AURORA , Ill. -- The Northern Michigan University volleyball team lost in its first game of the Great Lakes Valley Conference and the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Crossover tournament on Friday (Oct. 25) afternoon. The Wildcats fell 3-0 to non-conference opponent Southern Indiana from the Great Lakes Center. NMU is now 16-6 overall and 10-1 in the conference.
USI (17-4, 9-2 GLVC) took the match in three straight sets with scores of 25-20, 25-16 and 25-19. In the first set, it was a defensive battle between both teams with the score tied 10 different times and the leader alternating between the two teams on four occasions. The Screaming Eagles had a 21-19 advantage and scored the next two points to go up 23-19. A kill by senior Kaitlin Hoffman cut the USI lead to three (23-20), but it wasn't enough as the Screaming Eagles would get the next two points for the set.
In set number two, USI scored four consecutive points midway through the set on Abbey Winter's serve to take a six point lead (16-10) over NMU. The Screaming Eagles continued its strong play in the set, scoring nine of the last 14 points of the game to take the second set 25-16.
In the third set, the Wildcats trailed by six (16-10), before cutting the deficit to just three (16-13) on senior Lina Lopes' serve. On Northern' s next service series, the Wildcats took the 18-17 lead. NMU tied the score at 19, but six straight points by USI closed out the match.
Herron led the Wildcats in kills on the afternoon with 14 and Lopes added nine. As a team, NMU had 37 kills for a .113 attack percentage. Sophomore Alex Berger led the Wildcat defense with 14 digs while senior Kellisha Harley had eight. Harley set-up the offense tallying 22 assists.
For USI, Erica Oberbroeckling led with nine kills and Winter had eight to contribute to the team's 32 kills for a .198 attack percentage. Kayla Heldman finished with 20 digs and Jorae Bradbury had 10. Bradbury also added 22 assists on the afternoon.
The Wildcats continue play at the Crossover tournament on Saturday (Oct. 26) morning against Missouri Science and Technology at 11 a.m. and then the Wildcats close out the tournament against Truman State at 6 p.m.