.


NMU 3, Bemidji St. 0

In Saturday’s early match, the Wildcats prevailed 25-22, 25-13, 25-15.

Stark led Northern’s offense with 11 kills and added five digs, while Meyer had eight kills; Smith six kills, 10 digs and two aces; and Crowley four aces and 13 digs.

In this match, NMU had 13 aces while not allowing Bemidji any.

Though the first set was tight, NMU led almost the entire way, including at 19-18.

In Set 2, Northern led 6-1 before Bemidji inched back to within 14-11. But that ended with NMU’s 11-2 spree that put the set out of reach.

In the final set after the score was tied 7-7, the Wildcats pulled ahead for good and ended the match with a Crowley ace.


NMU 3, Cedarville 1

In the second match Saturday, Northern won 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19.

Smith led NMU’s offense with 14 kills while adding four aces and four digs. Meyer had nine kills and two blocks, while Olivia Webber had a team-high four blocks. Stark contributed seven kills, seven digs and three blocks, while Barlage had a team-high five aces to go with six digs and two kills.

Crowley opened the match with a service ace and added back-to-back ones that gave NMU the lead for good, 12-11, in the first set.

In the second set, Barlage had two aces for a 4-0 NMU start that became 10-4 as the Wildcats kept the lead throughout.

After losing Set 3, Northern jumped out early in the final set, 3-0, and were the first to reach double-digit points and kept the lead.

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


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