MARQUETTE , Mich. ?? The Northern Michigan University volleyball team earned its 10th shutout of the season on Friday (Oct. 11) evening from Vandament Arena with a 3-0 sweep of Malone. The Wildcats are now in a four-way tie in the overall Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings with a 7-1 record. NMU is 13-5 overall after taking the match 25-18, 25-22 and 25-22.
NMU led the entire first set. Malone got within three points (20-17), its closest margin of the game, before NMU scored five of the final six points for a 1-0 lead.
In the second set, it was defensive battle with nine ties and four lead changes. The Wildcats led 21-18 towards the end of the set. Senior Lina Lopes had a kill to put the set away and give NMU a 2-0 lead, heading into the break.
Malone took a 2-0 lead to start off the final set, but NMU quickly answered, tying the game at three. There were six ties until the Wildcats took a 14-9 lead, the largest lead of the set. The Pioneers got within one point (20-19) at the end. NMU went on to score three consecutive points to take the 24-20 lead. Malone scored the next two points to get within two (24-22). An attack error by the Pioneers gave the Wildcats the win.
Three 'Cats had double digit kills with seniors Sarah Hamilton and Kalli Herron leading with 11 and Lopes adding 10. NMU finished with 49 kills as a team and a .288 attack percentage. Sophomore Alex Berger led with 11 digs and senior Kellisha Harley set up the offense with 41 assists.
For Malone, Anna Hays had eight kills and Taylor Slauterbeck added seven. The Pioneers tallied 33 kills for the game for a .163 attack percentage. Slauterbeck paced the defense with 13 digs.
Ashland, Grand Valley State, Ferris State and Northern all have 7-1 GLIAC records.
The Wildcats return to Vandament Arena Saturday (Oct. 12) against Walsh at 4 p.m. The Cavaliers were defeated 3-1 at Michigan Tech on Friday.