NMU Volleyball drops two matches to ranked, Minnesota schools
HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Northern Michigan University volleyball continued Keweenaw Classic play at Michigan Tech on Friday with two matches against teams in the top 20 of the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Women’s Poll.
The Wildcats fell 3-0 in the first match against No. 16 St. Cloud State University and 3-1 in the second against No. 2 Concordia University-St. Paul.
MATCH #1 vs. No. 16 ST. CLOUD
The Wildcats had the first point of the day awarded to them on a service error from the No. 16 Huskies.
Ties happened at 6-6, 8-8, and 9-9 in the first set. A Jacqueline Smith kill from Lauren Van Remortel evened the score up at the 9-9 point which was the last moment of the opening frame that the lead would not be with St. Cloud State.
The Huskies took set one 25-16.
St. Cloud State scored the first two points of the second set, but the Wildcats answered back with three consecutive points of their own. A Smith kill, an Angelina Negron solo block, and a Husky error tallied those points.
Later in the set, the Wildcats found themselves down 10-5. A St. Cloud State service error kickstarted a 7-2 NMU run. The scoring streak featured two Lizzy Stark service aces, two Smith kills, an Olivia Webber kill, and a Negron block. All but one kill in the run, which tied the set 12-all, were assisted by Van Remortel.
The Wildcats and Huskies tied it up once again at 14-14 before St. Cloud State took the lead for good and won the set 25-17.
Set three saw the Wildcats start off hot with a 3-0 run to open the frame.
The Huskies got a point on the board before a Stark kill assisted by Van Remortel began another 3-0 NMU run to place the team up 6-1.
St. Cloud battled back and was able to bring the game to a tie at 18-18. The tie did not last long as the Wildcats were able to pull ahead 20-18 thanks to two kills (Smith, Meghan Meyer) and a Van Remortel service ace.
Unfortunately, the Huskies were able to rally and take the set and match by a score of 25-21.
MATCH #2 vs. No. 2 CSP
Much like in the first set of the day against their earlier opponent, NMU was the first team on the board. A Smith kill gave them an early lead.
No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul took the lead at 8-7 and went up by as many as nine points later in the opening set.
The Wildcats charged back and went on a 10-2 run to pull within one point at 24-23. Smith, Negron, Meyer, and Stark each notched kills in the run while Van Remortel tallied a service ace and Smith added a block.
The Golden Bears were the winners in the first set 25-23.
NMU kept their opening point streak alive as a CSP error made the score 1-0 to open set two.
The Golden Bears would push ahead to an early 6-4 lead after. Fighting back, the Wildcats saw a kill from Van Remortel that resulted in a 12-12 tie.
The lead was reclaimed by NMU on an attacking error by the opposition. The Wildcats owned a slim 23-22 lead after a Smith kill.
CSP knotted things up at 23-23 and then secured the 25-23 set win for the Golden Bears with two consecutive points.
Concordia-St. Paul scored the first point of the second frame and kept the margin tight in the early part of the set with seven ties.
A kill from Stark broke the tie and gave the Wildcats the lead for good en route to the set win.
The frame victory had NMU go up by as many as eight points and fight off a 7-0 Golden Bear run late in the match.
The set was decided 25-23 in favor of the Wildcats.
CSP again struck for the opening point of the fourth set. The Golden Bears then pieced together a 7-1 run.
The Wildcats hung around and made a late run, scoring five of the final eight points of the match. Smith contributed a kill in that streak as well as Meyer.
Concordia-St. Paul ultimately won the set 25-15 to claim the 3-1 match win.
In the first match, Smith had the most kills of any Wildcat with 11.
On defense, Negron had three solo blocks and Madeline Crowley led NMU in digs with a total of six.
In the second match, Smith again led the Wildcats with 18 kills. Meyer and Stark each contributed double-digit kills to the tune of 10 and 13, respectively.
Van Remortel and Smith each had a team-high nine digs in the second match. Five Wildcats either had a solo block or block assist.
NMU closes out the Keweenaw Classic tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. against No. 7 University of Minnesota-Duluth. All games of the classic are played on the campus of Michigan Technological University.
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