MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – Northern Michigan University Volleyball clinched a spot in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament after they swept Northwood University 3-0 in a GLIAC matchup Friday afternoon.
The match started at a 2-2 tie but the Wildcats went on a 12-4 run, capped by an ace by freshman Madeline Crowley (Green Bay, Wis.) to make it 14-6. The Timberwolves were able to rally and narrowed the gap to a 20-15 NMU lead but after an NU error, senior Sarah Kuehn (Green Bay, Wis.) smashed two kills around an error from the visitors to make it 24-16. NU was able to score another point but freshman Lauren Van Remortel (Carmel, Ind.) found Kuehn for another kill to give the Wildcats a 25-17 first set win.
The Wildcats posted 16 kills in the first set on 42 attempts, hitting at a .381 clip and did not commit an error throughout the set.
The two teams played even to start the second set until an 8-8 tie. The Wildcats then went on a 6-1 run to make it 15-9. Northwood rebounded and eventually tied the set again at 21-21. At this point, the Wildcats notched three straight kills as sophomore Lizzy Stark (Minneapolis, Minn.), freshman Abigail Durecki (South Lyon, Mich.) and redshirt freshman Hailey Wickstrom (Calumet, Mich.) all notched kills to give NMU a 24-21 lead. Durecki then got the set-winner after an NU point to make it 25-22 and give NMU the set victory.
NMU took an early lead in the third set and continued to cruise through the set, winning the set 25-19.
NMU was led by Kuehn and she led the way with 12 kills and just two errors. Wickstrom and Stark both added 11 kills with Wickstrom committing zero errors on the day. As a team, NMU committed just 10 errors on 116 attempts to finish with a hitting percentage of .293.
Van Remortel tallied 37 assists and also had an ace. Sophomore Alli Yacko (Oak Lawn, Ill.) and Crowley also had an ace.
Yacko paced the defensive backline with 18 digs. Sophomore Lauren Caprini (St. Charles, Ill.) notched 10 digs with Van Remortel, Crowley and Stark all chipping in with eight.
At the net, Kuehn posted two solo blocks and two block assists to finish with four total blocks, tying Durecki's four for the team's lead. Wickstrom aided the effort with three and Stark contributed two.
The Wildcats improve to 7-6 in the GLIAC and are now 11-13 on the season. NMU returns to action Saturday afternoon to take on Ferris State University, after the Bulldogs defeated Michigan Technological University 3-2 Friday.
Prior to the match, the team will honor three seniors who will be making their final appearance in Vandament Arena.