Wildcat Volleyball Continues Their Win Streak, takes down Lake Superior State

The ‘Cats played an intense five sets ending in a Wildcat Win, extending their season record to 10-1.
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 2:29 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The NMU Women’s Volleyball team hit the court against Upper Peninsula rivals Lake Superior State University this evening at the Vandament Arena. The ‘Cats played an intense five sets ending in a Wildcat Win, extending their season record to 10-1.

The Wildcats started the game with a head-turner of a rally, keeping everything in play that the Lakers sent them. The Lauren Van Remortel and Jacqueline Smith duo came out hot again today, setting up Smith for the first kill of the game. As the score became tied at five a piece, the Lakers took a swing at what looked like a picture-perfect kill, but they were no match for Meghan Meyer and Rayne Thompson as they blocked the kill with no hesitation, taking the lead by one.

The Lakers began to crawl back onto the scoreboard leaving the cats down 10-7. But nothing a quick timeout for the ‘Cats couldn’t fix, one would be surprised what a 30-second regroup can do. The ‘Cats instantly put up four unanswered points, taking the lead once again. In the closing portion of the first set, the Lakers made some ground on the scoreboard, bringing the score to 21-15. The ‘Cats remained positive as Ali Yacko served the Lakers a mean one, teetering on the edge of the court - point ‘Cats! The Lakers took the final few points of the set, winning set one 25-17.

The second set opened up with back-and-forth play going point for point. But the Wildcats quickly showed their competitors who were boss. Meghan Meyer smashed a kill so hard that it may even have dented the floor. Lizzy Stark helped the ‘Cats keep the lead as she pounded the ball right through the Lakers’ fingertips, making the score 7-6.

The Wildcats played a nail-biter of a second set as the score stayed tight the entire time. The ‘Cats were persistent in taking the lead, as Megan Meyer and Jacqueline Smith threw down some big hits. Bringing the score to 19-18 in favor of the Lakers. As the teams matched up at 20, tensions rose on the Laker bench...Veteran Wildcat Ali Yacko stepped up to take the service following a Laker timeout, setting up a perfect return for Lizzy Stark to send a missile into Laker territory.

The Wildcats took the set 25-21 as Caylie Barlage sent over a smooth sailing serve that the Lakers just could not recover. Another “wild” start to set number three, as the two teams exchanged points until the 7-7 mark. The ‘Cats took the lead at 9-8 as Maddie Crowley sent a sneak attack free ball over the net, leaving the Lakers out of place.

The ‘Cats extended their lead to 17-13 when Lauren Van Remortel tipped the ball into an open slot and the Lakers just did not see it coming. The Wildcats closed out the third set with a dominating kill from Meghan Meyer, 25-18.

A big fourth set started with a humbling kill by Jaqueline Smith, giving the ‘Cats the first point of the game. The Lakers did not hesitate to put some points on the board as the score advanced to 4-1 Lakers. The ‘Cats meant business as they showed an undeniable effort to regain the lead. Olivia Webber dominated the net, denying the Lakers multiple kill opportunities, 11-9 ‘Cats.

The crowd was on the edge of their seats as the score was all square at 13. The Wildcats made their push as Meghan Meyer and Rayne Thompson sent some heaters into the Laker court, 16-14. Northern hit the 20-point mark, capitalizing on the faults of the Lakers. With a need for a two-point win, the Vandament began to heat up when the score reached 22-20 for the ‘Cats. The Lakers continued to press the Wildcats bringing the score to 23-23.

The set had no choice but to exceed the standard 25-point win, as the teams were tied again at 24-24. Rayne Thompson sent a kill over the net to keep the ‘Cats in the game. The Lakers were able to steal the set 27-25.

Jacqueline Smith came out flying for the closing set of the game, putting up four of the Wildcats’ first seven points of the set. The ‘Cats held a strong lead to start the set, 7-3. A shortened fifth set meant nothing but tunnel vision for the Wildcats, there was no stopping them as the score hit 10-5.

Lauren Van Remortel dug deep, digging up balls like it was her day job. Northern showed no hesitation in slamming kills into the Laker end, Lizzy Stark sent another good one over to put the cats up by six points.

Every Wildcat fan was on their feet for the match point of the game, giving the Wildcats the extra support they needed to take the win. The final score was 15-9.

Jaqueline Smith gave the crowd a run for their money putting up 20 kills and 23 points on the night. Lauren Van Remortel had a nearly perfect reception percentage at .976. Meghan Meyer also smashed down a whopping 17 kills.

The Northern Michigan University Volleyball team returns to the Vandament Arena tomorrow, Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. The ‘Cats take the court against the Ferris State University Bulldogs for their last home game until Oct. 8.