NMU Volleyball struggles in first day of Indy Tournament
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLUC) - Play at the UIndy Invitational for the Northern Michigan University volleyball team began on Friday on the campus of the University of Indianapolis.
The Wildcats dropped the first match 3-0 to former conference foe Ashland University and fell to No. 14 Winona State University 3-0 in the second.
MATCH #1 vs. ASHLAND SET ONE
After the Eagles scored the opening point of Friday morning’s meeting, NMU and Ashland would go back and forth to the tune of eight ties.
The Eagles chipped away at their deficit using a 6-0 run to take a 14-11 lead. NMU stopped the run with a Barlage-assisted kill from Meghan Meyer.
A lead at 24-21 for Ashland looked like it would end the match but the Wildcats scored three consecutive points off Eagle errors to pull even at 24-all.
Ashland was able to put the final two points on the board in the opening frame and take a 26-24.
A Lizzy Stark block gave NMU their only lead of the second set at 3-2.
The Eagles pushed ahead to an 18-13 lead before the Wildcats clawed back with a small run to pull within three at 24-21. The final two points for NMU came from a Meyer kill and an Angelina Negron service ace.
Ashland claimed the final point to grab the second set decision 25-21.
The opposition again struck first as the third set began but the Wildcats were close behind and scored three straight to pull ahead 3-1. A Smith kill, followed by a Barlage service ace, notched points in the run.
It was a scoring streak for the Eagles that put them ahead 4-3 before a Meyer kill tied it at five-all.
NMU was able to tie it again at 6-6 but that is as close as the Wildcats would get the rest of the way. Ashland took home the match win with a 25-21 final frame win.
MATCH #2 vs. No. 14 WINONA STATE SET ONE
The Wildcats opened the second set of the day by claiming the first point against the No. 14 Warriors on an opponent attacking error.
Much like the first set in the earlier match, the teams kept things tight. Nine ties came for both teams with 11-11 occurring after a Stark kill assisted by Barlage.
Winona State went on to take the lead after that point and held on for the rest of the set.
NMU made a comeback late as a Stark kill and a Barlage service ace pulled them within two at 19-17, but the Warriors thwarted the comeback and won the set 25-19.
Winona State put together a 9-2 run to take an early lead in the second set.
The ‘Cats scored three consecutive points using two Smith kills and a Negron kill to pull within four at 15-11.
Just a short time later NMU got as close as three with a Stark kill setting the score at 17-14.
The Warriors ultimately recorded the set’s final six tallies to take the frame 25-16.
The opposing team had a seven-point lead after a 6-2 run began the game for Winona State with the score reaching 9-3 before NMU called for a timeout.
After the Wildcat timeout, NMU fought back to pull within four at 14-10. A Warriors error and a Smith kill from Negron got the ‘Cats to that point.
NMU continued to cut into the WSU lead as late as the 21-20 mark as a Meyer kill got the Wildcats within one.
Unfortunately, the Warriors would score four straight to claim the set 25-20 and the match 3-0.
In the first match, Smith led the Wildcat effort with 14 kills. Meyer also had double-digit kills with 10.
Smith also had a team-high 10 digs.
Barlage had a Wildcat-high 35 assists.
On defense, Meyer had two total blocks while four others were able to tally at least one block or block assist.
In the second match, it was Stark who led the team in kills. The Senior had 12 kills for the ‘Cats.
Smith also registered double-digit kills with 10.
Barlage led the team in assists with 27 to her name.
Madeline Crowley led the Wildcats in digs with 11 followed by Stark with 10.
Stark had a team-high two total blocks with Smith collecting one solo block and Meyer nabbing one block assist.
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