11th Heaven: Streak Continues for No. 21 Wildcat Volleyball
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLUC) - It took five sets but in the end, No. 21 Northern Michigan University volleyball earned their 11th consecutive win with a 3-2 victory over Davenport University in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference (GLIAC) play Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats struck first in the match, scoring the first two points of set one on a Meghan Meyer kill and a Panthers’ error. After the opening push, the teams found themselves tied at 7-7.
The lead would go to the Wildcats for good on a Lauren Van Remortel assisted kill from Meyer that made the score 8-7. That kill was part of a 5-0 NMU run that also included four Jacqueline Smith kills with three coming one after another.
Set one was a 25-21 Wildcat win after a DU attack error ended the first frame.
The second set was in favor of the Panthers from the very beginning. A Davenport kill was the first point on the board which put them on top for good in the set.
The visiting team did fight valiantly in the set. A Hailey Wickstrom kill followed by a block by Wickstrom and Meyer cut the Panthers’ lead to four at 12-8.
Davenport was able to pull away after that stretch and claim a 25-15 set two win.
Set three saw NMU get back in their rhythm as they trailed only once in the frame.
Later in the set, the NMU lead would grow to 16-7 after the Panthers committed five-consecutive errors.
The third set ended in favor of the Wildcats with a score of 25-18.
The fourth set was close the entire way.
Neither team was able to take a lead of four or more over the other until a Davenport error made the score 20-16 with NMU on top.
The Wildcats reached the match point with an Ania Hyatt and Stark block putting the score at 24-22. The Panthers called a timeout and came out of the stoppage with a 2-0 run to tie the set at 24-all.
After another DU point, a Stark kill evened the score at 25-25, but the Panthers would ultimately claim the frame 27-25 with the final three points coming from the home team.
In the winner-takes-all fifth set, after Davenport opened with the first point, NMU would go on to score 10 of the next 13 points to take a 10-4 advantage. Both teams traded points after.
The Panthers then scored four straight points to pull within 11-9. A Lizzy Stark Kill stopped the home team’s run.
Ultimately the Wildcats came out victorious with a Smith kill assisted by Van Remortel securing the 15-13 set win and the match.
Stark again led the team in kills with 24. Smith was next with 23, followed by Wickstrom with 10.
In a repeat of yesterday, Alli Yacko and Smith were all knotted up in the digs category. Both had 17 in the match. Crowley was next for NMU with 13.
Hyatt and Wickstrom each had a team-high three total blocks while Yacko added one.
Three Wildcats had aces in the match. Lauren Caprini (3), Crowley (2), and Yacko (1) all took the most of their serving opportunities.
NMU closes out the regular season next week with two matchups against rival Michigan Tech. The first match of the GLIAC series is in Houghton at 6 p.m. on Friday and the second match is in Marquette Saturday at 4 p.m.
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