MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Northern Michigan University volleyball team showed there is no place like home as they took down Saginaw Valley State 3-1 inside Vandament Arena in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Saturday evening match.
In the first set, the Wildcats jumped out on an 8-1 run. A Jacqueline Smith kill got NMU on the scoreboard first. It was complete and utter domination of the Wildcat variety in set on as a Lauren Caprini service ace secured the 25-14 set one win.
The second set started out as a more even affair. The visiting Cardinals kept it close to the home team in the early going, only trailing 8-7 at one point. For SVSU the close stretch did not last long, as a 7-0 NMU run dashed any hopes of a comeback. Set two was a 25-12 Wildcat win.
Set three was a challenge for the NMU team. The Cardinals, tied 18-18, earned the lead for good on a kill from Rylee Zimmer. NMU fought hard to get back in the game and back-to-back kills from Ania Hyatt cut the SVSU lead to 20-22. Hyatt then earned a solo block to cut the lead to just one. The heroics were not enough as the Cardinals took set three 25-21.
Up 2-1 in the match, the Wildcats wanted to end things in the fourth set. They did just that. After an 8-8 tie, NMU used a Lauren Van Remortel kill, assisted by Lizzy Stark, to take the lead for good. Despite SVSU coming within one point of the Wildcats with the score sitting 19-18, NMU used the momentum from a Megan Meyer kill and a Smith service ace to nab a match-winning 25-21 fourth set victory.
Smith had a team-high 22 kills and shared a match-high three services aces title with Caprini. Stark was the only other Wildcat with kills in the double-digits with her 11.
Alli Yacko led NMU with 22 digs while Smith contributed 24.
Hyatt had three total blocks for the Wildcats, while Hailey Wickstrom, Van Remortel, and Meyer each had two block assists.
NMU is now 2-1 overall and in the GLIAC while SVSU owns a 0-3 mark overall and in conference play. The Wildcats host the final game of the series at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow.
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