The Northern Michigan University volleyball team took its first match of the weekend on Friday (Nov. 8) evening, defeating Hillsdale, 3-2 from Jesse Phillips Arena in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 20-8 overall and 13-2 in the conference.
Hillsdale won the first set, 25-13, before NMU came back to take the next two, 25-15 and 25-20, respectively. The Chargers won set four, 25-18, to force the fifth set which the Wildcats went on to win, 15-9.
In set one, the two teams kept within two points of one another early on in the set. NMU was down by three points (5-8), and the Chargers went on to score seven out of the next nine points to take a 14-6 lead. From there, Hillsdale would control the remainder of the set.
In the second set, the Wildcats took a 22-13 lead after two kills by seniors Sarah Hamilton and Kalli Herron. On its next service series, NMU put Herron back to serve and the Wildcats were able to close out the set which concluded with a kill by freshman Alex Larsen.
The third set consisted of the score being tied nine times until NMU snuck out in front of Hillsdale. The Wildcats took the lead, 20-17 and would keep the lead to take the set on back-to-back kills by Larsen and senior Lina Lopes.
In set four, Hillsdale took an early 8-4 lead, before Northern would cut the game within one point (8-7). The Chargers controlled the rest of the set, leading by as many as eight, and tied the match at 2-2 with a 25-18 win in set four.
Set five was all Northern's, as the Wildcats began the set with a 9-3 lead, with five points coming on sophomore Alex Berger serves. The match closed out on a kill by Lopes and a service ace by Berger.
Hamilton led all players on the night with 14 kills on 23 attempts for a .522 kill percentage. Lopes and Herron each added 10 kills. As a team, NMU had 52 kills for a .211 attack percentage. Berger led the defense with 18 digs while Lopes added 14. Senior Kellisha Harley set up the offense with 39 assists.
For the Chargers, Caitlin Kopmeyer tallied 11 kills and Haylee Booms added 10 to contribute to Hillsdale's 53 kills for the game. Sydney Lenhart had 12 digs, Kopmeyer and Marissa Owen each had 11.
NMU continues play downstate on Saturday (Nov. 9) at Northwood at 4 p.m.