INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLUC) – The Northern Michigan University Volleyball team finished the first day of the University of Indianapolis Invitational, taking on Davenport University and Minnesota State University Moorhead but were unable to come away with victory.
Against Davenport, the Panthers took the first set 25-21. In the second set, the Wildcats were down 19-15 but slowly fought back and eventually tied the match at 23-23 after a kill from senior Sarah Kuehn (Green Bay, Wis.) was followed by a Panther attack error. The teams tied again at 24-24 after a service error from Davenport. However, DU scored the next two points to win the second set 26-24. DU then captured the third set 25-19.
NMU bounced back to win the second and third set against Moorhead. After dropping the first set 25-19, the Wildcats jumped out to a 16-10 advantage then were ahead 22-17 later in the set. The Dragons added three points before sophomore Lizzy Stark (Minneapolis, Minn.) made it 23-20 with a kill. After a service error made it 24-21, sophomore Hailey Wickstrom (Calumet, Mich.) answered a Moorhead point with a set-winning kill off an assist from freshman Lauren Van Remortel (Carmel, Mich.).
The third set once again saw NMU take an early advantage, eventually leading 20-15. With the score 20-17, the Wildcats scored four-straight points, with Stark picking up another kill and Van Remortel serving up an ace. After the Dragons made it 24-18, Stark finished the set with a kill.
The fourth set saw ties at every point starting at 20-20, but at 24-24 Moorhead was able to score two points to win 26-24. The Dragons were then able to power to a 15-6 fifth set victory to win the match 3-2.
Stark finished the day with a total of 34 kills, averaging 5.67 kills per set. Kuehn tallied 20 kills while Wickstrom added 16. Freshman Abigail Durecki (South Lyon, Mich.) chipped in with 12.
Van Remortel notched 75 assists for the day and tied with Durecki and sophomore Lauren Caprini (St. Charles, Ill.) with two aces each.
COMING UP ACES
Caprini paced the squad with a total of 26 digs. Van Remortel contributed 17 to the effort while Stark, 12 digs, and sophomore Alli Yacko (Oak Lawn, Ill.), 10 digs, also aided the defense.
Kuehn posted a team-best eight blocks. Van Remortel, Stark and Durecki all had three blocks.
The young Wildcats team falls to 2-4 on the year and will look to bounce back as they return for the second day of the UIndy Invitational on Saturday. The day begins with NMU taking on Saint Leo University at 11:30 a.m. The weekend concludes with Gannon University at 4 p.m.