SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – It was a battle from the very beginning for the Northern Michigan University volleyball team as Saturday’s Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) match went to five sets in a 3-2 loss to Lake Superior State University.
The first set opened in favor of the Lakers as they opened up an early lead.
After pulling within one of LSSU, NMU was unable to get back into the set with the Lakers winning 25-15.
Set two saw the Wildcats come alive from the first point and not let up in the frame.
The visitors used a 6-2 run in the opening moments of the set to build a lead they would not give up. A kill, a Smith service ace, and four LSSU errors tallied those points.
The Wildcats cruised to a 25-15 win in the second with a Layshock kill scoring the final point.
It was a strong set for the visiting team defense, as the Lakers were held to a -.095 hitting percentage.
It was a competitive affair in the third set with the teams trading leads early and often.
NMU held a lead starting with the first point which was a Smith kill. The score went in favor of the Lakers by two at 8-6, but the ‘Cats fought back with a 5-0 run to go up 11-8. A Caylie Barlage service ace ended the run on a high note.
The home team pulled even with the Wildcats at 16-all and was able to hold on to the lead en route to a 25-19 set three win.
Two NMU kills opened the fourth frame of action, a set that would see both teams battle it out the whole way.
The Wildcats built an 8-4 lead before the Lakers tied it at 8-8. After that point, the teams tied six times with the last coming at 24-all thanks to a Smith kill.
Back-to-back errors from the home team gave NMU the pivotal set four win, 26-24.
The deciding set was all Wildcats in the beginning. An error and two Smith kills started NMU out 3-0.
For the ‘Cats the lead continued to grow to four as the team used an LSSU service error to go up 7-3.
A push from the Lakers saw the score tied at 9-9, but NMU was able to answer right back. The teams tied two more times after that point at 10-10 and 11-11.
For the Wildcats, the final set fell just short with LSSU winning the frame 15-12.
Smith had a match-high 22 kills and was second on the NMU team in digs with 14 earning a double-double for the sophomore.
Three more Wildcats had double-digit digs. Barlage led the team with 18 with Madeline Crowley coming in with 12 and Layshock having 10.
Setter Lauren Van Remortel had 44 assists marking the fifth time she has had over 40 assists in a match this season.
Both Negron and Meghan Meyer had two solo blocks each.
The ‘Cats host Saginaw Valley State University in a Homecoming Match on Friday at 4:30 p.m. inside Vandament Arena. The following day NMU welcomes Wayne State University for a 2 p.m. matchup.
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