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Wildcats fall in GLIAC volleyball quarterfinals

FINDLAY, Ohio – The volleyball season came to an end for Northern Michigan University on Wednesday night when the Wildcats lost in four sets during the GLIAC quarterfinals at No. 2 seeded Findlay.

The Wildcats won a pair of road matches last weekend to move off the tournament bubble and into the No. 7 position for the tourney. They finished their season with a 21-10 overall and 10-8 GLIAC record, their third 20-win season in the past five years.

“I’m very proud of my team and especially our seniors,” NMU head coach Dominic Yoder said. “They left their hearts on the floor and gave … everything they had tonight.”

With all four sets being close, the Oilers prevailed 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23.

In the opening set, the Wildcats posted a .484 hitting percentage as Madison Whitehead recorded five kills. When Findlay rallied from a four-point deficit to tie the set at 19-19, Northern responded by winning the next four points to put it out of reach.

The Wildcats opened the second set with a 4-1 lead, but Findlay responded by going on a 9-6 run to tie it 10-10. The teams traded points for much of the rest of the set as there were six more ties.

At one point, the Wildcats fell behind, 19-16, but, after a timeout, the Wildcats won four of the next five to again tie it game at 20-20.

NMU led 23-22 before Findlay forced a sideout and won the next two points to even the match.

The third set was also back and forth, though Findlay built a 17-11 lead with four straight points. Northern couldn’t get closer than two points the rest of the way.

Northern Michigan came out strong in the fourth set, building a 13-9 lead. But the Oilers closed the gap with Kara Scherger serving and then kept pouring it to take a 20-16 advantage.

A Lisa Studnicka service ace capped a three-point run by the Wildcats that brought them back within one, but they couldn’t get the score even again.

Studnicka and Whitehead each posted 15 kills while Kayla Chosa had 12. Teammate Jami Hogeboom recorded 49 assists. Overall, Northern Michigan posted a .289 hitting percentage.

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

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