MARQUETTE, Mich. ?? The Northern Michigan University volleyball team defeated Saginaw Valley State on Friday (Sept. 20) evening in its first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match of the season. The Wildcats shutout the Cardinals in three close sets (27-25, 25-22, 27-25) from Vandament Arena. With the win, NMU improve to 7-3 overall and 1-0 in the GLIAC.
NMU built an 11-6 lead in the first set before SVSU knotted it up at 17. The score was tied five times down the stretch and there were three set points before the 'Cats finally closed it out after senior Kalli Herron had a kill and the Cardinals had a service and attacking error.
Set two was much of the same story with three lead changes and 10 ties. NMU won 25-22 before the break.
The home team built a 17-14 lead in set three before the Cardinals stormed back after a controversial call where the ball hit the ceiling. SVSU scored the next six points and looked in control up 20-17.
The visitors then had had three errors and sophomore Lisa Studnicka pounded home a kill for a 21-20 lead. NMU had five match points before finally putting it away with a kill by senior Lina Lopes and a service ace by sophomore Alex Berger.
Lopes led the Green and Gold with a match-high 15 kills on the evening. Freshman Alex Larsen (12) and senior Sarah Hamilton (11) also had double digit kills. The Wildcats finished with 51 total kills and a .261 attack percentage. Berger finished with 13 digs and senior setter Kellisha Harley had 44 assists.
For the Cardinals (5-4, 0-1 GLIAC), Ashley Driscoll had 11 kills and Kelsey Ferla added 10. SVSU had 36 total kills and a .228 attack percentage. Kelly Vullucci finished with 19 assists and Nicole Adam added 15.
NMU continues Homecoming weekend Saturday (Sept. 21) with the volleyball team hosting Lake Superior State at 1 p.m. and the football team hosting Ohio Dominican at 3 p.m. at the Superior Dome.